As moms, we are tested every day. We are tested on how much ‘we can handle’. This is determined by the realistic expectations we set for ourselves paired with the unrealistic expectations we have as mothers.
It’s not easy to be a mom. And unless you are one, you can never truly understand the struggle. Because when I say it’s a struggle, oh it’s such a struggle. Being a mom takes everything out of you, every ounce of you and it never quits. Motherhood never ends. It’s a 24/7 job. But your kids sleep at night? Ha! If your child sleeps through the night then congratulations, but that will not always be the case. They will wake up sick or cold or hot or thirsty or needing to pee or anything else imaginable that requires “MOMMMMMY!”. And when babies wake up it’s even worse because they can’t tell us what’s wrong besides crying! But even when your kids are sleeping through the night, you’re still up putting away toys, doing dishes, cleaning bottles, finishing laundry you couldn’t get to, pumping, prepping lunches, organizing backpacks, working (like me! My second job begins once my kids go down) and cleaning up the nightmare that is your kitchen because let’s be honest, it’s a hot mess. Your job never ends. And you know? It’s exhausting. It’s literally exhausting.
But ‘it’s sooooo worth it’ and we are supposed to feel that way all the time, right? Children are a blessing. They are a beautiful gift from God. I will never argue that. They are so worth it. But that doesn’t mean we have to feel that way all the time. That doesn’t mean we can’t have days where we are frustrated, angry, tired and completely out of patience! That makes us humans. That makes us real moms, not these unrealistic ones who are supposed to have our s$&@ together all the time.
Sometimes I think about the Blessed Mother and wonder how she was with Jesus. Did she get frustrated with him? Did she discipline him? She must have been terrified when He stayed back in Jerusalem after the Festival of the Passover while her and Joseph traveled on for a day. They eventually found him after three days preaching at the Synagogue! “Why were you searching for me?” He asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them. I cannot begin to imagine losing either of my children, especially not in the world we live in now.
Each day, I tell myself I want to be more like Mary. I want to have her patience and humility. I want to have her love and her heart. So I try. I wake up each day and I tell myself, have patience, they’re only little for so long, thank God for your blessings. I even have reminders on my phone that beep at certain times during the day to remind myself of these! But they don’t always work. There are days like today where I give up. The days where everything little and big go wrong. I take my kids to church and my son screams the entire time. My kids argue, smack each other, yell, hit, throw things and tantrums like it’s their job and as their boss, they’re WAY too good at their jobs. Yes, these days when my sweet children are little monsters and I can’t do it. I can’t. I give up.
So I cry. Usually this is at night for no one to see but today at mass I broke down. Luckily my sister was there and I pulled it together. But this is part of motherhood. This is the raw, real part of it that we all deal with. Yes, some deal with it on a grander scale (children with cancer or other diseases), but we all have our burdens to bear as mothers.
So for any of you moms out there struggling, for any moms out there giving up today, know that you are not alone. Know that at the end of the day, you are so blessed with children who love you more than anything in this world. Know that ‘this too shall pass’ and whatever stage or phase you are in with your children, it will get better. As for me, mine are only little for so long and no matter how frustrated I get, I keep telling myself that I’ll never get this time with them again. Some days I feel like it might kill me, but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? Hang in there mamas, you’re doing an amazing job!