Hello tired moms. You are everywhere. You are balancing snotty noses, smelly diapers, skinned knees, school fundraisers, themed birthday parties, dusty shelves, sticky floors, doctor appointments, school meetings, practice schedules, tight budgets and bedtime battles. On top of that, many of you are also trying to maintain a career, build a strong relationship with your husband, or possibly remember to say hello to a friend or two every now and then.
You are tired.
As if that wasn’t enough, the mom next to you sent her kid to school with a lunch box filled with organic fruit, homemade kale chips, and little hummus sandwiches shaped like Disney princesses. Is that homemade bread??
Hummus Elsa stares at you in judgment as you unpack your child’s Mac N Cheese cup for the 2nd day in a row. Why doesn’t my kid like hummus? What IS Kale?
Keeping up is hard.
In this Pinterest loving, HGTV aspiring, have it all society, we can drive ourselves batty trying to excel at motherhood.
Why doesn’t my kid have a magical reading closet? I should make edible play dough. I’m going to start yoga classes. I need to teach the kids Spanish. I will keep that box and turn it in to a puppet theater. Then I shall make fantastic homemade puppets. I shall do all the things wonderfully all the time, and with a twinkle in my eye.
Good golly, no wonder we’re exhausted. We’re doing it to ourselves, and in turn to each other. And at the end of the day we’re missing out on the extraordinarily ordinary moments that are all too fleeting.
We are too busy to be present.
One hectic morning, 5 (yes 5) dirty diapers hit the household before 7:00 am. I finally rushed out the door with still wet hair, oblivious to the smear of formula Nolan had used to mark his territory on my tired left shoulder. The sink was full; a pile of bottles evidence of an evening and night spent trying to get our babies to grow. I stepped over the dirty laundry basket that was already on deck for the evening. The kitchen table had a pile of insurance and medical paperwork needing filed, next to an unfinished sensory ribbon project. Maybe I’ll finish it tomorrow. Probably not. I grabbed three year old’s bike helmet at the last-minute, thankful the neighbor had reminded me that today is the trike-a-thon at school.
I saw “The Foot Book” peeking out from his lunch bag and remembered we were supposed to read it. Instead, there it was, due to be returned to the loaner box at school. So I squeezed in to the backseat, and while daddy drove, my son and I read The Foot Book (3 times). His lunch is ordinary. His clothes are of the ill-fitting-bottom-of-the-drawer-mommy-needs-to-do-laundry variety. He needs new shoes that will stay fastened better.
But I know without a doubt his favorite line is “fuzzy fur feet”. And for this morning, that is victory enough.
Today, I encourage you to just be. Listen. Exist. See. Enjoy.
You aren’t doing everything right. And that’s ok. Someone is absolutely doing it better. And that’s fine too. Because while you’re feeling guilty and inadequate, your little ones are looking up at you like you’re a hero. A hero who kisses boo boos, makes the best mac, is the passer outer of canned pears, gives the best hugs and says “fuzzy fur feet” funnier than anyone else.
We are each fearfully and wonderfully made. Loved just as we are. So stop trying so hard to be the world’s kind of perfect. And learn to be. Be present. Years from now, that is what your children will remember. Not what they ate for lunch, or whether or not their toys sat amongst the dust, or if you embarrassed them at soccer practice with your wrinkled button down shirt and horribly wind-blown hair. But that you were there, lovingly participating in their childhood. Present.
Be present. Truly present. And today will have been a success.
Psalm 139:14, I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Matthew 6:34, Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Romans 12:2, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Philippians 4:6, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.
Colossians 3:15, And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Thessalonians 5:16-18, Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Andrea Kinsinger said:
You are an inspiration and great writer! I am a member of gateway and have been praying for your family and following your blogs and enjoy them so much. God bless you all!
Brenda Everett said:
You make me cry. This is amazing … so are you for being who you are and inspiring others to be who they are.
Mary Ann Wilson said:
Love it. Thanks Melody.
Melody, this blog needs to be shared. It’s amazing! ALL moms need to read it. YOU are amazing with everything that you do for your boys. Your boys are so fortunate to have you as their mom and that is why GOD chose you.
I’m blessed to call you friend! Many can relate and few can put into words as you do. I mimic everyone’s sentiment…you are amazing. 🙂
Melody … I shared this blog to my daughter, who posted it on her wall on Facebook. You have touched so many lives, you inspire us, encourage us, and remind us that God is still in control. May His hand be ever present on your life and the lives of your family. Thank you for being YOU!
