Being a mom of two and the wife of a hard working husband who is gone about 60 hours a week can be, at the very least, exhausting. I have been having a slight pity party for myself because I don't have the freedom or money to get out of the house with my girlfriends or go on date nights with Will like I used to. Part of me feels really sad about that but on the flip side, if I am able to go out, I find guilt creeping up because I don't get to see hubby or big boy as much as I would like because of work and school. Its an interesting predicament that left me searching for an answer to finding the right balance in my head and heart.
My last post posed the question, "How do you tame the beast at the roughest hour of your day?" or something of that sort. No matter how hard we, as moms try, there are still those moments that you handle wrongly, because we are, after all, imperfect people. I started examining what triggers all of us at the time and making a mental note of the things that I thought I could do differently to maintain patience and also handle frustration in a way that I want my children to be able to model.
The morning after I wrote my previous blog, I started de-cluttering my life...and by my life, I mean my kids playroom! I would like to state that I got rid of 6 garbage bags full of stuff, and Im pretty impressed with the way it looks. We could stand to get rid of another 6 bags, Im sure. I think Im going to have "Give Away Saturdays" where we, as a family, get rid of a bag of stuff together, once a week. Anyway...Im getting distracted. While cleaning out the playroom, I picked up a book that my mom gave me that I had never even opened up. It is 2 books in 1. The Power Of A Positive Mom and The Power Of A Positive Woman. I opened it up and started reading the first chapter....and wow. I can't even tell you how much it spoke to me.
Instantly this book starts to address the tendency of moms to feel as if being a mom, or home maker, or whatever you choose to call it, is such a low-on-the-totem-pole job. "What do you do?" "Oh, Im just a mom"...I know I feel foolish when a professional asks me what I do. Like, Im a loser who doesnt have a job and has no skills. The author then talks about how we, as a society have kind of shifted to believe some very damaging myths that can penetrate to the core of a mothers heart.
The first myth is mothers don't really influence a child as much as peers or genetics, etc. Moms DO have a powerful impact on the development of their children. As a mom, it is my job to instill values and scripture and character qualities that will be imprinted on their hearts for all of time. The second myth is that motherhood causes women to miss out on the exciting things in life. This is the one that resonated with me the most because I totally feel like this sometimes. We are bombarded with messages that tell us that we should look out for ourselves, improve ourselves above all else, take care of #1 first, at any cost. Thinking like that can really make the selflessness of motherhood seem like its not a worthy investment of our time and effort and that can make us feel inadequate, basically saying that if we are attentive mothers who give up a lot, we are missing out on life. But that is such a lie. The author put it beautifully, "Life begins with motherhood. What could be more invigorating, more life-giving, than a house full of teenagers wanting to be fed or a handful of toddlers playing hide and seek or a new born baby waiting to be held?" These are all things that not just anyone can be apart of and being someone who can mold, shape and nurture her children, is not someone that is missing out.
Debunking these myths really made me realize a couple of things. First of all, it is (obviously) ok to miss my kids when we are apart. Second, it is ok to miss being able to go out with friends. But the most important thing that I realized was, this season in my life is very different from the last one. It doesn't offer me what I used to have....but it offers me something else. It offers me the invaluable experience of being home with my children everyday, doing their homework with the,, running them to and from karate and dance, making dinner for them, reading to them every night and being there as they fall asleep. And THAT, my friends, is NOT missing out on anything. (but Im also very thankful for friends that still make me a priority and love me even though we don't get to spend as much time together as we used to. xoxo)
Now...I'll give you one guess what chapter 2 of the book was about. Its kinda crazy! haha. But it was about surviving "Killer Hour" -the time of day where everyone, including mom, is tired, hungry, and needy. Her suggestions were pretty simple. remember that no perfect mom exists- don't be discourage by your weaknesses, instead be determined to build on your strengths. Take one day at a time- don't pile your plate too full, prioritize, dump things that repeatedly cause unnecessary stress in your life. Write a personal mission statement- prayerfully consider the purpose God has given us, declaring what we believe our lives should be about can be a helpful guide when we are trying to tame the beast. Plug Into The Power Source- When we do not plug into our power source (our amazing God) we will, no doubt, have dead batteries. When we are plugged into our God, He can pour His strength, love and holy attributes into us, which will then flow out of us onto our family.
Id say those were some pretty great answers to some questions that were weighing very heavy on my heart. God is so faithful to give abundantly more than we could ever ask for. Wow...so thankful for His unending love and the his faithfulness in answering when we ask of Him.