May 9, 2014

Mommy Blog Part 5: The Death of the IT Mom

There are some things that no one tells you about motherhood. 

No one tells you that it's actually possible for a four year old to ask exactly 74 question on a twenty-minute drive and around question 41, you'll want to bang your head against the window.

No one tells you that at some point, your child will throw something at you like strawberries.  Because heaven forbid you attempt to feed your child something healthy and abhorrent like a strawberry.

No one tells you that your child will be red in the face screaming at you because you had the nerve to get up and do something insane - like go to the bathroom and pee.

No one tells you about how about how relieved you'll be at bedtime or how much you'll cry from exhaustion or feeling like a failure.  No one tells you that you're house and your bathrooms and your carpets and your everything will never ever be the same again.

And probably because of this:
Because of how much joy and life and laughter and fullness that your children bring in to your home.  The home you thought was perfect because of your carefully selected throw pillows and designer paint colors.  But in actually, it's perfection comes with teethmarks on your coffee table and trucks strewn about your living room, and cans of green beans placed under the cabinets by your inventive boy.  A home is really made perfect with juice stains on those silly throw pillows and crumbs on the dining room floor and pictures colored outside the lines hanging from your refrigerator.
Even amidst a season of discouragement, my heart has never been more full.  I've often wondered how that can be, but I suppose it's one of the many wonders of motherhood.
The moment Tommy came into my hospital room after Jacob was born and beheld his baby brother for the first time, I was almost certain my heart would burst from all of the beauty and glory in that moment.  Nobody ever tells you how much your heart will expand when you suddenly find yourself the mother of not one, but two.  And I can't even imagine the hearts of the mama's with three and four and five and so on. 
As I've written and shared this week, reflecting on my story and journey of motherhood in this last year, my heart has also thought of the other mothers reading this post.  The mothers that have no babies, that desperately want them, whose wombs are closed or are healing or are anxiously waiting a miracle. I have to wonder what it feels like to read of my stories and struggles as a mother when I know others would give anything for these struggles to be some of their own.  I have a handful of very close friends who find themselves here and my heart aches and hurts wanting so badly for them to know all of this.  For you my friends, and you know who you are, I so long for you to have strawberries thrown in your faces and diaper blow-outs at 2:00am and your very own seasons of struggling in this place.  For laughter and toys and glorious children chaos to fill your homes and beautifully destroy your pillows and coffee tables.  Oh my heart hurts and I weep as I wait with you.  Those of you who have walked with me in my struggle here as you've waited and are waiting still, I am humbled to be loved in this place by you.....
During this last year of life, all I kept hearing in my head were all of the people who have ever told me to enjoy EVERY moment, because before you know it they'll be smelly, back-talking teenagers with an attitude or they'll be gone and you will never hear from them.  That's what they say you know.  And then you see all those stupid pins on Pinterest about how they won't be small forever and the laundry can wait and don't miss a single moment!  And blah blah blah blah. 
And to all of these people that have told me this, I keep thinking, "You don't have my baby!  They're not your legs he's clinging to!  You probably get to pee in peace!  You can probably make dinner without crying your eyes out!" 
What I wish we could hear more of is, "I know it's hard.  Hang in there.  I felt that way too.  Stop beating yourself up.  Let me watch your kids so you can have an hour to yourself."  Because really, we try - we try and try to enjoy every moment, but some of those moments aren't always enjoyable.  Enjoying every moment doesn't always make a difference on how you're feeling.  Sometimes we just have to admit, "Wow, this is crappy and I'm tired and I need a friggin break because I'm not just a mama, I'm a woman and I have needs and limits just like anyone else."
I think I've come to terms with the fact that I'm not the "IT" mom I had originally set out to be.  I have boys instead of the daughters I imagined.  I work almost full-time outside the home, I'm overweight, my laundry is still in baskets waiting to be folded and put away and my husband didn't get a packed lunch from me and wore a wrinkled polo shirt to work today.  Tommy eats dry cereal for breakfast and I pray that you never have to see my disheveled closets because they are anything but organized.
But the mom I am now isn't so bad I think.  I can throw a stellar birthday party.  Tommy loves my homemade coffeecake when I treat him to it on a Saturday morning.  I teach them how to play and be loud.  I build Legos and play trucks and explain Star Wars.  I teach them about Jesus and we pray and talk about God.  I bathe and read to and snuggle and feed and play with. 
Of course, some days never go as planned.  And there aren't picture perfect moments or sparkly Hallmark movie worthy memories made.
 But I'm building a life and a family and a home.  I'm raising these precious boys with a man who loves me.
And some days it's exhausting and frustrating and I just want to be done. And others are so rewarding and full that my heart can't hardly bear the glory of it all.  But they teach me.  They are always teaching me.

Tommy reminds me to be thoughtful and careful with my words.  He encourages me to speak life and kindness and is quick to call me out when he hears otherwise.  He invites me to adventure and to play and he lets me know how he feels or if I've hurt him.  He shares my passion and love for music.  And his tender, compassionate and sensitive heart, reminds me of my own.
Jacob is passionate and full of emotion.  He invites me to remember that this life isn't about me.  He encourages me to give even when I don't think I can anymore.  He has taught me patience and selflessness.  His smile is so bright and vibrant that it fills our whole house with something special.  There is a light in that boy that feels extraordinary to me.
These boys have taught me that they really don't need the IT mom I thought I was supposed to be.  The only mom they really me.

To my precious boys Tommy and Jacob - I love you both more than you will ever know.  No matter how I've struggled or will struggle as we all grow up together, I will thank God every day for giving you both to your daddy and me.  I have never known a greater joy than getting to be your mama.  I love you both so, so very much.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written! You are great with words & seems to me like you're a wonderful mother. Keep it up! :)