Alternate title: “Mothering is HARD”
This is for all you mamas out there in the trenches of mothering littles:
A few days ago I had a pretty awesome realization while I was showering. Isn’t that always how it works? I seem to do my best thinking in the shower! I was retracing the morning’s events. My husband was away and the children and I hadn’t gone to church because the weather was a bit precarious and our street hadn’t been cleared yet, nor had our driveway been plowed.
After breakfast, I told the kids (ages 10, 7, and 5) I was going to shower and gave them some basic instructions to just “play,” but no electronics were to be used. Then I headed upstairs.
An hour and a half later when I finally got into the shower, it dawned on me that I hadn’t needed to redirect anyone, nor had I heard any bickering, and even though the kids were being quiet, I wasn’t fearful that they were into something they shouldn’t be!
So, why did it take me an hour and a half to get into the shower? I had cleaned up my room (we’re moving soon, so I have been purging), played some words in Words with Friends, chose my clothing for the day, and even deep cleaned my bathroom (except the shower which I always tackle while I’m in there showering).
I know you’re wondering, “Where’s she going with this?”
Mamas – I KNOW what you’re doing now is rough (and that’s probably the understatement of the century). It takes every single ounce of energy you have, every single day of your life, to be a mama. There are babies to nurse, toddlers to chase, and preschoolers who think they know everything. I know how challenging and utterly draining it can be, even without any added circumstances. I see that some of you also have the added challenges of a child who seems to NEVER.SLEEP. Or maybe it’s a child with a challenging medical or behavioral situation. Or any of the other individual challenging aspects of mothering. There are also all the many other facets to life outside of being a mother.
However, I also know how rewarding it is for those little people to call you “mama”, trust you, and rely on you (even when you don’t see it in the moment – or even in an entire year) and would not change a minute of every circumstance I faced during those years.
I get it. I’ve been there in the trenches right along side you. I have followed in the same trenches many mamas carved out before me and I won’t be the last to trowel out my own space in those trenches.
Here’s what I really want you to know. You are not alone and you will, in fact, make it through this season. You (and yes, your children too) will make it into the next season of life mostly unscathed, with the wisdom that comes from those years you spent on your knees in those trenches! That next season of life? Oh it will be fraught with more demanding circumstances, but they’ll be a different sort of experience.
Your babies will still need you, but they won’t need you in the same sense. They’ll be more self sufficient, needing less of the physically draining personal care. They’ll sleep normal hours (mostly), they won’t need you to read everything to them, get them snacks, or wipe their bottoms. But, mama, they’ll still need you.
They’ll need your heart. They’ll need your strong faith in God’s sustaining love and salvation. Your grounded, Biblical worldview. They’ll need you to be consistent in pursuing their heart and training them in love. And even your forgiveness – probably often.
If you’re still in those trenches, hang in there because this work that you’re doing is one of the most important things you will do in your life. You’ll emerge from that trench with more wisdom and love than you ever imagined. Let our savior wrap you in His arms and carry you through. I’m seeing those trenches from the other side and they don’t seem quite as deep as they did while I was traveling through them.
Side note: I have words. Lots of words to write to you. I’m just not sure I’m ready or able to make it a consistent thing yet/again. Those heart needs I spoke of above, they’re real and very present in my current season of mothering. I hope to be able to share more words with you soon.