Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mommy's Busy ...

My sweet cousin started a Mommy's Prayer Group on Facebook. My cousin, Jessica...she's amazing. She has a really awesome story and when I look at her I see this happily married mother of two adorable girls and I can see visual tangible evidence of a God who loves and cares for us. I love that every good thing in her life she says is from God and that all the trials led her closer to God. She's truly an amazing woman.

So, this Mommy's Prayer Group...I ignored the invite for a few days until I noticed some of my other friends were posting stuff so I finally gave it a look. The reason I ignored it is two-fold. First, I don't really want to join another 'Mommy Group'. I just don't. I have a bad attitude and I need to let it go.

Secondly, I'm not sure I want to open up to these women.

I have major pride issues. This all started in infancy (my infancy, that is) and has only festered and grown the older I get. After having children it pretty much blew up and out of control. People would say things to me like, "Wow! How do you get out of the house with four kids? I can hardly do it with one!" and I would think, "Because I'm awesome." Or they would say, "Your baby sleeps through the night? That's amazing!" and I would think, "Yeah, I know." Or they would say, "Your kids are so well behaved! Good job!" and I would think, "Hell ya."

The other day a woman said, "You have four kids AND you homeschool? You must be a saint!" Outwardly I smiled but what I thought was, "Doing this thing...this mothering and homeschooling is going to kill me. It may literally kill me. So if that's what it takes to make one a saint then I suppose I am." The reality of it is, every time I get a compliment I think, "If you only knew. If you only knew how they cried as we were trying to get out of the house and how I sobbed for ten minutes in the parking lot. If you only knew the amount of nights my other kids weren't sleeping and how sleep deprived I really am. If you only knew that my son just threw a fan at my head (true story) and that I drank three glasses of wine in order to cope with it."

If they only knew.

My problem has been (and often, still is) that I don't want them to know.

How do I tell them that being a mother is the fulfillment of every dream I had as a child? But sometimes, I feel like being a mom is a living nightmare?

How do I explain to them that I would give my life for my kids? But at times, I feel like they are stealing the life right out of me?

How do I explain that I love the sound of when they say, "I love you Mommy!" but they tell me they love me in order to get a bite of my food or out of going to bed and I doubt they really love me at all?

How do I tell them that today, for the first time in over two weeks, I cleaned the bathrooms and mopped the floor? And I really half-assed it, because I didn't want to bend over to clean out the tubs. And then I double half-assed it because I only cleaned the kid's bathroom because I don't have the energy to clean mine.

Will they find me cruel if I admit that I wait until the kids are in bed to eat dessert because I'm so sick of having to share?

Would they understand that I love homeschooling but at the same time think it would be so nice for the kids to be gone all day so I could have some time alone?

Will they forgive me if some days the only reason I am excited for Mike to come home from work is because the kids will have someone besides me to talk to?

Would they still want me to pray for them if they know I spent half the day hiding in the bathroom so I could hear myself think?

Will they think less of me if they know that I totally blew it and instead of kissing my daughter's owie screamed at her not to be so clumsy and to JUST LISTEN to me for once?

If they know the real me, the me with faults, the me with struggles, the me with issues...the me, that sometimes, doesn't like being a mom at all...will they still let me be a part of their group?

I guess my answer is, I'm not sure. Maybe they won't. Perhaps they will snub their noses at me and think (as I have often done) that they would never behave as I have.

Or maybe...

There's a chance that I'm the reason that Jessica decided creating a prayer group for moms was a good idea. Not me precisely, but me as in, other mothers like me. Maybe, just maybe, one of the other moms yelled at her kids this morning too. Perhaps there's another mom out there who hasn't cleaned her tubs in a couple of weeks. There may even be a mom or two who don't really like being a mom every minute of every day. I wonder if there's a mom out there who's already had a glass of wine today?

So, ladies...this is me. My children, ages 7 1/2, almost 6, 4 and 2 1/2, are the greatest gifts God has given to my husband and me. As my friend Kimberly so succinctly put it, no one else in this world can melt my heart and make my blood boil in the same instant.

I'm a mothering mess and I'm pretty sure, if you're still reading, you know how to pray for me.

It's nice to meet you.


Matt said...

I want to print this blog post out and frame it and hang it on my bathroom wall. :)

Melissa said...

Your speaking my language my friend. I am not superwoman. Be a fly on my wall for a day and you will see how living out my "calling" of motherhood is by far the most difficult frustrating maddening humiliating exhausting annoying thing I have ever done. I love it and hate it most days. Most days I feel like I am failing. But I wake up Nd try again the next day. It's like living with a gigantic mirror that shows you who you really are. 24/7. And to be honest I am not always happy with the view. Let's use this mommy group to be real!!!!

Heather Ulrich said...

Gen, I love you! I was moved to tears. You have such a gift of expressing your feelings. I share so many of your feelings but have a hard time putting it into words.

Jessica Benson said...

You are such a gifted writer. I love you so much! This post is one of the best things I have ever read on being a mom. So encouraging!

Heather Ann said...

yup. done all those. with three kids under three. you are not alone, AT ALL and it really helps to talk to other moms that 'screw up' regularly too. In talking to other moms I'm learning that being locked up in a house all day with kids is a very isolating job and we can harbor all these thoughts that we are the worst mom out there. but we're not. at all.

anyways, I just wanted to say that life is like that in our house too, totally.

Leah said...

Amazing. I couldn't have said it better. Most women don't have the guts to admit it but in reality we are all human. Well said, in saying what a lot of moms with kidS think and don't have the guts to say it out loud.

Ellerphant said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Your eloquent confession hit close to home for me this week. Almost like you wrote this about me. You are definitely not alone. I wonder if there is a mom out there who can honestly say they have never felt this way? She would be the exception. The rest of us are the rule-and we're all great moms!
Oh! And I haven't cleaned my tubs in months. Just can't muster the energy. You're a rockstar in my book for getting them clean every couple weeks.

Kathleen Overby said...

I'm the old relic here. It was the mom's in our group like Chris Bates who were honest about not having it all together that made me feel 'not alone'. Oh what a beautiful muddy, mess you are. It's the dirty churches, the dirty houses, the coffee stained books, and the unmasked people who are living poetry. You are the one I want to sit next to and pass the bread and wine to. I love you Gen. Don't forget - pride and shame are twin sisters. Community, honest community helps us ditch them both.