After believing all my life that I was inherently suited to be a mother, the shock hit me like a tidal wave when we entered the toddler years and I found myself wondering almost every other day whether I was cut out for this. I suppose it hits everyone at different times. Like when you can’t remember the last time you slept more than two hours straight or drove a car with only the sound of the radio to keep you company. For me, it hit when a certain someone’s will suddenly seemed stronger than my own. :)
I believe that motherhood is a calling, and I am honored to have been trusted with the beautiful spirits I am raising. But day-in and day-out, motherhood is also a job. Everyone has bad days at work, and hardly anyone likes their job all of the time. It’s funny, because if I had a traditional job that I grew weary of, I wouldn’t feel guilty. But when I grow weary of some parts of motherhood, Guilt is quick to descend.
But by a tender mercy of the Lord, the words “maybe it’s okay” recently began running through my mind on repeat . . .
Maybe it’s okay if you don’t desperately want to make sound effects for toy trucks all day or convince a stubborn child to shampoo his hair. Maybe it’s okay if you don’t want to bend over that bathtub for an hour or dig deep into the couch in search of goldfish crumbles and who-knows-what. Maybe it’s okay to pursue a hobby or passion outside of your children. Maybe it’s okay to watch the clock and wonder if bedtime will ever come. Whatever it is—maybe it’s okay.
And maybe, just maybe, God doesn’t expect you to like every moment of this job.
I’ve been trying so hard to savor this time in my life that when Guilt whispers that I should enjoy thinking up yet another wildly imaginative bedtime story, I just want to give up altogether.
But slowly, I’ve arrived at a new, more attainable goal: When my children have gone on to bigger and better things and left me to refigure life without them, I hope that the beauty of these years will stand out more than the mundane.
The smell of a newborn’s breath, the feel of a baby’s squeezable legs, the sight of outstretched toddler arms. Those are the things I want to remember forever. And with a little luck, the number of times I wiped down the kitchen table (and didn’t enjoy it!) or insisted that a child clear his own plate (and didn’t relish it!) will start to fade. I may not enjoy every minute, but I trust that He’ll help me remember the ones I did.
And maybe that’s okay.