As I continue through this journey of life, I make a great effort each day to remain true to myself and to others. I have said before that I will always admit the unadmittable and say what (I’m certain) most people are thinking. I know that I cannot be the only one…
We all have met someone in life who never seems to face a challenge. Recognize them? Everything is always fine, they never encounter a challenge, and they always remark about how extraordinarily wonderful everything is. The worst is when these people are also mothers. You know who I am talking about. They have perfect children who never cry and even if they do it doesn’t bother them in the least. They are never fazed by the stressors of mothering and they look at you like you are an alien when you tell them that you want to find new living arrangements for your middle child who just happens to be six. Well I have come to the conclusion that these individuals fall into one of three categories: 1) They are completely delusional, 2) They are really good liars, or 3) They are always drunk.
I recently had just one of those days. If you are a reasonable, intelligent person you will agree that you know what I’m talking about. The glitter of life had totally worn off. I was tired, yes, both kids had been sick and trying to give an eighteen-month-old boy a breathing treatment is about as easy as licking your own armpit and truly just about as valuable. The demands of mothering were wearing on me. I was tired and lacking excitement about my life. I know you know. It’s right about the time when you have reached your limit of how many surfaces within your home can tolerate a smearing of tomato sauce.
“There is no joy. Days like this there is just no joy.” I said to my mother, half joking and about three-quarters honest. I’m so blessed to have a mother that I can say this to and the only thing I get in response is support. She reminds me that there will always be days like this and that it’s completely fine to feel this way. She reminds me that she was there once (with me) and that it always gets better. Always. She also reminds me that I’m a great mom, which really helps.
Not every day is joy-filled. I’d be crazy nuts to think otherwise. As soon as I think I’m about to find that glimmer of joy in the fact that I’m about to have my house tidied up I hear the crash a burn. Or when my sweet Prince decides he doesn’t need a nap. I’m certain he thinks he is old enough to make this decision because while I was making his above referenced dinner he managed to effectively stop the wash cycle, inappropriately text my sister-in-law, and set my television language to Spanish. Pretty impressive for a shorty in dinosaur jammies but Mr. Smartypants really does need to sleep. Just ask anyone who came by, called, or texted me.
I hold tight to the fact that I know I’m not the only one. I am not alone in the challenge of mothering. I continue to remind myself that this is not forever – feeling this way will pass. It always does. I find thanks in the fact that when it does happen it is so completely out-of-the-blue and really rare. I make a conscious effort to find the glimmer. It may take a little work but I can find the joy. The truth is, the joy is never really gone. It just gets hidden under all of the crap we encounter during the day. It’s tucked away somewhere between a stuffed Elmo and a left over Buddy Fruit. Some days we just have to take a minute and look for it.
I found it. I knew it wasn’t gone forever I just had to open myself up to it. I found it right there when Audrey looked at me and asked, “What are instant cookies?” I hugged her and began my signature dancing. She was confused. “It means we bake! It means you don’t know what slice and bake cookies are because you and I bake! We really bake!” I found it when I saw William sitting in a chair that he wasn’t supposed to be in looking ever so quite proud. I’m sure he’s thinking, ‘Lady, I single-handedly made irreversible changes to your television that you will probably never be able to figure out how to fix. I’ve totally got this chair thing under control. Relax.” That may have been what he was thinking but what he said to me was, “Mamma.” Joy. There it is! Welcome back. I’ve missed you.
Happy Joy-Filled Mothering!