Okay, y'all. Let's get real for a minute. Being a mom is hard. So freakn' hard! Getting slapped in the face by your 3 year old, cleaning poop off the toilet seat, grinding your teeth in frustration while patiently waiting on your son to figure out a math problem, playing the same song for the two hundredth time to appease your son, trying to answer a question (one you've been asked four times that night) in your sweetest and most patient mommy voice when you really want to just hide in your bathroom and drink your glass of wine in peace... and that was all just this week. Aaaaaand it's only Tuesday.
By the way, funny story for those of you who didn't see it on Facebook a while back. I took Garrison to the ER (ya' know, one of our regular Mom/Son date locations these days) and while the tech was taking his x-rays she was making small talk. She asked what his favorite Halloween candy was.
Garrison: "I love all candy, even licorice. My mom HATES licorice, don't you Mom? But she LOVES liquor."
All you could hear was laughter from outside the curtain from all of the other patients. The only thing I could come up with in my defense was this.
Me: "I don't drink liquor, Garrison. I drink wine."
My cousin sent me this picture the other day and I'm shocked something like this hasn't come home in Garrison's folder yet.
I've had several friends tell me how patient I am with my kids.
How do you NEVER yell at them?
They obviously didn't see psycho mom come out the other morning when E slapped me in the face.
I've had friends tell me what a good wife I am.
You cook your husband dinner EVERY night?
They don't realize that cooking is therapeutic for me and allows me to take a few uninterrupted sips of wine and dodge 4th grade math homework...albeit while dodging nerf gun bullets flying at me from the other room.
I've had friends ask me how I stay so organized.
How do you remember everything you have to get done?
If they sat with me more than 15 minutes they would hear an alarm going off in my phone with yet another reminder. I literally have about 10-15 of those going off each day.
How do you have the energy to do it all?
PLEXUS, duh! But really... since starting Plexus I have truly been able to at least keep up with the mad chaos that is our life. So grateful to have that little bit of extra help.
I am not downing myself as a mom. I do have my downfalls but I feel God has given me the patience, love and grace I need to be a patient, loving and nurturing mama. That being said, I have encountered many moms lately who I feel deserve a HUGE shout out. My friends who think I'm super mom should take a glimpse into the lives of women like these.
This is the mom who held it together for her kids when her husband unexpectedly passed. The mom who stayed strong because she knew she needed to be. The mom who has suddenly had to learn how to be a father and a mother. The mom who, instead of giving up, pushed on with bravery like a soldier gearing up for battle. She likely cried in peace and only allowed herself minutes each night to give into the grief. And the next day she woke up to face the world again. Alone. Strong. Brave.
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." - Unknown
The Foster Mom
This is the mom who took in someone else's child who needed food, shelter and most importantly - love. She struggled to find just the right balance of meeting the needs of her biological children as well as her foster children. She prayed over these kids' hearts and futures. When she wanted to be angry with these kids' parents she found it in her heart to have compassion for them and pray for them. She may have even had to say goodbye to a child she had come to love as her own.
"How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." - Winnie the Pooh
The Unshakable Wife (and Mom)
This is the woman whose heart is bruised, damaged and broken almost beyond repair. She has been hurt so deeply by her spouse that she has almost lost hope for the future. While her family is falling apart she is rapidly trying to repair the cracks. She is embarrassed by her situation and is sick of defending her stance to others. She is hurt, angry, afraid and alone. She realizes God is her only hope. She seeks His wisdom and strength day and night. She has grown closer to him now than ever before. She keeps looking forward and continues to raise children who will know that no matter what their God will NEVER leave them or forsake them.
"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all her hands have done and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." -Proverbs 31:29-31
The Grieving Mom
This is the mom who has lived through hell on earth. She faced extremely hard times but turned her life around. She lost her daughter and had to raise her granddaughter. Then she lost another granddaughter and had to relive unimaginable grief again. Instead of sinking into a deep hole and turning from God she immersed herself in His word. She accepted the strength God clothed her with to walk her own daughter through the same grief she had experienced just years earlier - the loss of a child. Her strength is relentless. Her faith is unwavering. Her God is real and alive.
"Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress. I will not be shaken." -Psalm 62:6
On the days where I am frustrated, annoyed and exhausted I need to remember that there are moms who would give their last breath to have their child back in their arms for just a few moments. There are moms who don't have a husband to lean on and laugh with and cry to at night. There are moms who are facing daily struggles far more difficult than my own.
Today, in the midst of our crazy and chaotic life, I choose to treasure this life God has given me. I choose to use the gifts He has given me for His glory! I choose to do the best job I can in raising these children He has entrusted me with - to be a more patient, loving, nurturing mom who actually lives IN the moment with my children. And I will thank God for allowing me to be their mom for as long as He will let me.