Dear Momma Friends
ps. where did my baby go? goodness.
We chat about everyday things--about the kid who won't nap, or the latest toddler drama, or the relief we feel at being able to enjoy a warm cup of coffee without fifteen interruptions. I know you are still thinking about your little ones, and tucked away in the back of your mind, you may be wondering if your husband remembered to do that one thing you reminded him to do as you swung out the door.
Even though we share a lot, I feel a bit heavy with all the extra thoughts that have been clouding my mom brain. Maybe it's because Luke is shedding all the last bits of babyhood and becoming very (very) toddler, so I feel like I'm in thick, unexperienced mud again.
I wonder if I could tell you that just as I was feeling like I had this motherhood thing down (like that was a realistic thought--ha!), a toddler showed up at my door. Now, I'm wondering how many times I can hear the word "truck" repeated without having a meltdown myself or why my heart feels like the shattered glass that is spewed across the floor due to a little certain blondie's disobedience and throwing skills. My motherhood sometimes feels like I'm wearing a dress that is a little too big--I feel exposed, untidy, and uncomfortable.
Daily, I wonder if I'm being too soft or if I'm my words were just too harsh. I have moments when I feel such utter boredom at the mundane, everyday tasks that tears sting my eyes. I feel a tension between being so grateful for the simplicity of these days and the desire for something more than errands and dishes and sandboxes.
But, what I wonder if I could really tell you is how much I want to see my son grow into a capable and loving man. These everyday questions, worries, or frustrations melt into one giant thought: Is Luke going to turn out?
Maybe you are like me and scratch the blackboard of your mind with countless formulas for mothering success. Maybe you too are wondering if a + b - c + love = a child that knows they are loved and loves others well. Maybe you have a day when (b) isn't working and you wonder if it's time whip out an (x), (y), or (z).
But before you start to think that all I do is wring my hands out with worry, I'd tell you that most days I'm not a mothering rollercoaster. I don't spend all day anxiously analyzing every moment or mothering decision. Do I have those moments? Absolutely. They usually manifest when my spirit is weary or when I've dug in too long on my own strength.
The fear, anxiousness, and questioning show up when I forget that it's absolutely impossible for me to fill up and raise a child (and eventually an adult) with an unbroken heart and perfect personality. I know that Luke will have his heart broken and sin will (and has) invade spaces in his life. He won't be perfect or unscathed. He can't be. As a mother, patching up and fixing that is impossible (no matter how much bubble wrap and bandaids I use). It's not for me to do. I have to give in to what I know is true--that my son is a part of this broken world and has the same need for Christ as I do. God created us with a need for Him that cannot be replicated or fulfilled in any human relationship.
Could I tell you that that both terrifies me and frees me? It terrifies me because it's out of my control. And it frees me because it's out of my control.
Does that even make sense? By now, you are probably thinking that I may need another pumpkin spice latte to help me clear my head and wake me up ;)
In the end, as we scrape our chairs out from under us to end our sweet time together, I'd want to tell you that it's okay that this motherhood thing often feels weird and wonderful at the same time. I'd tell you that you are doing a good job and gently remind you (and me!) to lean into Jesus when motherhood feels like sandpaper in tender places.
And as I sit in my car (you know, just squeezing in a minute more of quiet time), I'd remind myself of the song I whisper-sing into my son's ear almost every day before nap or bedtime:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
I guess God knew I'd need that daily reminder when it seemed to be the only song I could remember when I rocked my tiny, newborn son in the wee hours of the night. He knew I'd need those sweet words sung over me as well.