I wrote this a few days ago, just hours before things got even more real… crazy real… around these parts. More on that one day… but not today. Today, we’re talking parenting. Ah, parenting.
Sometimes a book comes along that I think is written for me. Almost in a “uhh, hey yo, have you been stalking me? and how did you get into my brain anyway?” sorta way. As I read these words the introduction to Desperate: Hope for a Mom Who Needs to Breathe, I knew I was reading one such book. Here we go…
“Down to the bone, to the deepest part of my soul, is the love I have for my children. Every day of my life is imperfectly offered to them. But the little years, they’re hard… If you’re a mom of little ones and you don’t have very much help, I know you’re struggling to breathe. Your days morph into your nights and mornings come too quickly. You’re bone-tired and would give just about anything for a break, a soul-filling, relaxing, quiet break.”
Yes! Amen! I’m not alone! I sometimes feel self-conscious and defeated when I admit how weary I can feel as I care for these three incredibly awesome (and amazingly exhausting) kids day in and day out. Like I should have this down pat by now. I feel so pitifully weak at the end of the day when I can scarcely utter another word and end up falling asleep on the couch at 8pm. As full and blessed and rich as my life is, I often wonder if I’ll ever feel “normal” again.
And this is precisely why I appreciate the honesty and wisdom of books like this. Why I have such high regard for those people who refuse to live life masked, uttering the mantra of “I’m great! We’re all great!”, fake smiles plastered to their faces. Because unless they live in some alternate reality of parenting into which I have never entered, everyone will have crappy parenting days. Days in which you just want to run and hide in a closet. Days in which you wonder if you even have an identity aside from “mother” any longer. Days in which an XL coffee with a side of Xanax sounds like a fabulous idea. (Just kidding on that last one… kind of .)
Sarah (we’re on a first name basis now. obviously. I mean she knows the inner workings of my whacked out mind after all…) goes on to hit the nail on the head. Or at least verbalizes exactly what I needed to hear, especially in light of this recent post:
“I want you to know that I have struggled with my place in this season of life. I want to be faithful and have integrity with my family and give myself over to them, but I’m not immune to feeling the ‘call’ of other opportunities that distract me from my mail role… My ultimate encouragement to you so that you don’t feel defeated? Give in to your season of life.”
Giving in. Easier said than done for a hard-headed, stubborn person like myself. But here I go, once again trying to give in to this season. Not in my own strength, of course, because I hardly have enough strength and energy to feed myself lunch most days. I’m giving into the season of diapers and tantrums and spilled milk. (I still refuse to give into the whining though. Ohhh the whininggggg.) I’m giving into the season of baby dolls in beds and Legos underfoot and countless rounds of Duck, Duck, Goose. Why? Because this is exactly where God has placed me and precisely where He wants me. And nothing is lost on Him. He’s not surprised at my inadequacies. He’s not surprised that I fail miserably any time I attempt to do this whole parenting gig on my own. Why? Because He created me to need Him. To desperately ache for his presence and to be incomplete without Him. I’ll always be a mess, but I’d rather be a mess with Jesus than a mess without Him any day.