I had to laugh, just a little, when I peeked on Facebook this morning. With an onslaught of snow days the women in my region are getting a bit worn out. This was evidenced by the jump in “10 ways to find joy in the trenches” and “When mothering is hard and no one sees” posts. And when I had the previously mentioned laugh, it wasn’t because I think these are silly. It was because YES. I am so there. And apparently ya’ll are too. Solidarity girls.
When it snows, when school is canceled, the responsibility of caring for the kids falls to me. I work from home most of the time and my husband works in an office. It makes sense that I’m the chosen one. But it doesn’t make it easy. The unknowns and schedule changes are difficult on kids. Especially kids that have experienced trauma or have needs that require a schedule. It’s not that time spent with them isn’t enjoyed but they aren’t their best and I’m not my best.
And I keep coming back to one thought “what a waste of time.” The weight of my children’s ever growing status is heavy on me lately. While I delight in their growth and knowledge acquisition I also miss the days of chubby hands and pureed foods. I look forward to the pre-teen and teenage years, but also fear them… in a healthy way. This is the age-old dance of motherhood. Those before me have cleared the floor and now I’m in the center trying to keep up with the beat. And it’s a fast song.
Every mother who has gone before me reminds me that it went so fast for them. And I can truthfully reply that yes, it’s going so fast I can barely hang on. I’m trying to teach them about Jesus, teach them to read, teach them to care for others, teach them to be kind, teach them to clean up, teach them to respect others. The list grows and multiplies daily. They fail to meet expectations. I fail to respond with grace. We are all, as I mentioned above, not our best. And attempts to recover this time, to have do-overs, are thwarted by circumstances outside our control.
And then everything scrolls back to mom, me, on that dance floor, with the fast song. It feels like techno because the world is disjointed and everyone is crying and someone has been hit in the face with a stuffed animal… and it hit. their. eye. And I just want to scream “turn the music off!”
And in that quiet moment I’ll gather all of mine to me. And whisper in their ears… I’m not my best. You’re not your best. But while I was frantically going through the motions I realized something. You can’t learn, unless I lead.
Unless I wake up with joy on my lips and in my heart. Unless I beg God for the Grace to be who He made me to be. Unless I take the internal struggle and purposefully push it up to He that is Greater than I… it’s all, as i said, a waste of time. The responsibility of four lives is too much for my humanness. And it appears that snow days, that were meant to be joyful, bring out way too much me.
Today, in the midst of all the find joy posts and the lonely motherhood posts I’m gathering the ones I’m entrusted with, I’m gathering them close. And we are breaking free of the not-our-best moments. We are embracing grace for each other and most of all I’m giving it up, so I can be filled, so I can lead them well.
6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.