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Monday, October 18, 2010

Realness in the Raw

I'm going to totally go out on a limb here and assume I'm not the only one of those. You know... the mom who smiles calmly to those around her, but on the inside she's stretched tighter than a drum head. The very next slight tap will bust her nerves and send sparks flying in all directions.

It's not that she's angry about any one thing. It's not that she's a typically nasty person. She's just so dog gone overwhelmed by life and its petty demands.

She looks around her at church to see happy moms, dressed in smart, stylish clothes, hugging their precious little preschoolers, praising them for their little accomplishments. Every blog she visits online seems to the pour forth words from a mother who manages to boast on her kids, do her housework, run a home business, and blog at least three times a week, complete with photos.

She remembers back to the days before kids, when she could shower every day, paint her nails every week, clean the house, spend time online, and get in plenty of hobby time. But when she lets reality focus in around her, she trembles.

The laundry is piled five miles high in her living room. Three loads of dishes grace her kitchen counters. Her refrigerator smells as if it has 3 month old dinners within its never ending abyss... because it does. She can't remember when she last mopped the floors and knows it's been even longer since she dusted.

Her oldest child is banging her pencil on the table, waiting for help with her kindergarten work, again.... this being the 5th time it's been interrupted in the last 15 minutes. Her can’t-stay-focused-in-the-bathroom child is smearing toothpaste all over the mirror. Her nearly 2 year old is climbing, once again, to the top of the stove to reach the prized empty juice bottle. And of course, the baby is crying in her exersaucer.

She has a couple small side jobs waiting for attention... photo Christmas gifts she's wanting to work on... school to plan... blog to update... online friends who joke (rather sarcasticly) that she acts "like she's a mom of 4 or something", as they lament their neglect... parents who need to be contacted by their daughter... siblings who need a sister.

And while she's trying desperately to keep up with diapers and dishes, she has dreams, talents, and interests. What about the writing passion? What about the graphic design interests? What about the business ideas? What about the occasional hobby bug that bites her?

And so when her children simply act as children... and when chaos begins to reign in the house... when the noise level rises too high... or the mess is too big... the drum head breaks. Things come out of her mouth, sometimes yelled, that she would rather not have echo through her house.

It pains her to think of the wounds she gives to her children through her impatience. She asks their forgiveness, but worries that they don't understand just how incredibly much it pains her to know that she loses her patience with her very own children, whom she loves more than she could even comprehend.

She lies in bed at night and cries because she is the mother she never wanted to be. Those glorious, slow motion, sunny dreams of a mommy cooing to her baby as she swings him over her head are shattered by her own weakness. And all she can do is fall to her knees before her Father and beg for mercy, forgiveness, and grace.


  1. I can definitly relate to everything you've said here. Life with small children is so, So, SO much more trying then I EVER dreamed it could be.
    I find myself in the same shoes you've described ALOT and I wonder why I feel like such a failure at mothering and why it looks so easy for everyone else?? I don't have any advice to give, but if it's any comfort, you are not alone. ~ Lesli D.

  2. Found you on the nestwork. You are not out on a limb and you are not alone--you are RIGHT ON. But we are imperfect, and it's ok to mess up. It's not ok to expect perfection. That's a no-win and asking to lose is never good.

    Hang in're one of me and that's awesome. ;)