All too often I hear the words, “I don’t know how you do it.”
And I’ve told you all: the truth is, neither do I. I don’t know how any of us do it. Mothering is two parts mundane to one part super hero.
Andrew was out of town all week and came home sick. My in-laws very sweetly stayed a little longer to keep us all afloat. The kids had doctor appointments, my stupid arm slowed me down, and Ravenous Finn needed me often, as babies do. Even though I had two extra sets of hands (thank you, Gran and Pops), my head barely ceased rotating circles above my shoulders. All the while, my inner voice whispered, “I can’t. I can’t do this.”
At some point, I was rushing off to another appointment and I had a moment of self-awareness. I can. Because I am. Life is happening and I’m doing this thing. I’m mothering.
No responsible adult is going to come behind me and clean up my mistakes. Sometimes I forget I’m not the teenager waiting for life to start. Life is happening. My life is now.
My moment to mother is now.
I look at the day in front of me sometimes and it feels too weighty. Who thought I was able to handle this? I think I can’t do it. Somebody else with more patience, more energy, more creativity could do it. It’s too much for me. But I put one foot in front of the other, take one breath after another, and suddenly, I’m doing it. I’m mothering seven children. SEVEN.
Nobody is more surprised than me.
Too often in the so-called “Mommy wars,” we compare ourselves to others and say, “But I’m not doing it like her.”
Yes. But you are DOING IT. You are being The Mom to the children God created for your unique set of skills.
I guarantee it isn’t as pretty as you want it to be. But somehow, friends, we’re getting through it. We’re raising these little people. Every day is a minor miracle and a major victory. Sometimes we forget to celebrate when we manage to do a load of laundry because we know we just have to do it again tomorrow.
But stop and think: YOU DID IT TODAY.
There’s another side to this “you’re doing it” coin. The side that says: Don’t Miss It. Remember not to wish it away. Don’t count down every day, waiting for the moment you toss the last diaper, the beautiful day when everyone can dress themselves.
Don’t put your head down and plow through only to look up and realize you’ve lost the chance to connect with your kids. BE in the moment.
Too often, I spend my minutes worrying that someone else could use them better or waiting impatiently for another set of minutes to come. Some days, I need to remember to just take pride in the fact that I was a mother to my children today, no matter the crazy. Other days, I need an admonishment to Pay Attention and not let the opportunities for love and joy slip away, no matter the crazy.
And, as in all things, I do nothing but by the grace of God. He breathes life into my every step. He is the author of our days. He is the reason I have victory over laundry, tantrums, and that mysterious smell in the bathroom. He has done It that I might do all the things.
This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.