Often after a hard week I feel like I am suffocating. Drowning in small children. Smothered with laundry and dishes and mommy mommy mommy whines.
It's at this time that God reminds me that I can't do it alone. I can't mother on my own strength. Oh, how I love this reminder. Sarcasm, like coffee, is a necessity to motherhood.
But, why is this a lesson I have to keep relearning? I surrender only to find myself stuck back right in the mire of frustration, drowning in my own woes and with only the bleak realities of my life to keep me comfort.
This cycle is not fun. I am not enjoying it. I want to break the cycle, I pray to break it. Teach me to see my kids the way you do, God, I cry. Let me mother them as fallen human beings, not as an Overseer who only wants to control them. Let my words be gentle and my patience everlasting, and for goodness sake let me make some time for them and not get caught up in homemaking perfection.
And for awhile it works. One blessed day my heart is in the right place, and I soak in the inner joy and peace that comes from yielding to God's plan and will in my life. I feel on top of the world! During this time I calmly parent my kids with grace and mercy that can only come from God above. I think "how can I point my child to God" when dealing with strife, and I remember to open my mouth with humility and love when contention arises in my marriage.
Two hours later it's like I am a totally different person. It only takes one small thing--today it was Reuben throwing up after dinner. After my carefully constructed, 45-minutes-to-cook-dinner, he had the audacity to throw up all my hard work. All over the carpet.
I yelled at him. My exact words were: don't throw up there throw up in the trash can, what are you doing because of course that is what every three year old needs to be told while they are tossing their cookies helplessly on the floor. Well, in this case it was buckwheat cake, but you get the idea.
Poor kid. After he was done he turned to me and said in the saddest voice mommy I am so sorry I was sick. can you please wash my hands I threw up on them. His blue eyes were full of tears as he hovered over the trash can, gulping for breath.
Oh, my heart.
I lost it. I gathered him up and washed his hands and started the shower for him and apologized for my upset tone and demanding attitude. I held him and read books and chastised my inner self for trying, once again, to micro-manage my child and forgetting, even for a second, how precious and beautiful he is.
An hour after his tossing-buckwheat-cake episode, he was back trying to climb and jump off everything and tearing around the house and I was back to contemplating motherhood and all the parts I do wrong and thanking God for his mercy and grace, because like His child oh boy do I need it.
When I am mothering, I forget that I am not God to my children. God is God to them. I am not there to correct every little thing.
God made me a mother. He wants me to find joy in this role. He wants me to love and worship as I mother. So often I just want to get through the day and I forget that I am here, in this moment, with my kids and my goal is to worship God.
My goal is to worship God. Not the dishes. Not a clean floor. Not a carefully prepared meal or good behavior. Those things have their place, but they are not the epoch of my existance.
My goal is to worship God.