Summer vacation is almost over and school is just around the corner. That statement makes my heart beat faster and my palms sweat. I'm not ready for the summer to be over. Not really. I mean, sure I might have said a few times recently that my kids are driving me crazy and as soon as they go back to school I can get my life back to normal...which is true. But that doesn't mean I'm ready for it to actually happen! (I realize that sound crazy and now you see my husband's frustration when we discussing anything.)
This happens every year. We get to the end of summer and panic because we haven't done any of the "around the town" stuff we planned to do. We made this long list of activities the first week because "how in the world would we fill our time for 8 whole weeks?!?"
As I was making my "what's left to do" list this morning while looking at the calendar and trying to fit it all in, the mom guilt started creeping back in. I should have done more this summer. I should have used our time together wisely. I feel like I spent the summer barking orders and saying stop fighting, play nice, do something creative and FOR THE LOVE do it in the other room! Mommy needs her space. We will go to the pool/movies/zoo tomorrow. We have all summer for that.
My dear friend and her 4 kids (the youngest 2 being twin toddlers. bless her.) spent the day with us yesterday. She and I spent a lot of time talking about the stress of motherhood. How tough it is and how maybe we needed wives to help us with some of the chores. (only kidding... mostly.) We started talking about how we often feel that we are just trying to push through this season. We think "if only I can get through this, then I will do something better, more significant." Because THIS (parenting young kids everyday) is hard and not all that fun most days. We are looking forward to having the time and energy to do more rewarding things like leading at church, or just going back to church, teaching a bible study, or simply reading the Bible, eating healthy, cooking, exercising and other worthwhile things. Just as soon as this "super needy" phase has passed.
My friend said that was the moment God pointed out to her.... "This IS the thing. This IS worth while. Stop trying to just get through this. This is the most important thing you can do right now. I'm giving you plenty of opportunities to see motherhood for what it is Hard AND Rewarding. And Im giving you the chance to look to Me and ask for help in doing this great job."
Me (in a seriously whiney voice): "But God, I do ask for help. Don't you hear me asking you to make these kids obey me? To help them get past the sleepless nights or the weird aversion to potty training? Or when I ask that their mouths miraculously close and the noise will stop for just 5 minutes? Don't you hear me pray that their little hearts will change and they will be angels in Target (for Your glory, of course)?"
I imagine God is laughing at me. LOLing in the way only a Heavenly Father can. (Does God laugh? If so, I bet He has the best laugh. A good hearty laugh that makes all who hear it happy...wait, where was I?)
God then says to me. "I AM helping. I'm giving you their dirty hands and their noise so that you will look up. So that you will ask for patience and strength and endurance. And that you will ask for opportunities to speak truth to them, when you are wiping their faces. Why are you so stubborn? Don't you see I am showing you that it is OK for this to be your only focus. To teach them. And love them. Stop looking forward to when you can do MORE."
Does this relieve you like it did me? That I can let go of the desire and anticipation of what is next. That I can just wake up and try to do this thing well. Because if I let myself enjoy it, motherhood is awesome.
Who else but your young kids can watch you perform the Bon Jovi classic "You Give Love a Bad Name" and say "Wow Mom, how did you know all those words?!? I wish I could do that!"
Yep. I need to ride this "mom is cool" wave as long as it will last! The teenage years will be here before I know it.
FACEBOOK FROM THE PAST
It's 9:30 on a Friday night and I'm doing my usual 9:30pm routine. Dishes and listening to Pandora. Am I still cool? Was I ever? Don't answer that.