Today I am sharing a post from my archives. This is an extra special one to me because, well — it brings me back to such a challenging season of my life. A season that forever changed me. Anyways, I hope it encourages a few of you this week. XO, Monica
Moms of Little Ones…
If you’ve got one or more little person in your home, this one is for you. I’m talking babies, toddlers, preschool, and the like. These days are crazy to say the least.
I can say that the most challenging season of my life so far was when I was home with two and then three little ones. Now, if you’re a natural with babies and toddlers then bless your little heart. But me? Not. At. All. I’m the last one to volunteer in the church nursery. It’s not that I don’t love little ones–they’re just not my natural bend.
I can’t reason with babies and toddlers. And that makes me frustrated. There is an element of unpredictability when you’re raising little ones. And that can make me feel out-of-control.
So my years of having little ones worked me like nothing else ever had. I was lonely. I fought self-pity. I wanted so badly to control things that I couldn’t control. I was tired. I was anxious. I was all of the things that I didn’t want to be.
Granted, during those early years my husband was in Medical School and doing his Residency, so I couldn’t exactly count on him to relieve me much. In fact, I was one of the few weary moms whose husband’s might have actually been more tired than she was. (dang.)
Just before the second son was born we had also moved to Hawaii where I knew all of: nobody. So my life circumstances weren’t exactly setting me up for success.
But you wanna know what’s funny? Now…years later…I look back on those years as the richest of my life.
Gnarly, but rich.
Now you may not want to hear that right now, but just go with me for a minute, ok?
The years with littles made me need God like no other time. They forced this always-rushing-woman to slow down. They broke me, and they humbled me.
I have this memory of a particular Monday when I was home with two sick kids. A baby, and a toddler. I had been up and down all night with vomit in crib sheets and a fevered three-year old. Dave had been working for 38 hours at the hospital.
Here’s a little moment that I will never forget:
The house we lived in at the time had the kitchen and living room upstairs, and bedrooms downstairs. (We called it our upside down house. ) For the first year we couldn’t afford window treatments, so from my living room I looked out at our cul-de-sac, (and the cul-de-sac looked in at me.) On this particular Monday, I stood in the middle of the living room, holding one kid on each hip. I am a serious vomit-phobic, so I remember being totally anxious, worried both that a kid might puke in my arms, and even more that I might be breathing in the germs and catch the virus myself. (The idea of getting the stomach flu with no one to help sounded worse than death at the point.)
Now our neighborhood was always quiet, because there were no stay-at-home moms around. Everyone worked, and kids were at a sitters or in school. But as I stood there that particular morning, I began to notice cars going in and out of each of my neighbors driveways. I saw moms and kids, and grandmas unloading groceries out of their car. It took me a minute, but I finally concluded that it must be a holiday…One of those Hawaiian holidays that landed on a Monday that I hadn’t become familiar with yet: King Kamehameha Day or something.
So I stood and watched and held my boys and heard the clock in slow motion, “Tick tock, tick tock..”and tears dripped down my face. I was so lonely at that moment, I could hardly stand it. I was longing to be with these neighbors who I didn’t really know (other than hello at the mailbox.) I was really longing for my own mom or auntie or anyone to come unload groceries to my house. I was so exhausted and my house was a mess, and I was a mess, and all I could do was dread the very long day ahead. And try not to catch the flu.
I hoped that a neighbor would notice me up there and be concerned, but no one in that cul-de-sac even looked up. No one had any idea what was going on in my living room. Or my heart.
Looking back at that scene now, I am filled with so many emotions. I see the young mom that I was, standing there with kids on hips. And I love her. I want to encourage her. I want to tell her that one day–things will be a lot easier. A lot more fun. Those kids will get better and life will get better, and it’s all gonna be ok.
But here’s the thing: I still feel the raw weariness and loneliness of that morning, except now, it is rich. I prayed so much that day. I loved my boys so deeply that day. I grew more beautiful that day.
That day, though I never want to relive it–was absolutely crucial in the becoming of who I am today.
And I am so glad I lived it.
So I suppose what I am saying here to you Moms is that the days that are the hardest….Might end up being your most treasured memories. The boring days, and the monotonous days, and the weariness and the loneliness and the sleepless nights…Well, can I just promise you that they are building something beautiful in you?
Though you might be standing there with a kid on each hip, or a stack of bills, or a really lonely heart, I want to join with the voices of a million women who have gone before us–and (trying hard not to sound cliché) We all want to say: This too shall pass.
I wish I could lighten your load, moms of young ones. I wish I could peek in your window and do a cheer, or unload some groceries or bring you a latte. And I do hope that there is someone in your life who can do just that.
But you know what?
I also hope that sometimes there isn’t.
Because I love you, (and I seriously feel love for you as I type this,) I hope that sometimes this thing of being a mommy and a wife and all that does to you– stretches you to a point that you never dreamed possible. And when you are there, I hope that you call out to God, and fall on your knees, and find the strength in your guts to wipe your tears and hug your kids, and face another day.
Because this is the making of the woman who you’re becoming. And it will be so beautiful.
** If this blessed you, or you know a mom of little ones that it might encourage–please use the social media buttons below to share! 🙂 Mahalo.
PS I’m reading this one right now, I think you’ll like it: Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in the Mess