Monday has arrived and with it the peace of a quiet house. I appreciate these moments of solitude when I can reflect upon all that God has blessed me with. Most mothers can be found to be doing this at some point today, looking back over Mother’s Day weekend and feeling truly thankful for their role in these little one’s lives.
Listen I’m not saying being a Mother is easy, frankly if you knew me in real life you would often see me at my wit’s end with my daughters. Day to-day they eat at my patience, between my 8 year old’s stubborn, fiery nature and my 6 year old’s incessant chatter it’s draining at times. I’ve been known to reach my limit, to wave the white flag and admit defeat when both girls are in a frenzy of childhood emotions.
These moments find me at a loss but they pass quickly. Generally speaking it’s 5 minutes of me closing myself in my bedroom, emotionally walling myself off from them to regroup. During these times I picture myself anywhere but there, often sitting on a beach with someone I picture as serene (yes Matthew McConaughy is serene…and handsome..cough).
Taking a few moments to be alone, ignoring the perpetual noise from the other side of the door helps. It doesn’t remove the stress of these childhood dramas but it protects my daughters from seeing me at a loss. I don’t want the girls to see me furious with them (which I often am) nor do I want them to feel that they’re not entitled to their emotions.
Having two girls who are less than two years apart is a challenge to say the least, add in the fact that they’re polar opposites and it’s a recipe for excitement. Did I mention that we only have one bathroom in the house?
Drama is the mainstay of our home, it’s my job to diffuse it and guide these precious future women in dealing with ever-fluctuating emotions. There’s a bloody tall order, one that I didn’t quite foresee as I gazed lovingly at my future during my 8th month of my second pregnancy.
Being a Mom isn’t easy.
It’s not always pretty, it’s messy, loud, defeating, stressful….but worth it all. My girls will be young for a very short period of time, in the blink of the eye they’ll be adults and I’m sure I’ll be missing these times. My Mum always tells me that I was just like my girls are and she never seems to focus upon my bad behaviors as a child. There’s wisdom in this, I know I’ll remember mainly the wonderful moments of love…..and try to focus upon those daily.
Even if it’s for just one minute in a day that I get a smile from my saucy 8-year-old, I’ll consider that day a success!
My point here is that my life as a Mom isn’t always simple, my children help to ensure it isn’t. They are wily, crafty, intelligent creatures who mess up my just-cleaned home, stain my new furniture and generally baffle me every day.
The key to a happy experience during the tough times of motherhood for me has been being present for the small joys. By being sober of mind and emotion I have been blessed with these moments which fill my heart and my arsenal of love for the battles of the day.
It’s truly a battle at times, we Mom’s have to be well defended against becoming resentful. As we tire, as we wear down we have to replenish ourselves so we can function well for the little beings we’re entrusted with. For me I do this by spending time alone, by talking with friends, by meditating and spending time with God…..and yes by picturing myself having deep conversations with Mr McConaughy on a beach.
It’s normal to have negative emotions but it’s what we do with them that matters! So many of us are apt to chase escape through alcohol, drugs, over-spending, over-working and other vices. Evidence of this is simple to find, just watch Facebook for the status updates and I’m sure you’ll see a Mom begging for a drink in response to her children’s behaviors.
God entrusted me with these children and I’m determined to give them the BEST of myself!
I’ve learned that a clear head and sober mind are essential to experiencing all that life has to offer and am truly grateful I’ve learned to cope with the challenges life is throwing at me.
How do you deal with the wonders of motherhood, are you replenishing your stash of patience? I’d love to hear what works for you.