Full disclosure: this post is hard as hell for me to write. But I get it. I get it so. frigging. much. This post isn’t designed to the perfect Susie Homemaker, wakes her children with harp music she composed herself and never has a problem. To the Stepford mothers- I envy you, but this isn’t for you.
You see, I have had so many miscarriages. Each one I lost was a human being. A life. My offspring. My child. A beautiful gift that was fearfully and wonderfully made. A perfect little person that was wanted. Someone I had loved since I saw that 2nd little pink line. Someone who had already sewn themselves onto my heart.
And then they weren’t there.
Our society dismisses that aspect of motherhood because it’s uncomfortable. That loss is always dismissed with placating words of “well, you can always try again,” or “everything happens for a reason,” (I always fantasized about punching people in the face when they’d say that to me.)
But then, by some miracle you carry a baby to full term. And you are joyful and up long nights, and even longer days. You have no idea what to expect. You get through the initial pain of breastfeeding, or the stress of bottle feeding, and they grow, and smile and you think “psssh! I got this parenting thing down! No sweat!” and it’s wonderful and you are absolutely in lala land because you have no idea what looms ahead.
You smile lovingly at tantrums your child throws dismissing it as developmental and “their need to express themselves” and you take in stride all of the ..ahem.. “advice” thrown your way and you keep plugging away.
And then one day you realize something. You absolutely hate it. You hate the anxiety, the worry, the one-more’s. You know what I mean, there’s always one more. One more diaper, one more sippy cup you didn’t get a chance to wash, one more load of laundry, one more eye roll, one more “NO!” screamed in your face as if you’re the worst person to ever exist.
I hate it. There are aspects of motherhood that I hate. I hate the times when we’re late and we are running out the door and the twins can’t find their shoes… again. If only I had a special place they could put them every. Single. Time. they take them off. (shoe rack by the front door, btw.)
I hate when we’re grocery shopping and of course everyone has to pee… in rapid succession, instead of all at once. because 39 seconds ago when everyone was asked and we were standing right by the bathrooms, no one had to go. I hate when they slap each other or play too rough, or fight with me, or a million other things.
Yes ladies- I get you. I get your emotions. I get that you just want to check out of motherhood.
If there were a magic pill we could either take or give to them to be the kids that we think they should be, I’m pretty sure 99.99% of us would have done it by now. And of course, this is where I feel guilty. Guilty for being human. Guilty for having the feelings I have knowing that I have children I’ve never met because of their untimely death before their birth. Guilty because I don’t want my children feeling they’re not good enough for me.
So, I plug away at my daily life. But how do I do it without becoming bitter? So often we feel more like a slave to our household and our families than we do the one to be the queen; the guider; the loving protector that we are called to be. And it’s ok to feel that way.
I am currently in a season of tantrums (from the little ones) and backtalk from the older ones. Now, I’m not going to dismiss it as “oh well, that’s just them expressing themselves”. No. Right this very second Abi is having a meltdown because she can’t be on the kindle. (It’s a kid’s tablet that is on our cell phone plan.) She is screaming at levels that I’m fairly certain I’m going to have to watch out for the police as my neighbors will likely have called due to the sounds of torture that I’m surely doing… it’s just her screeching to get her electronic fix like I’m her Wifi dealer or something.
Zoe just decided to yell at me to my face, though we just paid $250 so she can cheer- paid it yesterday, for her uniform, registration, and all her accessories. Don’t you just love pre-teens who think they’re on the same level as adults and can get away with talking to me as though I’m her housemate instead of her mother?
Yeah, truthfully, I am exhausted from motherhood right now.
We moms are supposed to be wonder women. Particularly in this “I can do it all” age that we live in. We have more conveniences than we’ve ever had and less time to do anything. Seriously, it’s been a while since I beat my clothes against a rock down in the river to get them clean, how about you? No, I have a dishwasher, a laundry washing machine (and dryer!) an automatic electric stove, crockpots, coffee pots, etc. I have conveniences that women of the Bible only dreamed about, but I also have something else they didn’t have.
I have the disconnect of community performing the exact same tasks and the feeling that we will never get it all done because we don’t have a way to join together during that time.
Used to be that women did their chores in groups. We’d have “servant girls” to help. We’d be able to teach our daughters our way of life and show them. Now, we not only have a million and one (ok, slight exaggeration) labor saving devices, but we also have a disconnect of the things we have to do. So, because we can throw a load of laundry in a machine to have it do our washing for us, we assume that that time that we’d usually take to do it can be spent doing something else. And we’re right.
But I’m starting to get off track… My point of this was that we as moms tend to hate being moms because of all of the demands on us daily. Yes, it gets overwhelming and that sucks. But my God is a big God. In fact, he’s bigger than any problem I’ve ever faced.
Motherhood is one of the most complex things that we will ever do. It’s hard. It’s nuanced. It’s so subtle and detailed at the same time that we become exhausted from it on a daily basis. (Poor Abi. I have chanted to her “Mommy’s not here, she’s working” about 100 times while she’s whining at me for a little bit of attention. Great. More guilt.) But there is help.
Wait, hold the phone- what did you say, Heather?
There’s help. And it may not be how you expect. Psalms 121:2 (KJV) says “My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”
The entire universe. Everything in it. Everything that ever was or ever will be, and God felt it right to make you and put you in place so that you would be your children’s mother. He cared enough to make me fit to both bring forth and nurture and raise up and guide 7 children- what makes me think He doesn’t care about me enough to help me with the task of raising my children? God wants to help me in whatever situation I’m in and if that means I’m in my overly-exhausted, end-of-my-rope point with my children, I only need to call on Him for help.
I think I’m going to stop it here, but I’m going to touch more on this later. There is definitely something to be said for rest and refilling yourself. Because you can’t feed your family from an empty pot.
With love, Dearies.