This morning as I woke up, my wonderful husband took the two youngest who had found there way upstairs at some point last night and quietly started to head downstairs to make breakfast and start the day…
I laid in bed thinking about the day ahead and really giving thanks for him, for his kindness, and for the beauty of another day…
I started to get up and get dressed in the quiet of my room, to take little G to ballet, and my peace was quickly overshadowed by loud shouting “WHY DO YOU MAKE ME GET UP??? WHY DO YOU MAKE ME DANCE?”….Followed by “DAD T is hitting me with his bunny, Dad T wont stop hitting me…DAAAAADDDDD”...followed by screaming as the other son retaliates the bunny and continuing on with ONE, TWO….THREE…and the wrestling of placing a 2 year old onto the time out step repeatedly, while the 4 year old shouts over the Dad to try to help, but not help and the 6 year old loudly narrates it all….
Did any of that make sense? I finished getting dressed, a little more tense, and walked down the stairs to a house that looked like a bomb had gone off and exploded legos, paper, crayons, and laundry…thinking “where do I start this day…can I just go back to bed?”
Before I even had a moment to collect myself and drink the wonderful cup of coffee or eat a bite of the beautiful Egg, Avocado, and turkey omelet that my loving husband had made me I made the fatal choice that we as moms are faced with on a daily, sometimes hourly basis…
Do I act like the adult mom…or take off my crown and join the chaos of the morning?
I would like to say this morning was a victory…but it was not….I took off my Mommy crown and my motherhood ‘lost its pretty”…I felt overwhelmed, and hopeless….
And here was my thought process: “Why were they fighting so much? Why was my house so messy? Doesn’t G know we sacrifice getting up early for her ballet? Why is HE making breakfast, I must not be good enough…because if I could just get up and cook and clean before everyone wakes up we wouldn’t be stressed and I could enjoy this cup of coffee and read my prayers and they could wake up to a peaceful house, but for some reason I can’t seem to do it….because I must be a BAD mom, or a LAZY mom, or a CRAZY mom!!!”
Can anyone relate to this…ok maybe not this exact moment...but a time in your motherhood where you see the limit of your “super powers” and realize you can not do it ALL BY YOURSELF? Although we fall into this “lie” that other moms do, and that they do it in song with a spoonful of sugar and a chorus line…
I know for me…I want to make motherhood look good. I am a busy mom with 5 kiddos and about to birth number 6 and I want to make it look good. I don’t want to be the reason someone says “I can’t have kids” or “You have too many kids” or “You guys are crazy to have so many, look at how chaotic your life is”…I want to make the beauty of it outshine the “ugly”…but I think the key to that is to STOP HIDING THE UGLY, and KEEP IT REAL !!!
As I sat at the table and gave my hubs a look , my daughter a snide remark, and myself much negative self talk I stewed and stewed and stewed….
How can I get myself out of this hole? How can I do all this? How can we survive this moment?
Followed by another word…HUMILITY
And finished up with another BIG Struggle for me…RECEPTIVITY
Lets Begin with GRACE:
In the midst of the shouting (including mine) is an opportunity for grace. We NEED grace…we need a help that is greater than simply folding a load of laundry…we need a help that is supernatural, because we are dealing as moms with more than little bodies…we are raising little souls.
Will we mess up? Of course…in our eyes our motherhood will “lose its pretty” at times, but the truth is that what is really happening when we take off that crown…and we surrender it, rather than toss it on the ground, it gets polished in the struggle. We become refined by grace to first see our faults, and then by HUMILITY we admit them and realize we need help.
Followed by HUMILITY:
No mother is perfect by the standard that they hold for themselves. We all have areas where we need to grow. The hard part is when we compare ourselves to one another we get stuck in Pride, which prevents us from believing we can change, and prevents us from accepting that it is ok to ask for help, admit we don’t know, and admit we mess up.
Pride is ugly, pride tells us to not ask for forgiveness, pride turns us inward in our love…Humility calls us to look out, to lower ourselves below our ego, and to love the other and even greater than that…to receive their love, even though we might not feel worthy of it.
The struggle with RECEPTIVITY:
As women we were created to receive…we receive the greatest gift in motherhood, the gift of life. We are called to do this both spiritually and physically. We carry this life for 9 months and then raise it up the best we can. We are called to receive love from our children, from our husbands, and from one another…but what I have found in the “ugly” parts of motherhood is a struggle to be receptive. It means we have to be vulnerable, it means we may be hurt, it means we may fail…and we will. Yet to receive love from another is to be filled by the grace we need and it is a crucial part of keeping the “ugly” out.
What prevents receptivity? Wounds to our motherhood, to our womanhood…
Being told we are not good enough…
Seeing other moms talk about a mom and her faults…which only adds to the insecurities we carry…
Isolating ourselves from others when we struggle…
Believing we should be able to do it all…and do it all without struggle, without stress, without failure…
LIES that are spoken to us daily when we pull inward and harden out hearts to the grace we need..
So as much as my motherhood “losing it’s pretty” this morning…I had two options…Speak Life or Death into the situation…and by the grace of God I choose to speak life…
On the way to ballet I affirmed my little G on how much I love her dancing, how her dancing gives me great joy, and how proud I was of her for getting up on Saturday mornings to do it…I also asked her forgiveness for being such a crank this morning…and you know what? She forgave me, and I saw a light again in her eyes…(Grace, Humility, Receptivity)
I then called the hubs and apologized to him for my crankiness and explained (not excused) how I was feeling and shared my heart and listened to his…(Grace, Humility, Receptivity)
The only way to “get back my pretty” was to get over me…admit my struggles…and then take ACTION to change it.
I did not know if I should share this with you…what if they judge me? What if they think I am NUTS? What if no one else struggles…but I have a STRONG feeling I am not alone in all of this.
As women we are very complex, and this is a beautiful thing! But from the beginning, when Eve was first confronted with the serpent, he lied to her…and in pride and fear she believed him instead of trusting she was worthy, loved, and taken care of…This my sisters still continues today when we believe we are not enough, that we have to do it all, and that we can not share our struggles because no one will or can help us.
My motherhood “losing its pretty” was actually my motherhood “losing its pride”…and through this God can work miracles in my children, my marriage and my family…but ONLY if I am honest with myself and others.
Is life with 5, almost 6 kids hard? chaotic? crazy? YES !! But you know what? It felt that way when we had no kids, and then with the addition of each new little person we had the same thing happen…so it’s not the number…its knowing our number and being humble enough to be honest about our needs.
Motherhood is a beautiful blessing. When asked one time what is was about being a mom that I loved so much, I had to think on it and responded that “through motherhood I am constantly challenged in good ways to grow, to give, and to receive…to love at a greater capacity, and to let go of the things about me that are not good.”…I become less selfish…
To the mamma out there who feels overwhelmed, who yells and loses her cool, who can’t keep up with the laundry, who feels alone…You are not alone and today I lift you in prayer and ask you to do the same for me….
Take a moment when you read this…share below…what is your biggest struggle as a mamma? I want us to reach out and HEAR we are not alone and the SUPPORT one another through the Beauty of Motherhood, and even more so in the “UGLY”…Because its all Beautiful once it’s transformed by Grace
Love you all,