The Overwhelming Moments of Motherhood
Most days I feel like I have it together…pretty much. I get up, get my kids ready for school with the help of my awesome husband, get breakfast ready, make the coffee, get myself ready for work, and send everyone off for their busy days. I’m no different than millions of other women in this world. We work hard at keeping our families healthy, happy, and productive. Some of us work from home, some of us are stay-at-home-moms, and some of us do a combination of both. Not one of us is right in our decisions to do so, just that we’re doing what’s right for ourselves and our families.
But some days.
Some days, it seems like something is eating me. The minute my feet hit the ground it feels like there is something nipping at my heels. Just outside my peripheral vision. I can’t quite make it out, but it’s there. I feel its presence. I can feel it coming for me. It’s the anxiety, anger, and negativity that I try so hard to banish from my life. I really try to get it out of my life, my personality, and my home. But man. Those days it’s rearing its ugly head can make for a stressed out household.
It’s certainly true that if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
I can feel the stress of everyone when I’m in a mood. “Did you not sleep well”, my husband asks. “Is it a headache coming on?”, or “What’s bothering you, honey?” He’s always perceptive of the mood. And of course, I can’t pinpoint it. I have no idea why I acted out. I just feel overwhelmed.
I always feel terrible after I’ve snapped at everyone. It makes me cry and question my abilities at mothering, wifing, and personing in general. As a writer, you’d think I’d be able to voice my concerns and requests to my family more eloquently than barking at them. Those precious people who love me. Why am I so willing to give my best to my clients, my friends, strangers at Target instead of the people who share my home? These are things I question.
I get overwhelmed at reminding everyone about personal hygiene. How hard is it to remember to take a shower every day? And why do I have to say it every day, over and over like a broken record? You aren’t new here. Shower, brush teeth, brush hair, wear clean clothes.
I get overwhelmed at asking them to remember to take their meds. Every day.
I get overwhelmed at saying, again and again, to pick up your clothes. Put them away. I don’t do the laundry and give you clean clothes folded ever so nicely for you to throw them on the floor.
I get overwhelmed when I think of paying for college. And first cars, and possibly braces. School supplies, school dances, the black hightop Converse she really wants for school.
I get overwhelmed when I think about growing children AND a business. What if I fail? What if everyone laughs at my failure? What if my kids fail to launch, and what if my business is a flop?
I get overwhelmed when I remember what’s at stake if I don’t guide my kids to be good humans. That’s a huge responsibility. What if they turn out to be little turds? Or worse, giant turds?!
I get overwhelmed when I think I have to do it all on my own. There’s so much resting on my shoulders. And my husband’s shoulders. That poor guy has to put up with my craziness.
At church today, the pastor told us that there are things we should leave at the well for Jesus.
Specifically: What habit, sin, person, or possession do you need to leave behind in order for God to fill you, lead you, heal you, and use you to serve Him?
Well, for me it’s my anger, anxiety, and negativity. I’ve prayed for this so many times, and it’s something that I have to pray about and release to Him every day. I know in my heart and soul that Jesus has it. But the what ifs are enough to drive me up a wall. And then I snap at my kids. I snap at my husband. I cry at the breakfast table over peanut butter toast that mommin’ ain’t easy. It’s hard and not for the faint of heart.
There’s poop, puke, pee, bloody noses, scraped knees, boogers on the wall, hair stopping up the shower drain, crushed cheerios in the van, melted crayons on the leather upholstery, broken bones, high fevers, snotty noses, baby wipes, diapers, diaper bags with a week old formula bottle at the bottom, daycare fees, formula vs breastfeeding debates, dance classes, football practices, out of town softball tourneys, sleepovers with kids you don’t necessarily like but your kids just adore, sleep away camps that cost an arm and a leg, middle of the night crawling into your bed because of bad dreams, genetic tests, febrile seizures, mystery illnesses that land us in the ER, ICU stays, URIs, and so much more!
There’s so much love. And giggles, toothless grins, baby babbles, a tiny fist wrapping around your finger, the first time they try peas and make a mess, tickle fights, board games, card games, dance recitals where they dance their hearts out, play performances where they have one line and you couldn’t be prouder, the fact that they recognize that “math’s not my jam, but I sure do love to read!”, the silly things they say that make you laugh and you want to remember them forever, and all of the mundane things you do. Grocery store trips where they beg for the sugary cereal and sometimes you say yes, the first time you pick them up from camp after a week away and they are so excited to see you, sharing communion, watching them grow in the Lord.
Those moments. Those moments make mommin’ worth it. I went into this motherhood thing knowing it wouldn’t be easy, though I didn’t realize how hard it would be. I knew I would love my kids, but I didn’t fathom how overwhelming it would be to love them so much. It is daunting. And so, I just try to remember that in the moment I may feel overwhelmed but if I take some deep breaths and work through it in my mind that nothing is so overwhelming that we can’t get through it.