Have you ever tried to make a nice dinner or put books back on a bookshelf or clean up anything at all with a toddler or two? If you have, you have probably struggled like I have and it has ended in a laugh or cry of frustration. I was going to roast a chicken for dinner. In my mind, I saw everyone sitting at the table as a family, all of the food getting done at the same time and angels singing as my family rejoiced at how delicious everything was and of course they gobbled up the healthy vegetables too…..and then I snap out of it. One of my kids is whining about being starving, I realize the chicken wasn’t going to be done for another hour and have to come up with a backup plan and the other little one is slapping my thighs as I try to move around the kitchen. No, seriously. You can imagine the wonders this did for my self esteem. Jiggle. Jiggle.
No Kannon, sticking your head in-between my legs is not any better.
And then there’s the rest of the house….
My daughter got into a routine where every morning she would meticulously set up all the toys, pillows and blankets in the hallway. Do I squelch her creativity or do I let her imagine that this “mess” is something great? Don’t worry, she’ll help me clean it up. Maybe, depending on how big of a battle I want to fight. Becoming a mom, I’ve had to loosen my OCD grip on perfection, become uncomfortable and give in sometimes….a lot of times. The house is usually a mess when my husband gets home from work (after I feel like I have already been cleaning it all day), dinner is never on the table at the right time and rarely is appreciation spoken or felt.
Being a stay-at-home-mom is hard work, constant work, tiring work, but so is being a dad, any working parent or involved grandparent. We all have tasks that are expected of us and we all fail at one point or another, whether it’s failing to our own ideals or someone else’s. We are hard on ourselves and we are hard on each other. I am so thankful for a God who loves us right where we are at and does not demand perfection. I am thankful for the times that my husband shows me grace, having no idea what kind of day I had. I know I could always show him more. I could also show more to my kids and myself. My life sometimes seems so crazy that I wonder if it will ever get caught back up to a manageable state. I have to continually remind myself that that this is a season, a season that will fly by. In 30 years, I will miss the babies running around my feet and their constant need of me. I also have to be confident with who I am, that I am not perfect, nor will I ever be, but that I am still dearly loved. This doesn’t make the chaos any easier, but it helps change my mindset and allows me to live in the moment a little more, embrace some of the chaos and be okay with my imperfections. Or maybe I’ll say “screw it all” and just take a nap on the kitchen floor.
What are some of the struggles you deal with on a daily basis and how do you handle it? Also, how often do you speak encouraging and empowering words to those around you, whether it’s yourself, your kids, spouse or other parents? Let’s practice this more.