Stay at home mothers. Working mothers. Work out of the home mothers. Network marketing mothers. Then there’s the hybrid mothers mashing up all possibilities. We moms are like our own Baskin Robbins of flavor varieties.
But one day of the year we are all equally defined by the common thread we have woven through our hearts – mother to little ones. Our most important job.
And by the looks of it from Facebook this past year, my friends were rocking the well deserved praise with homemade cards, brunch in bed, crafts designed just for them and total adoration by their darling babies both big and small.
I feel compelled here to share that my oldest spelled my name, Kristin, wrong not once but in two different ways on the work he created for me. Huge pet peeve. I had to bite my tongue AND my tonsils not to yell in righteous indignation for “i-n” girls everywhere. My youngest translated his 4 year old writing on his homemade card when read aloud as “I love Mommy more than Satan.”
It’s not always Hallmark perfect around here, but it is perfectly hilarious.
And my day was great. I even heard one child tell the other two “guys, it’s Mother’s Day so Mommy doesn’t want to hear us fighting today.” Yea, side note short stuff, I really don’t want to hear you EVER fighting, but I’m glad you got the memo from your father that dadgummit we would have a peaceful day come hell or high water!
Yes it was a great day.
But what about the other 364 days where my toast isn’t burned for me or the hugs aren’t willingly handed out all day long?
What about the days of which we do not speak? The days we don’t want to ever repeat? The days we know will not be on our highlight reel of mothering?
Oh snap, did she just break the sacred social media pledge of looking like on-line perfect parents at all times?
Yes mam I sure did. And may I be brutally honest?
Some days as a parent I just can’t.
I just can’t have one more calmly spoken directive aimed at a still not listening child. I don’t want to explain myself so I yell out the dreaded “because I said so!” I promised before kids I’d never say the cliched phrase, but man it feels good when my lack of patience has hijacked my compassion.
I just can’t read one more book on Barbie and her plastic friends knowing full well that Ken is NOT her boyfriend. I just can’t read another book with pantless animals. Why are so many of them spending time buttoning shirts but exposing what would be their bear/monkey/tiger bits if the illustrator hadn’t showed some dream
I just can’t vroom vroom one more truck or play dinosaurs again. Possibly the most boring of games because I’m also assigned the loser roles. Why must each child be the victor of his or her imaginary play? Really I’m not doing them much good if they go out in the world and think all they’re gonna do is win win win. I should just snap a Matchbox car in half and call it a divine intervention
And if we are really being truthful, on some of these days her room to offer consolation yet again. In fact, I might have raised my voice getting said child there and if guilt hasn’t rushed into my heart then truth be told what’s worse is when I feel nothing but weary, tired, drained.
Empty is sometimes worse than angry.
I just can’t read another book on positive driven discipline or gentle parenting because my children aren’t reading their part on how they’re supposed to recognize my gracious leadership and immediately fall in line with joyful obedience. I just can’t keep feeling like a failure in equipping them in self-soothing, mature negotiation and two-way peaceful agreements.
So many articles, so many chapters, so many workbooks, so many podcasts, so many posts.
Some days I just can’t.
And we are diaper free now, so Momma of wee ones I remember the “I just can’t” days of nighttime feedings, non-stop spit ups, eternities of teething pain, constant skin issues, terminally dirty highchair trays and utter exhaustion wrapped in a world of baby blues you’re just too tired to address because there’s another nursing, another well check, another feeding, another blow out.
And to top it off all we are told by those who have gone before us to “cherish these days” which I get. I so get! Currently we are at the end of school countdown ticking off days to another grade promotion meaning I am literally on the razor edge of tears knowing these days are on a sped up time warp.
Yes the days are long and the years are short. Yet in these long living days we are always running late. “Hurry up.” “Get in the car.” “Grab some shoes.” “Go, go, go!” I fear their childhood memories will be narrated by the voice of an anxious/drill sergeant/cheerleader/kid-herder always piling in a minivan with somewhere to be five minutes ago.
But sometimes I just can’t cherish every single moment. I cannot freeze time. And sometimes I don’t want to! Hurry up and get to the next phase because Sweet Jesus it cannot be as tough as this one we are living!
And that’s alright Mommas!
Who said we are supposed to be delighted every single second of every single day of every single child we are raising up? Who put that unattainable standard
We are not superwomen, heck, I’m not even a supermom. I’m a humanmom and that allows me to default from “I just can’t” to “I can just be.”
What a relief that is.
To just be in the moment, good or bad, and not put the pressure on our weary worn out souls to make it magical. Letting go of the incessant need to capture each emotion, each outfit, each facial expression for some mythical scrapbook I’m too tired to make. What if we quit looking outward at how everyone else is doing it on social media? What if we refused to no longer set our eyes upward at this insane hashtag-blessed-filtered-life standard? What if we embrace “the days are long, but the years are short” but tag on “however the memories are many.”
Sometimes motherhood is like drinking from a fire hydrant because I can’t take it all in, I can’t feel all the feelings, I can’t get everything done but I can’t slow down for fear of missing it all.
Yes the days are long and yes the years are short, but thank the good Lord the memories are many.
And I for one am going to stop and just start looking around. Seeing what’s right there. Pausing to take it in. The good, the bad, the really not so good and the downright ugly. All of it.
Not grabbing my phone to archive the moment for fear of missing out, but actually stopping to authenticate it in thankfulness while leaning in.
And you know what? Without the “days of which we do not speak” in our lives, the glorious moments of parenting these little ones wouldn’t seem so special. Without the monotony of life and doldrums of motherhood we might miss the stand alone and take notice magical moments.
So don’t miss the magic Momma. It’s all around.