"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.