Life gets busy. Understatement of the year!
As moms, we’re pulled in a million different directions at once. Whether we work out of the home or in the home, we all WORK more than full-time, and the guilt is a constant weight we carry with us — the guilt of never being able to do enough for enough of the people in our lives. Ask any mother, and if she’s honest, she’ll tell you — we all feel inept most of the time.
We do our best to serve God, our families, our friends, our employers/employees/coworkers, our communities, and – always last – if there’s anything leftover to give…ourselves. We give, give, give, but we rarely take time to refuel. Eventually, because we are only human after all, we run completely out of steam. And when we do, we’re looked at with a stunned stare of disbelief. What do you mean, you are tired/don’t feel well/need a break???
That’s what happened to me this weekend, when after several weeks of nursing my entire family back to health, my body finally caved to the mystery virus/swine flu/grungy germs that were invading my entire life. YICK! (as my son used to say).
The doorbell continued to ring, the kids continued to need help/snacks/something to do, deadlines continued to pile up, and the world continued to spin too fast for me to keep up with it.
So much for the long-awaited visit from in-laws. There’d be no annual Labor Day trip to the lake. Instead, it was a box of tissues, a bottle of NyQuil, and a bunch of home movies — which, of course, made me cry — which made me need another box of tissues (sigh).
I remember years – YEARS – when I couldn’t shave both legs in a day. Some of you can relate, I have no doubt. My first child was a clinger…she had to be connected to me at all times, 24/7. My second child was what I call a “stealther.” The minute I turned my back he was GONE. Silent and sneaky, he’d be out the door before I rinsed the shampoo out of my hair. And that’s even if I waited until he was in his crib, sound asleep, before I dared to bathe.
Now, my babies are 11 and 8, and I would give anything for time to slow its steady thievery. My tween daughter is already convinced she knows WAY more than me, and we find ourselves in constant movement from opposite extremes. One minute she loves/adores/admires me. One minute she thinks I’m the biggest idiot to ever live. She doesn’t understand that I still feel like I’m growing up too! We’re both learning as we go…making mistakes along the way and trying our best to save each other along this wild and wacky adventure we call “the good life!”
Ahhh…but it really is GOOD! Every moment…even the ones when she’s rolling her eyes at me, or gritting her teeth, or trying not to yell. Even in those nerve-wrecking, mind-twisting, “Calgon Take Me Away” moments, I am silently, constantly offering a prayer of thanks.
Thanks for this life that is too full — it is, after all, much better than a life that is too empty.
So to every mother out there who sometimes wants to shout to the Calgon gods for a much-needed escape. I encourage you to count your blessings! I assure you, it really is the best way to refuel.