You want to know what ticks me off? What really makes me flinch and twitch, and frustrated and sad? What makes me grit my teeth and grinds my gears?
What hurts my heart and pains my soul?
This mom-culture, pity party, constant “survival mode,” whining, my kids are terrible and I need to hide from them, and I can only be happy when they aren’t near me or sleeping, helpless, miserable attitude.
As a human, a female, a wife, and a mom, I hear it and see it far too often lately. It pervades our culture and social media, our conversations, our friendships. If we’re not complaining about our kids incessantly and obnoxiously, it’s like we’re weird or something. Like we can’t be happy, we’ve lost all joy because we’re now mothers. How sad and twisted is that? That this role we’ve been abundantly blessed with, isn’t joyful in any way? Do you know what kind of people I don’t want to be around? Who I don’t want to surround myself (or my kid) with? People who cannot find joy in anything, but especially those who can’t find joy in motherhood.
I’m sure some of you are reading this going, “oh that’s cute, Kailyn, you first time mom, you.” Maybe you’re wondering if I’m one of those obnoxiously happy or positive people. Plot twist, I am definitely not. Please don’t ask my husband to confirm this. Maybe you’re thinking, “oh you’re so naive.” Or “oh, you only have a toddler, she’s not even two yet, watch what you say, sweetie.” And then my absolutely, all-time favorite phrase, “just wait.”
Just wait for what? For my kid to throw a fit? Been there. For her to embarrass me in public? Done that. For the next chapter or for her to learn more words or do something new? For me to have more kids or more years of experience under my belt being a parent? What am I waiting for?…and then?
I don’t care who you are, how old your kid is, or where you are in life; that is no way to live. And yep, I’m calling you out on it. I am not saying you cannot sometimes be in survival mode, lord knows I’ve been there. There are seasons in life where we just make it work. When we have cereal for dinner, when our husband is deployed, when we live far from family with no babysitters, when every person in your house is snotty-nosed or puking or screaming for hours on end. There are seasons. Where we need to find a trusted friend to vent and complain to, but we know that person will also be the friend to pick us up. We know that we have seasons of survival mode in life and motherhood is no exception.
May we visit, pass through them, maybe even pick up a souvenir, but good gracious may we never accept a permanent address to live there.
In this life, in this role we are blessed with, we are called to be joyful. Not all the time, not obnoxiously. Not with bragging or pride, not with condescending actions or words.
With our life. I have been reflecting a ton of this lately and I wanted to share because it has quickly become something I’m oddly passionate about. This mindset, this way of thinking, of which has steadily become a twistedly popular and trendy thing, it’s poison, friends. So today, here’s your reminder.
Motherhood is messy. Motherhood is hard as heck. It’s sad and complicated, it’s frustrating, rage-inducing, and dare I say, ugly at times. That it’s full of hard seasons and painful chapters.
But I think you know that already.
Maybe instead today, sweet friend, you need a reminder that in motherhood, in all the ugly and messy,
Because if we don’t, it will eat us alive. If we don’t, we will carry that hardship and complexity, that sadness and frustration with us. The poison and misery, the complaining and bitterness will seep into our hearts and pervade our thoughts.
And who wants to live like that?