It was 10:34 am, but it felt like midnight. My daughter threw a party at her crib with a 5:30 am start time. I tried to kindly RSVP, “no,” but she didn’t take no for an answer. She wanted me there, and stat, so I peeled my eyes open and staggered to her room from a rough night of sleep (if you can even call it that). I had been up four times since midnight and knew that a bright-eyed toddler would be greeting me in my room in roughly an hour and a half. “Must get sleep,” was the only thought running through my head, but like all moms do, I sucked it up, nursed my daughter and tried to remind myself that there will be a full night of sleep in my future. As expected, Liam walked into our room at 7:00 with the sweetest good morning grin. Minutes later, the grin turned to a grimace, and he was suddenly throwing an unusual temper tantrum in my bed. “Not today,” I thought. Prayer for patience would have been the right move at this point, but my brain couldn’t even think up a prayer. Nothing was left in my tank. The gas gauge was EMPTY, and I hadn’t even started the day.
The morning continued. I poured Liam’s cereal which later fell on the floor, changed a diaper after my child peed on the carpet, cleaned up said pee, and poured a second bowl of cereal only to hope it would stay on the table. It did, and I later played in the rain with the kids, changed the crib sheet before nap time, bleached the bathtub which was pooped in the night before, cleaned a sink full of dishes, and built a Lego set. All I wanted to do was curl up on the couch with my second cup of survival coffee and watch a Good Morning America segment about an author who claims that working moms are happier than stay-at-home moms. As I reached to play the paused show, my daughter hit a button, changed the channel and I missed the segment. It was a little ironic that the clip was about the happiness of stay-at-home moms, and I couldn’t even watch it for five minutes. All of this by 10:34 am, and I was definitely not a happy mom that morning. It was a day that I would’ve loved to take a shower and go to work.
I’m often asked what I do for a living, and it leaves me perplexed. I always answer, “I stay at home with my kids.” What I feel like saying is along the lines of, “I am a mom: a janitor, chef, butler, housekeeper, financial advisor, teacher, taxi driver, coach and counselor. I am often disrespected in the workplace, not paid equally for my services, and will never receive a raise or a promotion for my efforts, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.” The fact is, I had a rough day at “work” that day. It was an unusual day; it is not the norm. In fact, when I finally put my feet up that night, it left me thinking, “I wouldn’t want anyone else having rough days with my children.” It brings me joy to be with them through thick and thin. We see the best and the worst of each other. We have one-on-one meetings to solve problems and address issues. You see, I do get to see the benefits of my labor, just not on pay stubs. I do get pats on the back and good jobs, though not in monetary form. Every time that a waitress compliments me on my child’s manners, I remember why I gave up all of the promotions and work opportunities that were ahead of me. This was my dream. My dream was to be a mom and to be the best mom that I can be. The reality is that we all try our best with what we are given.
I’m blessed to have this mom life. So many I know can only dream of having it. Many mothers long to stay-at-home with their kids and don’t have the opportunity to, so I will not take any day for granted (even if it was a tough one). No matter what our jobs are, we are all moms trying our best to raise wonderful, respectful children that aren’t born with an instruction manual! Keep up the good work and remember to do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you. Please feel free to comment below with your mom life moments. I would love to hear them!
PS: I think you would love the music video Do Everything by Steven Curtis Chapman. Find it here if you need to be uplifted today!