Monday, June 18, 2012

The Mommy Identity

"I feel like I have nothing."

With tears in my eyes, I heard myself say it to him loud and clear in the middle of a disagreement. It hurt, it was ugly, and it was the opposite of what my soul has been saying over the recent years.

But I continued.

"Sometimes I feel like my whole existence is inside these walls. I just don't know what has happened to me. Didn't I have dreams and goals at one point? I am thankful for this role, but honestly, sometimes....I just feel like I've lost myself in it.

Does anyone even see me anymore?"

Thats the age old question of the mother who's in yoga pants, with her hair tied back, breaking up a fight, and carrying a laundry basket down the stairs while a crying child hangs on her leg.

(Good news, though. Even when we feel lost in motherhood, He still sees us.)

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a mom. I've wanted to grow bundles of joy in my womb and I've wanted to have little arms to hug my neck.

I asked, and He answered, 6 times over.

I will forever feel undeserving of these amazing kiddos, and I will also forever proclaim that they are living proof of His grace in my life. Walking, talking, growing, and snugly grace.

But even though motherhood is nothing short of miraculous, it's easy to feel consumed and burnt out.

You know what God is teaching me, though? It's ok to feel burnt out.

It's ok to feel like you want something for yourself, it's ok to feel like you need a break, and its ok to feel like you might run screaming from your house.

God knew us moms would feel these things, none of those feelings surprise Him like they do us.

My people pleasing instinct is to paint this pretty picture of a life that is always filled with beautiful pictures of the kids and I sharing ice cream cones and braiding each others hair. But that is not real life. Real life is me breaking up arguments over who had the pink headband first, kids crying because we're not buying an icee, floors that need mopped, and a mother that often needs the biggest chill pill YOU'VE EVER SEEN.

Just being honest.

Sometimes I don't like to say all this out loud...cause that makes it real.

After all, what good mom gets burnt out? What good mom admits that she feels totally consumed by the day to day routines? And what good mother admits that some days she just wants to get in the car and drive away??

Hi, my name is Kate, and I'd like to admit those things - along with the fact that I sometimes feel swallowed whole by motherhood.

And while we're admitting things, I sometimes tell my kids that I have to use the restroom when I don't. And then there's those times when I walk at a glacier pace to return my shopping cart to the cart corral after I get my herd in the car. And ok, I'm not really resting my eyes, I am trying to catch a quick nap but I can't because A CHILD KEEPS POKING ME IN THE FACE.


The responsibility of motherhood is heavy - you have to reach a point where you realize it wasn't meant for you to carry alone. He wants to listen and help.

(I'm kinda talking to myself there.)

I think the magic moment is when you see and believe that every season and every journey is part of the bigger plan to make you who He wants you to be.

So ultimately it's not just about the kids, it's about God doing a work in you as well. We are a big part of the picture even though we're often covered up by sweet little loves and buried beneath embarrassing amounts of laundry.

"The days are long, but the years are short." I can't remember where I read that but I know it's true. So I'm taking every seasoned parents advice that "this time will go so fast" - even though it doesn't feel that way some days.

I don't have much "me time", but I do think I'm starting to see myself clearer. And I'm starting to see that motherhood is about me too, that my heart and my passions matter to Him just as much as the kids matter to me.

He's not just our God, but our Father, remember? And a Father cares about His child.

It's all grace. Messy, consuming, but amazing grace. I see now that He's using them to help mold me, as I try to mold them.


Jen said...

Amen! Just amen!! : ):)

Julia said...

Wow! Thanks for this post!! I'm right here right now. Thanks for being so encouraging!

Thoughts for the day said...

Ever thought of writing a book? this is awesome and real and what many young mom's need.

jenny said...

Such truth! Motherhood is such a gift but can definitely leave us feeling worn out and depleted. So glad His grace is sufficient when we are lost in the mundane. Love u and your willingness to share! said...

I know you feel like there are days that you should just give up this little space and it is posts like this one that make me beg to differ.

The words in this post were written straight for my heart today. I know they were the words of your heart but they spoke depths into mine today.

Thank you, and thank you from two little kiddos who were beginning to wonder where their real mom had gone. :)

RebaD said...

Thank you for this post. I was laughing and crying at the same time...probably because I am right there with pants and all!! And thank you for reminding me that all too soon they will be grown and gone and I will miss every chaotic moment!

Dani said...

Thank you! You are not alone and more people should admit it. I'm there too.

The Beaver Bunch said...

Well, I finally figured out how we're NOT exactly alike.

I never just "knew" I wanted to be a Mom. I mean, I knew I wanted kids, but I never, ever, ever thought more than maybe 2 and I always thought I'd be career school teacher.

Turns out, God had other plans. And what glorious plans they are.

And all that other stuff you said? Yep. We're still the same. :) Motherhood is TOUGH. So thankful He doesn't require us to walk this journey alone.

Tracy said...

I love this post. Motherhood can be draining, consuming and frustrating. I think getting away to play, work or just be still before the Lord is not just a treat, but a necessary thing for all parents (Dads, too.) It should be planned and budgeted for every week/month whatever ... I don't do it enough, nor does my husband. But I think we're all better for it when we do.

Marisa said...

It is an all consuming job He has called us to. Thanks for the encouragement to stay in the day to day moment... not wishing them away, but clinging to Him for strength and grace.

Clever Blonde -Donna G said...

The truth brings freedom. Thank you for your honesty and helping to know we're normal. 3>

They call me Mrs. Robertson said...

Were you listening to me when I was praying this morning?? I SO needed to hear this from another momma today- thank you!

Mama D’s Dozen said...

Beautifully said.

You are so not alone. I have walked this walk for 28 years, and have a few more to go until the "baby" leaves the nest. 28 years is a very long "career" to be defined by. :)

Keep doing what you're doing. God is working in you and through you.

Laurel :)

Amy@My Front Porch said...

This is pretty much exactly how I felt today, I just had my husband read this because I had a big ol' breakdown this afternoon and blubbered all those same thoughts to him (although not nearly as eloquently) during naptime today. I haven't even had a second to read anything in my Google Reader for the past few weeks but on a whim, opened it tonight and read this post -- don't think that was an accident! Thanks for keeping it real, mama! More women would feel encouraged if they'd spend less time on Pinterest and more time reading stuff like this :)

Robin @ Pink Dryer Lint said...

So, so true.