Many of my friends assume I'm a "supermom." In fact, one of the first things I hear out of people's mouths when they ask where Ali is going to school and I tell them she'll be homeschooled is, "I could never do that!" or "You are amazing!" I then feel obligated to launch into a defensive discourse on how I actually enjoy teaching, like the whole organizing and choosing curriculum stuff, and find this area to be a gifting while mentioning that they have many gifts that I don't have in order to try to dispell the "I'm More of a SuperMom Than You" myth.
In spite of the fact that I am a homeschooling mom and happen to enjoy bulk cooking, baking, sewing, and keeping a blog, I'm the furthest thing from "supermom." Being a mom of three has never been harder for me. Pregnancy has always been the most tiring condition I have found myself in and especially in the last trimester; this time around is no exception, made worse by low iron levels. Naps? The very idea is a joke for anyone with more than one or two kids! My in-laws' just left after a 5 day visit and though they got tons of projects done on our house, it's not easy having company and keeping them fed many times a day, especially when you are hot and tired. Justus, my only child who takes naps, just started cutting his naps in half for no apparent reason and also seems to be coming down with a cold, my husband has been consumed with projects on the house in addition to working his regular physically-draining job, and I have found myself doing more than ever before with our move this summer, which has left me feeling like a single parent much of the time.
In reality, many days I find the weight of motherhood to be CRUSHING.
I hover in a strange state between adoring my kids and feeling so blessed to be a mommy and savoring cuddle-time with them and yet being so sick of them and feeling like I am not able to have 30 seconds in my day where someone isn't calling, "Mommy!!!" or needing wiped, or a drink, or their hands washed, etc. Sometimes I hide from them in my big house and let them wander around the house looking for me for a few minutes just so I can have a moment's peace. Sometimes I turn the baby monitor off upstairs because I can't bear to hear any more screaming or whining from one of the boys and don't know how to make him stop and just go to sleep. Even though I am firm in my reasons for homeschooling, I am often envious of my friends, most of whom have chosen public school this year, as they get a break from their active children while they are at school all day. If I had the money, I would definitely hire a nanny to watch the kids for at least a couple hours every day during this stage of life!
I know that a huge part of my frustration with motherhood and my kids is pregnancy fatigue and hormones, but that doesn't make the days of whining, fighting, crying, messes, etc. any less difficult to handle in the meantime as I await my body's return to normalcy. I empathize with and understand why some of my mom friends are tempted to drink alcohol, cry uncontrollably and drown in depression, or enroll their kids in as many programs as possible to survive this thing called "being a mom." I often look for an escape from the kids too, whether in a book, surfing facebook, in a sewing or photography project, in a TV series on Hulu, etc.
So often I think moms are afraid to admit how they really feel because they don't want to give the impression that children are a burden to the world around them and they feel the need to hide behind their joys and successes so that they can "measure up" to others who seem to be incredible moms instead of admitting that this is the hardest job they've ever had. But we need each other and the depth of friendship that comes when two people realize that they're in the same boat! Which is why, amidst the tips and recipes and homeschooling ideas I share on this blog, I feel the need to periodically remind you, my readers, that I'm human and going through a lot of the same frustrated feelings that you are dealing with!
I'm selfish, I'm sinful, and I desperately need God's strength to mother well.
I'm weary, worn-out, and lack the wisdom I need to lead these little ones.
But He is faithful, even though I rarely am!
And our Lord provides the strength and grace we need to get through the most difficult stages of mothering...and life.
If you, too, are in a difficult season of mothering, know that He cares and wants to carry that burden for you and lead you as you lead your little ones.