Keeping’ it Real, the Daily Struggle of Motherhood

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All this stuff I talk about here on this blog, pointing our eyes to the Heavens and having an eternal perspective, seeking the face of God as though we were but a child, relinquishing control as a mom and depending on Him for everything. It’s all totally true.

But there are so many moments in my life where I want to scream at those truths and shut them up in a corner, because I’m just not feeling it. Sometimes I hear my little blog posts in the back of my mind while I’m faced with my reality and I’m like, “yeh right. whatever.”

That’s the truth, people. I’m just keeping it real.

There was a huge storm last night, and while none of my children woke up (praise the Lord, we’ve reached that point), we now have a young pup who was rather scared and needed to come into his parents room and sleep. All fine and good, but an interruption nonetheless.

Next, my boy comes down just a little before the alarm clock (ugh, I hate that) and he just doesn’t feel right. So I roll out of bed, almost stepping on the dog, and start the coffee. Today’s the day #2 needs to get to school early so I’m moving it along a little faster than usual.

Of course, one thing leads to another, one person is sassy and bossy, one kid hates her hair, and now the dog is wet and muddy and will. not. be. dried. with. a. towel. and you have the beginnings of a beautiful morning.

Then I’m yelled at because someone’s hair isn’t perfect and she can’t find her brushes (I didn’t touch them) and it’s just chaos and of course we’re late and yada yada.

All of this comes after having to send an emergency email to my one and only paying job that is literally one hour a week and cancel it because there’s simply no other options today–it’s early release day at school and neighbors are busy and grandparents are busy and I’m a mom first, so it is what it is.

Sometimes it just feels like a slap in the face, this being a mom thing. It just does. Sometimes it feels like all of me is pushed lower and lower and lower while every one else is elevated higher and higher and higher.

These are the moments where I’m just not feeling what I preach. I don’t even want to hear what I preach.

I hate being treated rudely by my kids, I hate it when I’m rude back, and rainy dark days honestly don’t help my spirits. I hate it that I can’t make it to my accompanying job, I hate it when nobody is thankful and it feels like I’m unappreciated.

And I’m thinking, where is Jesus in all of this? Why can’t I seem to find Him, right now?

Even my kindest voice though doesn’t necessarily produce kindness in the kids, and it’s frustrating because whether I’m nice or not I seem to get the same treatment, so sometimes I just feel like why should I put any effort into it at all?

All along I’m praying for sweet grace and for patience and for wisdom, but what if it doesn’t come? Sometimes it doesn’t come right when I need it. Am I not praying hard enough? I can’t hide until it comes, life keeps moving, we still have to get out the door, and someone will still keep rolling their eyes at me.

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I’m not made of stone. Some say that we moms aren’t supposed to take it personally but it’s personal–I pushed these kids out of my own body, you better believe it’s personal. Even if you didn’t push them out yourself, all moms have gone through pain bringing their sweet children home. And then you give and give and give, not perfectly of course, and really sometimes it feels like all you get in return is a sour expression and a list of complaints.

I could pepper you with the, “It’s not always this bad. Of course there are precious moments that I love and wouldn’t trade for the world,” speech, but you already know that. You know that being a mom is the hugest contradiction and opposition of emotions I think that anyone on the planet can face. So yes, with the days that all seem to go wrong there are definitely days that go right.

(and may I insert here a quick shout out to my mom for still being alive and thriving after dealing with me and my brother. you amaze me.)

What must it have been like for Jesus, here on this earth? His disciples honestly seem a lot like my children (like me, too), fighting and disputing, never really understanding Him, always thinking they know what He should do and that they know better.

It’s no wonder He had to go off alone quite often for prayer and reflection. Even Jesus! We know He didn’t sin, but He was tempted, and I can’t help but think that He was tempted in some of the very same ways I am, and He had to excuse Himself for refreshment with the Lord.

Being Jesus Himself didn’t keep Him from needing moments alone, away, with the Father.

I think I idealistically want all of it to come flooding back in the heat of the moment. I want to remember all that I’ve learned and be able to apply it perfectly in the situation, having perfect wisdom and having emotions that aren’t hurt by careless words spoken by juveniles.

Perhaps that’s the goal of our life, and perhaps someday we will get there more consistently than now.

But maybe He’s pushing me to the quiet spaces, the edges where I come back and drink Him up again. I know He’s with me always, and I know I’m indwelt with the Spirit, and I know He’s given me all I need for life and Godliness, but we aren’t perfect yet. That’ll come later.

So I have to keep walking, keep doing, knowing He put me here for a reason, and He knows the trials and struggles that occur daily. And He calls me back to Him in the quiet corners of life, to soak it in and remind myself of all the truths of who He is and who I am in Him.

*Thanks for reading this vulnerable post that comes from the very rawest part of my heart. I feel like sharing these things with you all because you are tender and sweet, and because maybe you are here too on many occasions, and sometimes we just need to know that we all go through these challenges, and it’s not always a pretty little package wrapped up neatly into an elegant little blog post.*

 

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  • Miranda

    Thank you for being vulnerable! I am really enjoying reading your posts. I am here so often too…it does encourage me to hear and see and walk alongside other christians who are just doing life in a fallen world. Messing up often. Fumbling daily. Doing the next things that need doing. Not because its all been flipped around with gospel redemption RIGHT THEN. But because they press into Christ. Struggling with messes and challenges. Wrestling more with ourselves really than anyone else. I think my expectations are very high for life in a broken world. For myself as a sinner turned saint and for those around me. You said “I think I idealistically want all of it to come flooding back in the heat of the moment. I want to remember all that I’ve learned and be able to apply it perfectly in the situation…” YES. This is so true. I am reminded THESE exact places are the ones that help me see how precious it is that I have a rescuer! He doesn’t always rescue the ways I want – the neat and tidy ways that leave nothing undone – but He has brought ultimate rescue to my soul. And man in parenting pre teens and little just how being on good terms with my God (and not always my kids) is where my hope and peace are found. I am blessed by your thoughts friend 🙂

    • Gabrielle

      Yes, the knowledge of Him being our Rescuer, but not always in the neat and tidy ways we want. He really just wants us to come straight back to Him, leaning on Him in all things, and yes and amen to the “fumbling daily” thing. Thanks for your thoughts Miranda!

    • Thanks so much for your engaging thoughts! I love seeing you here, virtually 🙂 And it’s so true that He doesn’t always rescue the ways I want him to. If only! But it’s good to walk through His ways for us, because they’re so much better.

  • Kari Pope

    Right there with you sister. I often think how fast my kids are to grow up and whelp, I’m just kind of a toddler parent. Once I get something “figured out” there is another thing to figure out or deal with. Keeps me leaning into Him…unless I forget, or don’t want to or don’t feel like it…Ok so you see what I mean about being a toddler here?!?!

    • Gabrielle

      I love that, a “toddler parent.” I feel the same way all too often! It so keeps me on my toes but there are so many days that instead of feeling on my toes I feel like I’m flat on my face.

    • Ah, I just figured out that I’ve been responding to comments on the wrong page on my blog so they never show up! i love this toddler parent thing, I’m so with you on that!