Hey there sister in the trenches of young mamahood, I got your back.
I don’t know if your house feels and looks like mine during the witching hours. The people, the noise, the dinner to make, all while trying to hold back a tide of chaos. And you just want to pour yourself a glass of wine and crawl into a quiet armchair with a book and hope someone brings you takeout.
I thought that locking myself in the bathroom with my covert stash of dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt was as good as it was gonna get. Well, I just found out there’s something called a Family Manager Coach, someone who comes in and helps you get organized and figure out how to clean and not be totally overwhelmed with this crazy life of taking care of young children. Glory, hallelujah! That sounds like a miracle.
This idea of a coach to come and help me finally figure out the mess and the chaos is like the wished-for fairy godmother, to make everything right, with the swish of a magic wand. If I just had that fairy godmother, and met the prince, I would live happily ever after. (But crap, I’d still have to figure out how to clean those palatial toilets.) But really, I think this tension between what I ought to do as a mom and what I ought to do as a homemaker comes down to larger issues of perfectionism, of needing affirmation that I’m good enough, or competent enough or pulling my weight since I don’t work outside the home. That is, they come down to my heart much more than just needing practical strategies to be implemented or finding motivation to actually clean the toilet when I don’t want to.
All I gotta say is grace, grace and more grace. Grace for you as a mama and a wife and grace for your kids. I think it’s kind of funny sometimes that God’s given us 4 kids. And I think when I was a new mom I felt the anxiety and pressure to control situations much more than I’m simply able to do now with four kids! So as much as I often resent the craziness of being a mom of littles and having so many needs to attend to, it’s brought me much closer to the end of my rope and my issues with perfectionism and control (of my house, of my kids’ behavior, of my time, etc.). And so I’m learning (not always successful!) to praise Jesus for making me dependent on him simply through the chaos of our house and our little people.
Lately, it’s been so refreshing to continue to “beat into my head continually” (Luther) the goodness of God, that I am his beloved child, no matter what. When the dishes are pilling up, when the laundry is still undone, when I clean up and it’s all a mess 5 minutes later… Because when we have little ones at home and we’re not working outside the home, it’s so easy to see a clean house or completed schoolwork or good behavior as merit badges for our motherhood. So whatever you do — whether you play on the floor or not with your kids; whether you ignore the screaming so you can take a shower; whether you get your cleaning plan nailed down or not — know that you are loved and your Father is crazy about you. Full stop. The end. And go ahead and enjoy your dark chocolate as a good gift from a good God.
This is the fifteenth post for the Write 31 days challenge, where I’ll be writing every day through the month of October. I’m excited to see what comes of this daily practice. I’d love for you to comment, pin the above image, share posts and subscribe to receive posts to the right in the sidebar as we work through these things together. Posts in the series are all linked to from the first post.