“I don’t want to go,” my son said for the 15th time in as many minutes.
“We go to aquatic therapy with Ryan every week. This helps your body, and you love it once we get there. Today is Wednesday. This is what we do on Wednesdays,” I said firmly, trying at the end to appeal to his sense of routine.
“No. I am not going,” he said loudly, throwing himself on the bed and rolling as far away from me as possible.
“Why is every single thing so hard?” I thought to myself, feelings of defeat and anxiety creeping in.
When I was pregnant, everyone said motherhood would be tough. No one warned me how soul sucking, overwhelming, sure you are messing it up all the time, can’t get a shower in, sleep what sleep? tough it would be.
No one warned me that most of my waking hours would involve a strange mix of love, worry, anger, frustration, fun, and defeat.
I don’t think this is a special needs thing.
I think this is a motherhood thing.
Being a mom to another human being, or two, or three, or five is not an easy gig.
So why do I think it should be?
When did comfort become the goal?
Before I had children, I worked so hard. I put in 60 hour work weeks and then came home and worked some more. I enjoyed the work. I found value in it.
And the more challenging the work, the bigger the reward.
Diligence, a commitment to excellence, and just plain getting the job done inspired me to keep going.
Now that I am a stay at home mom/caregiver?
Somehow, I have fallen into thinking that success means I get a break. Success means I can sit on the couch and scroll through Instagram. Success means I can check out and do my own thing.
Somehow easy has replaced victory.
And I don’t like it. Not one bit.
I don’t think it is good for my family. But just as important – I don’t think it is good for me.
The truth is, motherhood has a level of difficulty that far surpasses any other endeavor I have ever undertaken in my lifetime. I imagine it always will.
And the truth is, motherhood matters more than any other endeavor I have ever undertaken in my lifetime. I imagine it always will.
I want to do it well.
I want to strive for diligence and excellence.
I want to bless my people, not feel frustrated by them.
Motherhood: No One Said This Would Be Easy
If I am really honest with myself, there are two things that get in my way – Weariness and Worry.
My children don’t sleep much, so I am exhausted 95% of the time.
I am so freaking tired of cleaning up spilled, stanky, salt water from one of our many aquarium projects.
I am so over fighting another food battle, and another, and another.
And don’t get me started on keeping the house clean, grocery shopping, meal planning and making sure everyone showers.
I am legit weary.
And, the more I dwell there in the bad stuff, the more weary and bitter I become.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9
The only way I have found to combat the weariness, is to focus on doing good instead of giving up.
I may be tired, but I really, really love these kids. I am so glad they are here and I get to be their mom.
I may hate salt water with a burning passion, but I am grateful that my son has something that he loves, and that it helps him connect to the world around him.
I may be sick of all the laundry, but it is a good excuse to rest a bit and take care of myself.
Replacing my grumbling with gratitude is tough some days, but it is always worth it.
What is going to happen when my son is an adult?
What happens if my little guy never learns to read?
What if I die before they are able to care for themselves?
What if I can’t get my son off that bed and to the therapist appointment?
My list of worries is endless. My list of worries depresses me. My list of worries makes me feel like why try at all.
And, this list is completely dependent on what if’s, and what has not even happened yet.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34
When I start to play out all the things that can go wrong, I lose sight of what is going right.
I can’t see the progress, the joy, the love and the sweetness that is right in front of me.
And the troubles haven’t even happened yet!
This day does have enough troubles of its own (word up, Matthew!). I don’t need to add more to the list.
So just for today, I pray I have the eyes to see the good.
Just for today, I pray I have the heart to be grateful.
Just for today, I pray I will work hard for what I know to be good and right.
Just for today, and only today, I pray.