Cheryl Hogue said:
Melody you are so inspiring to everyone. I love to read your blogs they are so uplifting. You are a wonderful mother, God bless you and your family, always in my prayers.
I have tears. I don’t know you but I love you because you hit this dead center. Prayers go out to your family.
Mama Laughs said:
Thank you each so much! I am overwhelmed by the support! I see each like, comment, and share and am humbled each time. It brings me unending joy and strength to know so many care about our special little guys and are praying for our family.
Devon and Bryan James said:
You are a wonderful mother!!! You have and are accomplishing so much!! I love reading every blog you write!! You are an inspiration to all of us!! I wish I lived closer to you because there would be no laundry or dirty dishes!!! Love all five of you!!!!!
Katie Oliver said:
Your blog today brought tears to my eyes. As moms, we tend to be our own biggest critics. Please know that you truly are an inspiration to me, and I can’t thank you enough for putting into words the encouragement and verses we all so badly need to hear.
Jennifer Scott said:
I cried as I read this last message…. I nodded my head in agreement too! We All try too hard on the ‘wrong’ things sometimes or we simply wish we had more time to try. We all have our own ways of loving, and showing love, but it truly is the little things that matter! Thank you for the reminder & the encouragement. I’m always touched by your words! Your point reminds me of Pete the Cat… (Great books!) and that you should take life as it comes and enjoy! And ‘does Pete cry? Goodness no! He just keeps singing his song’. Melody, keep singing your song!!
AMEN!!! Melanie, thank you for being a spokesperson for all of us who have ever felt inadequate. I would echo that you have a special gift for writing…pulling us all in to your life, yet helping us look at ourselves through the eyes of our Heavenly Father. Thank you for being a strong, christian mother, wife, daughter, friend, and cousin!
Laura Crawford Coomer said:
Oh Melody!!! I cried thru this blog! It is so beautifully written and oh so true on many many levels! You are such and inspiration! I admire how strong you are and how great of a mother you are! I pray for ur family daily! Thank u for sharing your world with us.
When I read this right after your posted it, I almost couldn’t see it through my tears. Now, after re-reading it days later along with the uplifting comments that have since been posted, I still can’t read clearly through my tears. You humble me and yet make my heart swell with pride at the same time. Your home is blessed in a special way through your presence and God’s love that so obviously lives in and through you.
Keep on hanging in there! Nana & Papaw will schedule another “night duty, bottle washing, baby feeding, book reading, diaper changing, puzzle completing, Lego building, baby snuggling, meal preparing and laundry war” visit very soon. We love you all more than words can say!
I am right there with Nana! Just call “grandparent busters” anytime you need any of us, we are always ready to cuddle and snuggle, and do everything in threes just like Karson loves now that he is three. Tears often stream down my face when I read your posts, but I am always smiling at the same time in joy and pride of your ability to show us your steadfast faith and love. God has given you a gift to share and you do it so beautifully. We love you all!
I read your post soon after you posted, and through my tears I stopped and prayed for you and your family. Your posts always remind me to pray for all of you…God is using your posts to bring you and family before Him by other’s prayers. You are still on my church prayer list (in Ga.) and I will update.
Thank you for being an encouragement to others.
From an old shooting buddy from high school and college, Wade’s mom
Ruby Ingram said:
Melody, I’ve known you almost your entire life. I stand amazed at the wife & mother you have become. You mention being behind in laundry & other household things but I bet neither of your 3 babies doubt your love for them. Wonder how many mothers out there are all behind in these same things with only 1 child? I do living by myself!! Each addition you add to your blog makes me cry but this one was the toughest for me. I’ve been sobbing. You just keep on loving your babies & that is what they will remember when they are grown. Not dust or dirty clothes. Stay strong & keep God in the center as you are. He will bless you.
Sheila Blevins said:
Wow – you hit the nail on the head. Being “present” is not always the easy thing to do – but what we all (children and adults alike) need in a tremendous way. Trust me – these years fly by too quickly. You definitely have your priorities straight!!
Oh yes. There’s just no way we can do it all. I do what I can with my kids, I try to prioritize, and not everything can make our to-do list.
what a great reminder. We don’t have to compare ourselves to everyone else… just be present!