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.