This last week has been rough. Not only was I taken out of the running for “Mother of the Year” I made a huge jump toward claiming the “Crankiest/Most Frazzled/Most Out of Patience Mother of the Year” award. I can’t say there was one specific reason for my mood. Maybe it was the fact that BQ had started having full body screaming tantrums again, or that Molé a month after potty training came down with diarrhea causing her to completely lose the ability to control any bodily fluids wishing to escape her body. Whatever the reason, the meltdowns or the poop, those were some tough days.
I know from talking with my friends that are moms that I am not alone in these low times. As moms, we get to experience (as my mom would say) the “highest of highs and the lowest of lows,” as we parent. Many times the lows catch us off guard and throw us for a major loop. With each step forward, there are two or three back. I keep hoping that with the next stage things will finally be “easy.” After almost four years of being a mom I have come to the conclusion that “easy” does not exist. Honestly, saying those words out loud is quite liberating. Not only is it freeing, but I find that it actually helps me to be a better mom. Rather than wishing away the various developmental stages of my girls or fixating upon what I think will be, I am able to live in the now. I can embrace a child with a stiff back who fights me to get into the carseat, or one who spends 30 minutes in her room screaming for me to fix her pants because they are not all facing the same way! (oh the irony that this insanely disorganized and cluttered momma has a type A, all things in order child). And, I can take these valleys as they come without spending the entire time trying to climb up, out and away as fast as humanly possible. The valleys aren’t all bad after all. They teach me, they stretch me, they strip me down and ultimately make me a better mom. God is all about making what’s stinky, broken, and run down into something shiny, fragrant, and energized. When I am willing to look with fresh eyes and a humble heart, I can see what’s emerged from the rubble. I can see that even while I was feeling stuck in a valley, God himself was moving.
We have had two days without a screaming fit and only one rouge poop has escaped the unsuspecting bunsies of a naked toddler. I’ve felt ready to engage with my girls again- what a relief! I don’t ever want these low times to mark who I am as a mom or how I engage with other moms. What a waste if all we ever took away from the valleys was resentment, bitterness, and a whole bunch of reasons to complain. I hope you aren’t reading this from a place of screaming or sick kids, but if you are, hang in there. May you see in the midst of the cleaning and seemingly endless timeouts the beauty in your children and the gift that it is to be a mom.