These are the conversations I have with myself most mornings…
8:00 a.m. “This is going to be a great day! I’ve had my coffee and the kids are calm.”
8:15 a.m. “The kids aren’t as calm as I thought…”
10:00 a.m. “Is it too early for naps? My house and kids are a disaster.”
I start the day with thoughts of good intentions, and by mid-morning I’m ready to waive my white flag, retreat back to my bed and pull the covers over my head. As a mom, these days that are a complete struggle can only be compared to a snowball that is gaining speed as it rolls down the hill, and inevitably wrecks all in its path.
My kids can sense the meltdown I’m having internally, and their actions confirm it. There’s only so much that any one person can handle before their breaking point. Mine happens to be around 10:30 a.m. and I can only pray for nap time to come soon, and that everyone actually naps.
I imagine it is kind of like when you see that your opponent is weak, and that’s when you strike. The hot stream of tears running down my face from frustration and desperation add to the disaster of a day I’m having.
I consider myself a strong person, someone who can handle quite a bit.
Then I had children.
I really think that they are stripping me down in these young years, to see who I really am as a mom. While they reveal aspects about myself that are endearing, many of the aspects revealed are downright ugly. I can’t say that my children are the reason for my hard days, but I can say it sure feels like it. This is something that as a young mother I know I am working through everyday. They’ve shown me just how truly short tempered I can be. Or how I think raising my voice is an effective tool for coercing them into action, when all else fails. That even though I’m a mother, sometimes I put my needs ahead of theirs. That I maybe don’t give them my very best every day, but I expect their very best everyday. I want grace to be given to me freely, but require grace to be earned from my kids in those trying times as a mother. I’ve realized that mothering isn’t all just bred into you from the beginning. That you need to improve and acquire skills to be a nurturer. I can kiss the boo-boos, and take care of them when they’re sick–those attributes of motherhood come to me naturally. But kindness, on a day-to-day basis, is what I need to remind myself is what is vital in raising tiny humans. Hard days are going to come, just like Monday comes after the weekend. It is inevitable.
Even though they break me down, I also believe that they are building me back up into the mom I desire to be. Kids are the most forgiving people, which is fantastic news for mamas, because most days we need it. I am starting to see how truly naive I was about raising kids. I came into this journey thinking that I had so much to teach and offer them. Turns out they have so much more to teach and offer me. I hope I never stop learning from them, but I wouldn’t mind if the hard days became fewer and far between.
I truly am a better person and mother since having kids, even on the days when I’m pulling it all together with coffee and a prayer. Which let’s face it, is most days out of the week.