Mommy Failure

Only a thin sliver of orange is visible as the sun dips below the hill I can see from my apartment’s balcony. I sigh, thankful that this day is over. Only a few more minutes and I can tuck little bodies clad in mis-matched pajama tops and bottoms into their beds.

It hasn’t been a good day. I said not to throw it again, and he threw it one more time. I asked her to be quiet and rest and she woke both her sleeping brothers. I told him not to play in his milk, and he did a milk mustache anyways. I stepped on a toy. I yelled because I was mad. Dinner was a mess of leftovers and random bits of food pulled from fridge and tossed onto plates because Hubby was gone and I was done. Baths were quick and un-playful. He got back into the bathtub with his pajamas on (twice!!!) The toys never did get picked up.

Even typing, I’m amazed at how small it all feels. Honestly, tomorrow when the kids pop out of bed at 7am and start asking for Cheerios and cartoons, today will become a distant memory as we begin again. Motherhood is this constant cycle– feed them, read to them, dress them, wipe them, give them, listen to them, wash them, laugh at them, humor them, play with them, explain to them, discipline them, teach them, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like a gift. It feels like a burden.

I am thankful for the book I finished two days ago, Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic. It is short, but full of powerful thoughts as she (a fellow mom in the trenches) points to Christ in the midst of the daily motherhood grind.

“Blessings, like children, are not ethereal and weightless. Sometimes they feel like they come at you like a Kansas hail storm—they might leave a welt! But if you accept your lot and rejoice in your toil, God will give you the kind of overwhelming joy that cannot remember the details. Motherhood is hard work. It is repetitive and often times menial. Accept it. Rejoice in it. This is your toil. Right here. Those are their faces. Enjoy them. The days of your life are supposed to be full of things like this. But joy is not giddy. It is not an emotional rush—it is what happens when you accept your lot and rejoice in your toil. So rejoice in your children. Look them in the eyes and give thanks. You will not even remember the work of all this planting when the harvest of joy overwhelms you.”

It was a blessing today to have these thoughts come to mind as the dishes piled up, the floors got stickier, and the chaos swelled to unbearable levels. This is a gift. And I accept it– dirty diapers, runny noses, sinful hearts and all.

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