I sit here fighting tears as I attempt to write “the letter”. I’ve written this letter before, in different circumstances, and it never gets easier. Somehow I’m supposed to fit everything about the last seven months into this letter to deliver to the next mommy and daddy. I pray I’ve captured everything I wanted, needed, to say.
If someone asked you to write a letter detailing all there is to know about your baby, what would it say? Every time I think I have it perfected, there are ten more things I realize I forgot to mention.
How will they know his favorite toy of all toys is a simple spoon? Or he laughs the hardest when you tickle right under his chin? I’m sure they’ll know when to feed him and change his pants, but will they know he likes to bounce and sing and dance?
I’ve spent seven months loving, nurturing, healing. Seven months of sleepless nights, slobbery kisses and hours upon hours of babble. Seven months of foundation building that may not be remembered, but are irreplaceable.
Seven months of forever doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you attempt to bundle it neatly into one letter you realize it’s more than you thought.
I hope it portrays what a joy we think he is and just how much we love him.
I pray it embodies his love of animals and excitement at exploration.
I have so much to say and no idea how to say it.
I sit here fighting tears as I attempt to write this letter, embracing the heartache wrapped in memories of the past and hope for the future.
I’m going to take this opportunity to be very vulnerable and transparent.
I am on the struggle bus with my parenting. I’m in a place of feeling unsuccessful daily, questioning my parenting often, and worrying incessantly.
I’m on the struggle bus.
I’ve never raised children these ages before and it’s far different from infants. Oh how I’m missing sweet gurgles and wide-mouth smiles when I enter a room. They made me feel like I was doing something right.
I don’t get that feeling often any more and it’s hard. It’s hard to be on the receiving end of disrespect and attitude while maintaining some semblance of calm. It’s hard to feel like I’m raising decent human beings when they act like banshees.
In moments like this, days and weeks that seem never ending, Satan likes to dig in and make himself at home. He gets comfortable, feeding lies and perpetuating worries.
The worst part? I let him.
I allow him to take residence in my head and I listen to, and embrace, the lies he spews. I freely give him control of my my mind, my mood and my spirit.
I’m on the struggle bus because I’ve willingly given the wheel to Satan.
Today, I take it back! Jesus is stronger, bigger and a far better driver. I’m taking that wheel back and giving it to Him.
It’s a conscious effort I must make to shut out Satan’s incessant chatter, but from this day on, that “road noise” is just that – noise. He no longer gets the privilege of my mind space and certainly not the honor of my mood and spirit.
Today, I turn my struggle bus back into the chariot it was always meant to be. Jesus has such big plans for my children (and me!) and though this phase may seem never ending and extremely difficult, it is not impossible.
If you’re on the struggle bus, too, whether it be with parenting, work, family, or life in general, I invite you to hop off today. Join me in embracing the chariot Jesus has offered and leave behind the road noise.
This day, these moments, hours, weeks, years are not lost on Jesus. You may feel defeated, angry and incapable (and you may be all of those things), but I assure you, Jesus is not.
He follows your struggle bus, eagerly tailgating, just waiting for you to pull over. He turns with your every turn, speeds with your speed and simply waits for this moment where you say “enough”.
Today, I’ve had enough of the struggle bus and I give it to you, Jesus. I give it to you.
Pray with me.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Life is hard. Raising children is far harder than I ever imagined and quite honestly I often wonder if there was some mistake in trusting me with them. I know others have similar struggles in work, finances, family and the reality comes back to – life is hard. But it’s not impossible with you, Lord and I ask you to join me. I know you’ve always been there, but sometimes I try to take control and do it myself. Sometimes I let Satan in because I’m simply too darn stubborn. No more, God. No more. I need you. We need you. Please join us in our day today, steering your beautiful chariot on a seamless path of joy and blessings. Father, I lift up to you all who may have woken up and jumped on the struggle bus and I pray they pull over. Life is hard, but we don’t have fo be angry, bitter and defeated. You won all our battles already and we are so grateful. Thank you, God, for following our struggle bus on every turn perusing is, waiting. You are a good, good Father and I thank you it’s not because I’m worthy. It just because it’s you.
In your most precious name, Amen
I see you looking at your to do list, wondering where the hours of your day went. I see you swaying your infant as you try to knock out the dishes and put laundry away.
I see you wondering how to fit it all in.
I’m wondering, too.
The older children are back in school and I feel like I should be knocking my to do list out left and right. I have aspirations that have been sitting on a back burner because I just knew I would have more time once the children were back in school.
I’m going to write every day.
I’m going to read every day.
I’m going to cook dinner more often than not.
I’m going to make it to the gym at least twice a week.
I’m going to, I’m going to, I’m going to…
The list goes on and yet I haven’t accomplished one of those tasks. Not one. I’m feeling a bit defeated, wondering what I’ve done to waste my days, but I don’t feel as if I’ve wasted them at all.
My days, nor yours, are not wasted just because we don’t complete the to do list we’ve created in our head. Our lives are no less valuable, important, or worth attention if we don’t do it all.
We don’t have to do it all.
Momma, embrace that message because it will change your days for the rest of your life.
You don’t have to do it all.
Some days you may be able to fit it all in and some days you may fit nothing in. Both days are valuable and should be celebrated.
If you spend a day snuggling a cranky baby, you were exactly where you needed to be.
If you spend a day doing dishes, folding laundry and dusting shelves, you were exactly where you needed to be.
You see, there is no schedule to motherhood. There is no daily checklist or prerequisite to the perfect day. There is only good intentions and trying our best.
I see you, momma trying to fit it all in and I beg you to stop. Stop beating yourself up for the to do list that didn’t get completed or the laundry that’s been sitting in the basket for a week.
Give yourself grace and allow your schedule to be fluid. Make a to do list that flows through days and doesn’t lock you into a standard of feeling defeated.
Your days, no matter what you get done and what you don’t, are valuable.
Momma, you don’t have to do it all and you should stop trying.
You are a Super Star every day!
A Fellow Super Star
Dear Exhausted Momma,
I see you.
I see you deep breathing in the grocery line while your children touch every candy bar, testing your patience to it’s very limit.
I see you shoveling food in your mouth faster than you can chew, attempting to finish before your infant wakes.
I see you discreetly look around the waiting room checking for eye rolls or irritation at your children’s loud voices.
I see you because I am you.
I see you because I understand and I want you to know you are not alone.
Momma, you’re killing it! You are doing a great job and your children are blessed.
Social media and society continually bombard us with what our mothering should look like. What we should be saying to our children and how; what we should be feeding our children and ourselves. How much we should work and when. There are always naysayers and quite honestly, it’s exhausting trying to keep up with it all.
I have a secret for you though, Momma. You don’t need to keep up with it all! You don’t need to stress yourself out to please everyone else.
You simply need to be still and please God.
Be still and know that I am God. – Psalm 46:10
Be still and know your God holds you in the palm of his hand.
Be still and know your God is bigger than any of the problems you face.
Be still and know your God is more restful than your exhaustion.
Be still and know your God has more grace than your short comings.
Exhausted Momma, life is hard and we may be tired, but the good news stands – God is bigger, better and more.
Today, breathe. Breathe in the calm and refreshment of a God who walks this life with you. Breathe in the joy of forgiveness and the peace of companionship.
Today Momma, breathe and be still.
I see you, Momma, and you’re not alone.