Motherhood and homemaking. No matter how many times your husband tells you how awesome you are (which mine really does make a sincere effort) and no matter how many “thanks honey” and slobbery baby kisses and cuddles you get, no one REALLY understands or can even truly appreciate you unless they’ve been in your shoes. Being a mother is a joy, I wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING (and I sincerely mean that), but as cliche as it sounds, it really is a “thankless” job. I’m sorry mom, but I never understood until now.
I found myself today wondering if Trent ever thinks… “How does this toilet paper get here?”
I’ll tell you how. Someone had to go to Super Target with a screaming baby and buy an industrial size pack of off-brand toilet paper (because they also manage the budget). And somehow manage to buy 47 other industrial size off brand items while 5 other women either touch their child without asking (a child who happens to have a fairly serious health condition when it comes to germs) or judge them for not reasoning with their screaming 7 month old (because that’s feasible, right?) or because they gave their 7 month old straight apple juice (don’t care… makes him happy and it’s about picking your battles, amen?)
Then, after making it through check out with a less than friendly sales associate and a child who will NOT stop screaming for more juice and/or persistently trying to eat mommy’s one and only designer purse, they get all of the industrial sized things into their car that smells like 5 days of leftover Chick-fil-a (because who has time to eat anything else?), return their cart to the appropriate area so no one judges them for leaving it unattended, drive home listening to “Tutti Fruti” for the 3,047th time because they can’t listen to their baby scream anymore, unload said car with said screaming baby while their neighbor watches with a smirk (because “Tutti Frutti” has stopped playing due to a poor wifi connection), put the baby down for a nap (and I use the turn “nap” loosely), and THEN, open that industrial size pack of toilet paper…
Only to find the trash is full from last night’s frozen pizza (because who has time to make healthy dinners anymore?) and needs to be taken out into the alley which requires a key before they can throw the 27 bags of leftover packaging from the store away. Then they distribute the toilet paper evenly amongst the bathrooms and refill each toilet paper dispenser. Only to find the toilets are orange from mildew and may or may not have a moth swimming in one of them… So they go to the laundry room to get the toilet cleaner only to find 7 piles of laundry to be folded that their crazy dog Henry (whom Jack LOVES so we can’t put him up for adoption) just threw up on…
You catch my drift, or shall I go on? Can I get an amen? Hallelujah? Something? This is a daily battle and is on top of working part time, so I mean, you full time working mommas. MAY GOD BLESS YOU.
Being a mom isn’t always the glamorous thing. In fact, most of the time it isn’t. I was on the phone with my sister this morning and out of nowhere I got a whiff of poop on my shirt. How long had that poop been there? NO IDEA. But it may have been on me for 2 days because let’s be honest, I slept in the shirt I wore to work the day before and hadn’t made an effort to change this morning.
Sometimes I think, what do I REALLY do? I don’t work for a top-tier marketing agency anymore. I’m not famous and I don’t touch a million peoples’ lives in one way or another. I’m not a YouTube star. But maybe that’s okay?
It is okay. Being a mom is a calling. It has a purpose. Raising a child (both from a pure survival standpoint and helping them grow up to be a decent adult), making memories, taking care of the home for your family, those are all glorifying to God. Picking up after a baby, two dogs and a grown child (just kidding Trent, I love you), seems so monotonous and small. But, I remind myself, what would their lives look like without me? Outside of them having a germ infested house with no clean dishes, clean clothes or general light (because I’m the only one capable of changing a light bulb…). Or besides them not having a warm and cozy home where Christmas threw up (in the best way possible)? Other than a life full of memories because mom planned family fun day at the pumpkin patch or made everyone go on a walk to the park? I like to think that their lives wouldn’t be quite as rich without me. That I provide something that only I can give as a wife and momma, and that gift and blessing comes from God.
All of this to say, I’ve been a tired momma lately. It’s not from a lack of thanks or recognition, because Trent is wonderful. It’s the overwhelming to-do list, it’s the consistent battle of balancing not 4 big things, but 726 little ones. It’s never feeling like I can ever do anything or give anything 100% because my head is in a million places. I put a box of Cheez-its in the refrigerator and later wonder why wine isn’t coming out of the bottle (um, maybe because the cork is still in there?).
This Christmas season, I want to slow down, enjoy being a mom, enjoying serving my family and BE PRESENT. I want to work on saying no to things so I can say yes to more important things. More than anything, I want to rest in the fact that God has me placed EXACTLY where he wants me and he has me doing EXACTLY what I was meant to do. I have dreams and aspirations of doing “bigger” things, and I know myself well enough to know that someday one of those dreams will come true. “Not now” doesn’t always mean “no”. But it’s okay to be “just a mom” or “just work part time”. When I look at my life (and I mean REALLY look at MY life and not comparing me to other people), being a mom and a wife to “just two people” makes me feel the warm and fuzzies — like the most beautiful and fulfilled woman on earth.
So to all of you other mommas out there, you can do it. Be you. Do you. Enjoy you. Because you’re exactly where YOU are supposed to be.