Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned–sometimes in big ways and sometimes in countless, tiny ways. Sometimes all you can do is lower your expectations, go with the flow, and embrace reality with all its rough, raw edges. Here are a few of my “sometimes” moments from my mothering career:
Sometimes you work in the kitchen for two hours stirring gravy, roasting chickens, steaming green beans, and peeling potatoes, only to sit down to chaos, noise, arguing, and spills. You wonder if it was worth all the effort when you feel like you’re at a table of chimps fighting over grubs.
But, then you realize that maybe this is what family life is sometimes. Somehow you just let go and sit there and laugh and soak up all the insanity because at least they’re yours and they’re here and you wouldn’t want them to be anywhere else.
Sometimes you get put on bed rest, a most unpleasant condemnation for anyone. And, you might just be lucky enough to have two babies inside your belly that desperately need you to stay as quiet and still as can be.
You are blessed with remarkable family who come in and save the day by taking care of you and your crew, but even so, the normal fights of two boys still continue. The idea of bed rest may not mean a whole lot to a four-year-old boy. In fact, this four-year-old may decide he really wants to kick his older brother, and you might find yourself physically restraining a very angry, strong little boy, all while trying to protect your very large, protruding belly from angry, flailing arms and all while you’re supposedly on “bed rest”.
You might find yourself praying and pleading for help in this moment, as you wonder how this can be happening. And, somehow your heart softens, and you can’t get too mad at your son, because how can you expect a little boy to always be on his best behavior during these long, long days of bed rest?
Sometimes it’s Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day or your birthday or your anniversary. Sometimes you’re sick or plum tuckered out from nighttime nursing’s. And, even though it’s supposed to be an amazing, special day, you find yourself snapping at everyone and doubting the truth of all those cards you got describing you as “the best mom in the whole world”.
After enough years of holidays you spent feeling guilty for being less than the perfect wife or mom, maybe you just start saying: sometimes these days will be really good, sometimes kind of good, and sometimes just lousy. And, remarkably enough, you will start enjoying holidays a lot more, when you expect some normal stuff (like throw-up, PMS, and fights) mixed in with the celebrations.
Sometimes, you will look at your boys gathered around your husband on the floor as they play a board game, and all the laughing and enjoyment will put a big smile on your face.
Sometimes, you will gather for family prayer, and one of your boys will pray very earnestly for a list of sick friends, and you will peek out of half-closed eyes at your husband who is also looking at you through half-closed eyes, and you will both know that something good is happening, even in a family that might have been squabbling with each other just five minutes before.
Sometimes, you will put in an hour of work and pull hot loaves of pumpkin bread out of your oven, and four boys will come running when they hear you call them down for breakfast. And, at the table, the jokes fly back and forth, and the “yum’s”, “mmmm’s”, and “thank you’s flow from everyone’s mouths. Yes, there is a little bit of heaven in your kitchen.
Sometimes, you wish that you had more time for writing, but real life pulls you back, and that is after all where I want to be.
QUESTION: What’s one of your “sometimes” moments? When has motherhood felt incredibly frustrating? When has it felt wonderful?
CHALLENGE: The next time you’re in the middle of a challenging, crazy, messy moment, take a deep breath and remember that this is simply a moment. Things will get better!