As a little girl, I dreamed of becoming a mom one day. When my mom told me what to do and I had to listen, or she got on to me for not doing something I was supposed to do, all I could think about is the day when I get to tell my own kids what to do and not have anyone boss me around. My whole life I always wanted to grow up and be “on my own”. From the eyes of a child, being an adult looked easier and a lot more fun. They went wherever they wanted. They spent money whenever they wanted. In my parents house, the electricity was always on, the water was always running, the refrigerator always had food, the kitchen was always clean, my clothes were folded for me, the cars always ran.
Everything seemed like it just happened without truly seeing the labor that was involved to maintain all of those things. The long, hot days that my dad worked to provide for his family. The late hours after all the kids went to bed, you would find my mom cleaning the kitchen. The early mornings, when she would get up early to cook breakfast and pack our lunches. The unforeseen hours upon hours that my mom worried, prayed, and sacrificed her own time for us.
Fast forward a decade or two.. I have now been “on my own” for 7 years, paying bills, working a full time job, parenting a toddler, being a wife and housekeeper… and all of a sudden I notice nothing gets done unless I’m the one to do it. My adult life isn’t playgrounds, coffee dates, waterparks, shopping, sleeping, binge watching Netflix shows, exotic vacations, Pinterest perfect house. Most days its wondering how I can fit everything into one day. Wondering how I can get quality time with my child to show her that I love her more than any other chore in this world, but still maintaining life; giving her clean clothes, a house with water and electricity, food for when she’s hungry, a TV so she can watch Despicable Me 3 on repeat, and a working vehicle to take her to splash pads and to play with her cousins.
Now that we are the adults..
My husband is the one working exceedingly past your typical 40 hour week to get us where we want to be. To, one day, provide us with having more time spent together. Sacrificing his own time from his family when most of the time he is gone before we wake up and home after we’ve gone to bed. While, I am also working long hours to service my family, working 8 hour days and coming home to cook dinner, give baths, clean the kitchen, story time before bed, putting my child to sleep. Only then to try to unwind, get things ready for the next day, spend some time with my husband, go for a run, and then hopefully try to get 7 hours of sleep. I used to not function off of less than 10 hours haha! Those were the days..
All this to say..
Mama, I see you in your struggles.
When your heart is so full of love and joy for your family it hurts, yet day to day life can be exhausting and overwhelming.
When all you want to do is cuddle with your baby or build blocks with your toddler, but the dishes are overflowing in the sink and the dishwasher needs to be unloaded.
The laundry bins are full of dirty clothes because you got behind and the pile of unfolded clean laundry that can’t seem to fold themselves so you can just enjoy what little precious time you have with your family.
When you want your off days to be filled with taking kids to the zoo or kids museum, but your bills come first.
When you could really use a date night, but after working a 40 hour week you feel guilty for passing your child off to someone else once again.
When there isn’t enough time in a day.. or a week.. or a year to do everything you WANT to do.
Laying awake at night for hours thinking about EVERYTHING.
When everything seems to happen at once and you wonder how you’ll ever make it through.
When trying to balance all that is asked of you almost seems impossible to achieve.
Looking back now, I see small things my mom did that I didn’t appreciate back then. Things that didn’t seem hard. Being strong for us when I’m sure she struggled just like I do. Always serving us and giving us all that we needed so that we could just be kids. Loving us and supporting us no matter the circumstances.
To the mom who struggles:
Give yourself grace. All the time. The day to day may be hard, but the days will get easier. What seems to be exhausting now, will be missed later. The things that are wished away, you’ll one day want it all back. So for now, enjoy the hard times while you can. Focus on what is positive and what makes you happy when your day seems to fall apart. Pray. Seek peace. Stop what you are doing. Forget what needs to be done and do something fun with your child. Make their day in about 10 minutes. Our kids are so easily pleased. We over think and stress about not doing enough for them, when in reality we aren’t doing enough for us. Being with our kids IS enough to them. They want our attention. They need it. Give it to them. 10 minutes. 15 minutes. Or even longer to just stop and unwind. In 20 years from now, you’ll never say “I wish I had worked more” or ” I wish my house would have been cleaner”. Instead we’ll say “I wish I spent more time with my kids”. So go spend time with your kids. The laundry can wait. The dishes can wait. The mopping can wait. Your kids can’t. They’ll continue to grow. Give yourself grace and go be with your family.