Last night, I had a moment that would have made me smile if I wasn’t literally running to get a paper towel to stop my finger from bleeding.
It wasn’t funny, but at the same time it was because it was such a maddeningly typical moment that every mother of small children can probably relate to.
After an especially busy night taking my kids on errands, making birthday treats, dashing them around to activities and enforcing a litany of homework, dinner, vitamins and pajamas, the kids were winding down, and I was exhaustedly making myself clean the kitchen, when I managed to accidentally slice my finger with a knife.
They must not have processed my comment “wow I’m really bleeding” because my youngest promptly asked, “mom, can you get me a glass of water.”
“Um, yeah except I’m dripping blood all over the kitchen floor, remember?”
Kids are kids. As much as I do my best to teach mine manners and empathy, which they do have on certain level – they’re also in their own little bubble and not fully aware of how much work we do around the house to keep things operational, so they can have the opportunities and life they do have. They need reminders to think of others, which I think is normal at their ages.
Though this was my first “no I can’t help you because I’m literally bleeding” moment, they often clamor for my time, attention and help, when I’m just plain busy-it’s hard to be patient with them, when they are making demands I can’t (and don’t even think I necessarily should) meet.
Am I writing this to complain about motherhood? No. I am writing to acknowledge that there is beauty in that tense, burned out place we as moms tend to find ourselves as moms.
As we struggle to spend time with our kids and also set healthy boundaries with them … to be there for all their activities and also impact our larger communities … to take care of everyone we love and also make sure our own needs are met, we inevitably sometimes wind up frazzled, confronted with our own limitations and if we’re lucky-realizing how very much we need God to pick up, where our humanity leaves off.
Yesterday, I had one of those days of being keenly aware of my own weaknesses, failings and flaws. Yesterday, I was pushed to my limits physically and emotionally. But thankfully, yesterday I did my best to fulfill all of my responsibilities and turn to God in prayer, asking Him for strength, guidance and blessings for others beyond what I could give them- I think there’s beauty in that.
Would I ever expect my kids to do more than their very best? Would my loving Father in Heaven ever expect more from me than I can possibly give? I think the miracle of motherhood is the opportunity to realize our own weaknesses and dependence on God’s grace! Where do you see miracles in motherhood? Besides the precious, perfectly sweet moments-that’s the easy part;)
God help us keep inner peace through the chaos of raising children. Give us patience, wisdom and discernment as we navigate these choppy waters of balancing our work and family life. Even on stressful days, help us to see your miraculous presence in the messiness of motherhood, and bless all the people we love with gifts and graces to compensate for all the areas, where we are lacking. In Jesus name, Amen.