This school year has been a challenging one for me. I was experiencing “burn-out” before we started our first day of school. Now I feel like I am absolutely dragging myself through the days. It is discouraging. I get up each day to change dirty diapers, cook 3 meals, do a load of laundry, clean the house, wash dishes, stop sibling rivalry, teach reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, and just generally be available 24/7.
I feel like I am running out of energy and patience. I dread my long, exhausting days. And this makes me feel like a complete failure.
However, the other day I got a much-needed reminder of how my kids view me and it changed my perspective.
I was having yet another difficult day. My oldest was moody, my son was refusing to do school work, my middle child was an emotional wreck because her sister hurt her feelings, my two toddlers had pulled out every toy, and I was standing in the middle of the room trying to determine which “fire” to put out first.
I stood in my faded navy pj pants, a stained eggplant hued t-shirt, bare feet, no makeup, and hair that was clipped up on top of my head in 3 different clips with curls sticking out in every direction. To say I looked terrible would be an understatement. I had even worn the same shirt and pants the previous two days (can you believe I’m actually admitting that?).
I was tired, messy, and I felt overwhelmed. My house was a disaster, my kids were fighting, and I felt like crying.
At that moment my youngest toddler darted past me with a cracked iPhone in her hand. My older toddler was in hot pursuit. I was too dazed to chase after them. As my older toddler ran past me she stopped and turned to me, “Mommy, you’re beautiful!” she said and then she ran from the room.
I had to stop and take a deep breath as my eyes filled with tears.
No, I’m not a perfect mother. I get frustrated and angry with my kids. I hate doing dishes. I sometimes want a break (a very long, long break) from my kids. I do remember what life was like pre-children (and I wonder why I didn’t appreciate the quiet more)!
But here I am every day- down in the trenches spending time with them, tackling the house, attempting to educate them, and hoping to pass on my sense of values and my deeply held beliefs.
My kids don’t care what I look like or how messy the house might be. They don’t care if dinner isn’t something fancy. In fact, they are happy to eat the same 7 meals every single week. My kids don’t mind that our days are somewhat crazy. They don’t even care that I’m not perfectly patient, amazingly creative, or exceedingly cheerful.
Actually my kids are content because I’m there and I’m theirs.
When they wake up and when they go to bed, they know I’m right here. I’m there when they read a book by themselves for the first time or when they fall and scrape their knee. I’m there to do the laundry and make them meals. And I’m no one’s mom but theirs.
It’s a crazy thought but they are more than ok with the fact that they are stuck with me in the mother department. Even though I make mistakes and I don’t often get a shower, they still find me beautiful. I always marvel at that. I will often need that reminder.
When viewed through your children’s eyes, you are something special momma. You are the only one who can set their world right again and they somehow see past your faults and look right into your heart. And yes, it’s beautiful.