I feel as if my life travels in waves. Predictable, yet never mastered waves. One week, I’m on top of Mom World. The gardens are growing, the meals are planned, I’m faithfully counting blessings and journaling about all the ‘fun and educational’ things we’re doing as a family. I smile confidently in the grocery store, three happy children in tow. An older lady says, “I have never seen a woman so happy who has three small kids – you must be doing something right!” I drive home and wonder how it is that I accomplished such a task as raising unmistakeably the best children in the known world.
Then week two follows and everything crumbles. I yell too much. I’m irritable. I’m frustrated with life. I lose something. Maybe I lose everything, I don’t know.
Like this morning, for example. Let me paint the picture:
Our 9-week-old Puppy, Molly, pooped AND pee’d on the carpet in two separate spots on two separate occasions before the clock hit 7:30am. As I was scrubbing the smell out, our two-year-old son walked up to me and announced, “Mama, I pooped.” I jumped up in horror, realizing he was undiapered. The poop had traveled down is PJ pant leg, clumped at his little chubby foot and then been dragged and smeared into three carpeted rooms. I scooped him up, getting brown gunk all over my arms and shirt, and plunked him in the upstairs bathroom. He then proceeded to walk in circles all over the room while I grabbed paper towels, wash clothes, and cleaner. As I leaned to put the poop chunks in the toilet, I realize some one had picked and peeled a huge hole in the freshly painted vanity.
I didn’t do my 1, 2, 3 count. I didn’t take a breath. The breath was already gone.
“HONEY! WHO PEELED THE PAINT? WHO DID THIS? WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?!” (My daughter, sheepishly admits she had nothing to do while pooping.) “WELL WE BETTER GET SOME BOOKS IN HERE! HONEY! DO NOT PEEL MY PAINT JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE BORED when you’re pooping!” (I sigh, scrub, think, ‘what is it with POOP today?’, scrub more, start the shower, grab the Puppy – now trying to eat the scattered human poop, put her in her crate, run back upstairs, take a breath.) “Babe, you NEED to poop in the potty. Do you SEE what a mess it makes??! Look at this! Poop EVERYWHERE!” (The ridiculously adorable child stares at me completely blankly, his fingers playing with a chubby belly button.)
After I achieved a clean bathroom floor and clean child, we wandered downstairs. I had three children now searching my eyes across the breakfast table. Our Our 6-year-old just clears his throat and says,
“Mama, are you stressed?”
Sometimes, my life doesn’t really feel fun. When I’m isolated and feeling inadequate, and out of control of my days. When there’s ‘poop’ everywhere, when the puppy nips all the time, and children are arguing, and dinners are unmade, and laundry piled high, and rotten banana peels are scattered all over the lawn (don’t ask), and sons deliberately don’t listen…
I wonder where I went wrong. I wonder how I could suck THIS much at parenting. I get so incredibly deflated. But today I was reminded –
It’s not about what I can’t or can do. I can do nothing without Christ. It is when I forget to invite Him into our every day that things fall apart. If our children behave well, it is because of His grace. If I’m a good Mom is is only through Him. When patience runs thin, kids refuse to nap on Soccer day (like right now), and things feel like they’re falling apart – it is Him who can help.
God is my refuge. Strong tower. Deliverer.
Parenting is HARD. I can’t do it alone. I wouldn’t presume any one can. At least not well. But sometimes, my pride gets to me – and I’m wrongly inflated to think I have all the answers. If only I use the right techniques, the right concepts, the right approach – yes THAT will create the perfect children and family. No. Only God can give us peace. Not perfection. Peace.
Today, despite the frustrations, I’m committing to seek God ALWAYS. Never forgetting when I feel alone, I am not. When I feel incapable, I am not because through God, all things are possible. When the house feels chaotic and I’m suffocated with the responsibility of Motherhood, He offers me amazing hope.
So where is God when our parenting seems poopy? Right there. Waiting for us. Holding us, despite ourselves. Unconditionally there – waiting for us to call out for the life-line.
Today is a life-line day for me. And tomorrow will be too. Because no matter ‘how well’ our days are going, He makes them richer, better, more meaningful. And the days that knock us down, only beg us to ask for help when getting up.
I’ve realized my stubborn self needs to surrender to God’s leadership in all things and especially in the enormous task of raising our children. Oh! It’s so hard some days. So, so, joyous and full of reward – but hard. If you feel overwhelmed, you are not alone.
“Lord, you are my saviour, my friend, my safe place. You never leave me – so help me to walk through every day with our children in patience, kindness, and with razor sharp perspective. I am incredibly imperfect and often feel so overwhelmed with – everything. Show me what to do in this unbelievably challenging, important, and blessed journey of Motherhood. Amen.”