You know the drill. Up at 6am (sometimes earlier), make the kids breakfast, brush teeth, and get everyone dressed. Depending on what day it is there may be piano or karate lessons. Doctors appointments, (if you work from home like me) conference calls in between speech & occupational therapy sessions. For those who are unaware, my son Simon (4) is autistic. I’ll need to write another post about that, because there’s just too much to say. There’s always a million things to do and somewhere in between it all you try to take a uninterrupted shower. Finding time for ourselves is the one box that rarely gets checked off at the end of the day. I mean, was I really born to make PB & J’s and do laundry? I am ashamed to admit this to you all, but I figured there has to be another mom out there who’s going through this. Here it is…
I was scrolling through Instagram last week when out of no where a tear made its way down my cheek. I couldn’t believe I was crying. I know the social media game, I use to play it. I know that everything isn’t what it seems. Behind every perfect profile is a story; one that would shock most of us. However, seeing this display of perfection everyday can convince your mind its real even though you know its not. For the first time, the comparison game got to me and it broke me down. Everyone was ‘living the life’ while I was at home making peanut butter n’ jelly sandwiches, picking up after everyone (love you babe lol), and checking the local weather. I was catching up with a friend one day who told me about a trip they’re planning around the world and all I had to say was, “Well, there’s a 30% chance of rain today.” I wish I had something more exciting to say.
My children are my world, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. I couldn’t do life without them! At the same time I began to resent my kids the more I passed on clients to take my son to therapy. Every move I made or client I took was around the needs of my family. The anger and bitterness inside of me grew with each passing day. It’s like that illustration of a line of people stepping up on someone’s hands to get over a wall. Everyone got over and didn’t to come back and get me. That’s how it I’ve been feeling.
On this day I broke down (like “ugly, snot nose, Viola Davis” cry kind of break down) and had the nerve to question God. I let him have it! “Why God? You knew I wasn’t cut out for this. Why does my son have to have a disability? Haven’t you put me through enough?” I want to point out that I do know how crazy I sound. This is when God had to check me…
1. Our children did NOT ask to be here.
This was one thing I’ve always wanted to scream at my parents. They would tell me about their financial, personal, career, etc. problems as if I caused them. One even had the nerve to say I did. Like I said, “I AIN’T ASK TO BE HERE!”
The Lord also let me know on this day that I was heading down this road with my children. That shut me up real quick. Your kids aren’t the reason your bills are late. They aren’t the reason why your marriage failed. They have nothing to do with any of it and its time we stop blaming our kids for the issues we’ve created. Yes children challenge us in unimaginable ways, however we must remember at the end of the day they didn’t ask to be here. Its not their fault they grow a foot a day and need new cloths or shoes. We made our bed, and we have to lay in it. Yes, I have kids and I reroute my plans daily but how dare I be mad or bitter towards them about that. I invited them into this world!
2. You aren’t being left behind. What you’re doing IS important!
Friends and family have ways of making stay-at-home moms feel small. I hear it all the time, “What’s Jess (fake name) up to?” “Oh, she’s just with her kids.” Just?! Ok. Being a mother is the hardest job on the planet. People like to joke about society making a big deal about Mother’s Day (over Father’s Day) but I promise you we are overlooked majority of the time. At times by our own husbands. Yet we wake up everyday, take care of the kids, cook, clean and (some of us) work on top of all of that without a Thank You or occasional date night. Our families get so use to us being there and saving the day that they (including our husbands) don’t even realize when we saved the day, their business, their favorite suit or shoes, etc. Big or small we handle it all with little to no thanks…EXCEPT on Mother’s Day and I’m sorry but that’s not even enough. Have a reliable car? Men at times deal with women/wives like cars. They don’t get maintenance done on it until the check engine light comes on or they hear a noise. Meaning, they don’t take you out on a date or pick up after themselves until you blow up on them or they witness you have a mental break down. To husbands everywhere, you are at least guilty of 1 or all of these things. Do better and help your wife. Her mental health depends on it. I don’t care what you do, staying home children and taking care of the home is harder than any 9-5 job you may have. Also, you have a lunch break. You clock in and out. Moms on always ON! Out break is sitting in the car too long after an extended day of grocery chopping and doctors appointments.
