I mentioned HERE that the books you read during pregnancy really don’t adequately prepare you for what’s coming.
So I thought I would jot down a few examples of things I wasn’t prepared for about motherhood (from this past week alone – ha!).
- I wasn’t prepared for the giant bottle of unknown liquid that someone spilled in the back seat of a newly leased car.
- I was not prepared to deal with the public tantrum that happened over something as bizarre as the mere thought of having to get his fingernails clipped.
- I was not prepared for the way bedtime takes 3 hours.
- I never thought I would get impatient with my kids, often feel like I am not disciplining them well, or make decisions about whether or not it’s okay to just let them pee in the parking lot of Target (it was an emergency).
- When they voted me, “Most Likely to Succeed” in high school, I thought that meant becoming a well-known author or speaker. As it is, I never thought that one day my success could be summed up as “Professional Puke Catcher.”
- I didn’t see it coming that one of my kids would accidentally break my favorite plate and then color on the white fridge with red Sharpie.
- I never thought I would become so knowledgable about how to get poo out of carpet.
- I was not prepared for the utter humiliation of having an incredibly honest son announce to everyone after hugging me that my armpits smelled bad.
- I never thought I would have the kids that like to wake up at 5 am.
- I was not prepared for all. the. whiiiiiiining.
- I did not imagine that one day I would be driving home from work and feel so tired and overwhelmed that I would have to call my mother-in-love to ask if she could take the boys to dinner so that I could have a few minutes to just breathe. And get caught up on laundry.
If I can be completely honest (which, if you’re new here, is something I am very good at doing), I have struggled on weeks such as these with a feeling of disappointment with certain aspects of motherhood.
I think it kind of started with the 4 years of infertility that the hubs and I experienced before we got pregnant with Happy Buddy. During that season I believe I put having children on a bit of a pedestal and conjured up in my head this notion that motherhood was only craft-making and laughter and healthy kids around the dinner table happily eating whatever amazing meal I had all kinds of time to prepare that day.
So of course when I was given kids who only eat 5 things and frequently throw up all over the carseat cover that I have no idea how to take off and wash, I have found myself, on occasion, to be a bit disillusioned.
Over the last couple of years, however, the Lord has been working out the fussy spirit in me that feels entitled to an unruffled, perfect life. He is opening my eyes to see that everything above – everything about motherhood is an opportunity to worship Him, know Him more, and pour out His love on my precious kiddos.
And isn’t that what we want, sisters? To be made more like Jesus?
- When I am depleted, I find strength on my knees (1 Chronicles 16:11).
- When my things break or get colored on, I remember that stuff doesn’t matter – He is all I need (Philippians 4:19).
- When I am coming undone at the end of the day, I rest in His grace that is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).
- When I am tempted to grow discouraged, I reflect on the daily bread He gives me (Luke 11:3).
- When I am so, sooooo tired, my heart is encouraged by the truth of Psalm 73:26.
- When I need a rescuer to take the boys for a few hours, I remember that my real Rescuer is Christ (Psalm 91:14-15).
- When I bend low to wipe spills or scrub out stains, I am reminded of the position that Jesus preferred (Philippians 2:5-11).
- When the whining makes me bristle in frustration, I remember that training children is both a process and a privilege (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
- When I am tempted to long for my pre-kid days where life seemed easier and filled with more opportunities to go to the gym, I see that the challenges are causing me to bear fruit (James 1:4).
- When my kids are sick, I am pointed to Christ who came to be our healer (Psalm 103:1-5).
- When I want to do great things and be known and have the praise of man, I call to mind that my greatest accomplishment is actually in the quiet, faithful work of lovingly serving the ones that He has entrusted me with (Colossians 3:23).
The other day as I was rocking my poor, ill Happy Baby and he was clinging to me so close we were practically a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, he pressed his lips to my ear and whispered, “I love you, Mommy.”
As we sat there together, tears filled my eyes and pleasure filled my soul and suddenly the cleaning and changing and wiping and things breaking and Cloroxing and the holding and cooking (and often the holding while cooking) and driving and almost-losing-my-minding and praying and sacrificing and serving, all felt like an absolute breeze – a JOY even – in light of the gift that is motherhood.
So sweet mama who sometimes feels disappointed by motherhood, I pray He gives your heart a fresh perspective today. A perspective that can see beyond the poo in the carpets and the sleepless nights and into the eyes of a Savior who considered it pure joy to give YOU everything He had.
Motherhood is teaching me this.
And I’m pretty sure that nothing else could have prepared me for the transforming power of that glorious truth.
– Julie 🙂