In the Trenches of Motherhood
“Enjoy every moment! It goes by so fast! You are going to miss these days!” a very enthusiastic woman tells you as you are in the middle of a series of weeks of sleepless nights because your teething baby has kept you up all night.
What's worse, is that she tells you this as you juggle the heavy grocery basket in one arm and squirmy, screaming baby in the other, who is now kicking you to get free while your toddler opens the container of blueberries that was sitting on top of the basket and lets them go all over the store floor, squirting purple juice out everywhere with the stomp of a tennis shoe! Of course this was supposed to be just a quick stop to grab a couple of things, so you didn't bother grabbing the cart!
Back at home, the dishes and laundry are piled up. Your shower is long overdue. Meanwhile, your baby is pulling on your clothes, demanding to be held every moment you begin to try to get some of that housework done. Your cup of coffee has been reheated three times and is cold by now. The spaghetti you gave your two year old for lunch is plastered all over the wall, and your kitchen floor looks like a scene out of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Everything is falling apart and you just want to cry!
Chances are, it is an older, well-meaning lady who forgot what it was like to be right there in the trenches of motherhood, who told you how you should feel about all of this. It sounds really nice. It sounds the way you should feel and would like to feel, but you can't. Enjoy all of this? Miss all of this?
Mamas, it’s okay to say:
“No, I am not enjoying these moments right now.”
“I feel like I can’t do another day of this!”
“No, I am not going to miss not getting sleep for endless nights and then walking around like a zombie with no energy left in my body to even give a smile.”
“No, I am not going to miss cleaning up 100 food messes every day, wiping my toddler’s poopy bottom, and cleaning up accidents while potty training.”
“No, I am not going to miss nursing my baby all day and night while being pulled and tugged in every direction, to the point of not wanting anyone else to touch me at the end of the day.”
“There are a lot of sweet things I will miss about my days with my babies, but these aren’t the things I will miss.”
You are not alone.
Thousands of mamas have stood in your shoes. Thousands more are walking the same path right now. I am one of them.
It's okay to ask for help right now in this very hard season you are in.
Every season passes, and we enter a new phase.
Each one has its blessings and its trials. Every season is unique and to be appreciated in its fleeting moment.
Feelings change from day to day.
Sometimes feelings change from hour to hour.
It's okay to not enjoy every moment of motherhood.
We can throw out the cliché phrases and be real with one another, because one day we also are going to be that old lady watching a younger mom struggle, trying to give words of encouragement, wanting to make her feel good about her circumstances.
Hopefully, in that moment, we can remember and say, “Yes, I know what it feels like, and it’s okay to feel this way right now because you won’t feel like this forever.”
Then reach out and give her a hand.