I think, as a mother, it's so easy to feel guilty for not doing enough for my kids.
Don't get me wrong, I mean, there are days (like, pretty much every day, actually) that I am exhausted because I do SO MUCH for my family.
But it's in those moments where I feel guilty when my son asks me to play choo choo trains with him, and I give him the Kindle instead. Because I really just want to sit down eat my lunch.
Or how I always dreamed of painting beautiful childlike art with my kids, and playing piano with them, and dancing to worship music with them...
But my son has never been very interested in coloring or drawing or painting.
And yesterday when he found a paint brush he came running up to me saying
"Mommy! I want to paint! I want to paint!"
I was a bit surprised... and excited.
And I didn't want to deal with the mess at the moment.
So I said no. ... I said no.
And the days my son is extra fussy, I know it's because he's been cooped up in our apartment.
And a day at the park would fix all things! Oh how he loves the park!
But I'm tired.
And there are dishes to be done.
And I haven't taken a shower in - has it been three days now?
And I don't want to go out...
And another day comes and goes.
Another sun rises and sets.
And my boys get bigger right before my eyes. Do I see them?
And I get a little sadder inside with each day that I don't STOP and BE present with my kids.
"Doing" is exhausting.
But "Being" is refreshing.
But things have to be done! a part of me demands.
I remember when I couldn't go a day without playing the piano.
(This was pre-kids of course. Before I became a mother).
I would play songs to Jesus, get lost in the glory, or enter into a creative realm and write new songs.
And I was full of life, and wonder.
I had bright eyes, instead of tired eyes.
And my imagination was alive and excited for new adventures every day.
When it was beautiful outside, I couldn't wait to get out and experience nature...
But as a sleep-deprived, overweight Mommy, I'd much rather stay curled up on my couch, in an air-conditioned home on a beautiful day, with the TV or computer to "feed" my imagination...
And my piano sits a few feet away, collecting dust.
I've got a baby attached to my boob 10x a day
When I get a burst of energy, it's just enough to throw in a load of laundry, fix up a meal for my son, change a diaper... and on a really good day: go to the gym!
This may sound depressing,
and I may be laying it on thick
(not every day is like this, but it sure feels like it)
I admit that often I cannot wait for the kids to be asleep so I can have some "me time."
And I don't want any pressure to do something spiritually productive (like paint or write music again) in these rare precious "me-time" moments.
But really, I do not want to waste these precious early motherhood years away!
It's so easy to feel guilty.
We want to do things right. To be the best mother to our children.
To raise them loved.
But if we lose ourselves in the midst of the "Mom" identity, and forget how to BE who we are...
we'll waste these precious moments.
And it's hard to figure out who we are in this season.
Because I'm not who I was when I was single and playing piano every day.
Being a mom changes you - in a million different ways, from all sides, it changes you.
Because your heart changes.
Your ability to love gets bigger, or wider, or something.
And of course your daily routine changes.
But there is something in our DNA that does not change.
Passion. Purpose. Vision.
Whatever you call it.
And I don't want to wait til my kids are all grown to find it again.
Yes, I'm tired.
Yes I'm unhappy sometimes about the physical changes in my body.
(and I think, if I can just fix my body, and be happier, things will get better from there...)
But what if it was actually a beautiful beautiful thing that my body created, carried, protected, and birthed a human LIFE?!
And this first year of his life, my body is still constantly nourishing him and growing his healthy little body.
My body is serving him.
So why not be happy with my body?
Why not love it? Is it not beautiful?!
And yes I like a clean house, yes stuff needs to get done...
But what if laughing with my children was actually more important?
What if making beautiful messes, rolling trains across the floor, and getting outside was more valuable than household chores?
Our emotions, struggles, stresses, and pain, as mothers are valid and important.
But the guilt needs to stop.
The guilt needs to stop. now.
And no body can make my choices for me.
So, here's to making memories with my children,
to being present with them,
to not wasting my days.
Here's to finding my passion, dreams, and life again
but as a mother free of guilt.
Here's to a good, life-filled day with my two warrior boys.
One day at a time.