3. You are raising future Husbands, Wives, Friends, Doctor’s, Future Oprah’s, Future Barack & Michelle’s!
This one really had me in my feelings. My boys are going to be somebody’s husband one day. They are going to be someones Father?! Someone is out there raising their future wives. I know I’m getting ahead of myself but we really have to keep this in mind. Each moment with our children counts and we owe it to our grandchildren to raise them right. This task is not to be taken lightly and when I think about it this way missing out on a television show doesn’t sound like much of a loss. My son started therapy a year and a half ago. Then he couldn’t say a single word at 3 years old. Not being able to communicate with my baby and vice versa has been extremely difficult. It broke my heart to see him struggle in that way. Its beyond that, some people don’t know that kids with autism/ sensory issues do experience physical pain as well. Therapy started at a time when I was poppin’! My blog or my beauty work was in a magazine every month it seemed. I began to connect and gain respect from people I dreamed of working with.
When I noticed my baby was struggling I took a step back without question. He still has a long way to go, but after a year and a half of driving over an hour away to therapy (multiple times a week) he calls me Mommy! He lets me know when he wants to play, is hungry, or needs to use the potty. My baby is VERBAL and is showing signs that he’ll be able to communicate with the world. If I keep up with the intense therapy of course. This is worth more than any TV show or Celebrity that could ever request me. Point is, right now it doesn’t seem like we do much…even to ourselves. We constantly question if what we are doing matters. It does. We may not see the fruits of our labor until they are older but I’m not taking any risks. Call me what you want; a wanna be, washed up makeup artist, fat (I’ve gained a few pounds stress eating. Oh well!) I don’t care. No one will ever be able to say I’m a bad mom. Ever.
MOMS: If you’re reading this still wearing the same cloths you wore yesterday, fighting sleep folding cloths with a child on your hip and no one told you today…you’re doing a GREAT job. The world isn’t moving on without you, you are busy too raising the next generation. Your husband does love you and he means well. Give him time. Also, speak up and tell him exactly what you need. Work can be tough too and you know men can NOT multitask. We carry so much on our shoulders, so much that people are unaware of. I just want to let you know you are not alone. We are in this together!
If it helps, this is how my tired mommy prayer goes. Start off saying it aloud and add your own words as they fill your heart. This is my prayer based on how I’m feeling this very moment…
Lord, thank you for allowing me to see another day. For giving me a chance to be better than I was yesterday. Forgive me for my many shortcomings, it may not seem like it, but I want to be like you. Love like you, and forgive like you. Please give me strength! I only have 3 hours to sleep, please let it feel like 8! Lord, I love my children and I’m so thankful for them. Protect them from my words, and my cold demeanor which at times can be harmful when my patience is thin. Let them know I do love them, even when I act out in this way. Remove all bitterness from my heart, oh God! They didn’t ask to be here and I have to stop treating them like they are raining on my parade. Help us Lord as my Husband and I try to provide a life for them that we never had. Help us while we try to bond with and love our kids in a way we never experienced ourselves. On the days I feel small remind me of my importance and of the task at hand. It is so much bigger then me. Help me to focus on myself and my family. The comparison game is a losing one. Not to mention its a slap in the face toward you. I’m so thankful for all you’ve done for me and constantly looking to my left or right is for the ungrateful. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I know with you I’ll get through like I always do. Thank you for being my strength and loving me when I’m not so lovable. Thank you for reminding me of my importance and the roll I play in my family. Help me to take better care of myself so I can be my happiest, best self for my children and my husband. I thank you for all you’ve done and all you will do. Again, let this 3 hours of sleep multiply in my spirit as 8.
In Jesus name, Amen.
Keep your head up ladies. Lastly, here is great blog post I read when I’m feeling overwhelmed. So, yes that means I read it about everyday. I’m working on memorizing each verse. 27 Beautiful Bible Verses For Every Woman In Need Of Love, Reassurance And Strength.
Please share your thoughts in the comments. Is motherhood easier or harder than you thought it would be? Single, married, working and non working Moms chime in below. So that anyone reading this knows they are not alone. That these feelings are normal, and that we ROCK!