Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Not in Vain
In my sickened state I lounged on the couch with two children sleeping, one playing cheerfully on the floor beside me, two happily coloring on chalkboards at the table, and Rapunzel playing quietly on the television in the background. In spite of the contentment in my home on this gorgeous day, I couldn't help feeling overwhelmed.
In the past I've always been afraid to mention the stresses that go along with motherhood. I've kept quiet and pretended everything is always easy. Why did I do this? Well, I chose this life. I wanted these children. I chose to have them so close together. What right do I have to complain?
The truth is, I'm not complaining. I love my life. I wouldn't change it for ANYthing! If I could do it all again, knowing what I know now, I'd do it all again exactly the same way. That doesn't change the fact that it's hard. It's difficult. Most days I feel like I'm living life in the trenches. And if I am, who else is feeling this way?
We prayed for these children, we must keep quiet about how difficult they are. We are pressured to enjoy the grass stains on the clothes. We are encouraged to be thankful for the piles of laundry, the dirty floors, the fingerprints on the windows, and all the dishes in the sink. Really????
My sister said to me the other day, "Everyone says we'll look back on these days and miss it. I'm sure they're right, but today, I don't miss it. At this particular moment I don't think I'll ever miss this stuff."
She's right of course. When I hear people reminisce about the past, I don't ever hear them sad about the fact that they don't have millions of loads of laundry. I don't hear them wishing to have back all the dishes and clothes that need mending and etc, etc, etc.
What they do miss is their children being small. They miss being able to hold their children and rock them to sleep. They miss being able to stand over their child's bed and listen to them breathing quietly in the darkness of the night.
They don't miss that other stuff. Why? Because it's hard work. Because it's the battle. It's the race. It's the sweat and tears and difficulties of life. And it's okay to mention those in real life. It's okay to admit that life with children is hard. It's okay to share our experiences and as for prayer. It's okay to join with other moms and admit that sometimes these little people that God calls blessings feel like anything but that!
It was with these thoughts swirling around in my head that I got on Facebook and found a link to this blog post. It changed me. It opened my eyes to the truth. I don't know the author. I can't vouch for any of her previous posts. All I know is that this one is spot on. I encourage you to read it. Even if you're not a parent, please read it. We all face discouragement in the life we chose (job, spouse, children) and her post, while directed at mothers, is true for all of us.
I pray it encourages you as much as it did me!