Running the Mommy Marathon
My mom, after bearing four girls in under eight years, once told me that she was pretty much just exhausted for 10 years.
I can wholeheartedly resonate with that. In fact, it is disturbing to me that if this is true, I’m only in year four! When people ask me how I’m doing, I don’t want to be the person who would honestly answer either “busy” or “tired.” I should probably go with Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s answer: “Better than I deserve!”
I have never experienced a fatigue like motherhood. Don’t misunderstand me—I have a fantastic, better-than-I-could-have-ever-dreamed husband who is incredibly involved and works hard to parent our kids and love on me, even coming home from a full day of work. He is also tired! This physically demanding season for us, with three under five and another on the way, in the midst of life (where parenting always seems to happen), is one big ol’ hamsterwheel. I have learned far more about the perseverance that forms true character and about the true beauty of laying down your own life in my personal journey as a mom than in any other season of my life. You’re on from the time they’re up till the time they go to bed, and usually in between. The time where you’re “off” (and the kitchen is cleaned up from dinner and the kids aren’t just “in bed” but asleep) becomes precious. I find that sometimes my longing for this time goes from the “desire” phase to the “demand” phase, where that personal time stands as an idol between what I want for it and what God may want for it: a kind response to a child who gets out of bed, or energy for a friend who needs help.
Even your weekends aren’t real weekends when you’re a mom of small kids! You’re certainly not sleeping in, there are no breaks—Sundays included—from physical needs, or even the fun stuff like whinng or bickering. Saturdays aren’t “whatever you wanna do—wanna go shopping?” Mothers of preschoolers are like, shopping? I have never selected and purchased an item so fast in my life. I save the rest of the time for carseats and their little straps, trips to the bathroom, refereeing skirmishes, answering questions, and loading kids up and down. You’re like, if I hold the hanger up to my neck and it’s got all the right numbers on the tags, let’s go before someone needs to eat or just melt down (maybe me). Weekends are the great time when there’s usually an extra person around to act as goalie! Cool. At the risk of sounding a little Eeyore-ish, Monday comes right after a less-than-restful Sunday and you get to start again!
Lest this border on complaining … God continues to show me that gratitude anchors my perspective (I have kids!! Healthy, cool ones! This is also one of the most blessed times of my life—more full than I’d ever imagined. And I am so much more like Him because of them. And this is God’s will for me!). But these blessings are also the longest test of endurance I’ve ever run.
Because baby, I’m tired. And at this rate, looks like I’ve got another six years …