By us I mean mom’s.
I have been an M word for about 4 and something years (to include gestation). I have read books, blogs, articles, statuses and the like about this role I play. You probably have too, even if you aren’t a mom. You might even be sick of us mother’s talking, talking, talking about our job. Fair enough. However, here we go again.
Mothers write and talk and tweet and blog and instagram about this thing we do because it is so much a part of us that we don’t know how not to.
If we are complaining, I’m sorry, that’s annoying.
But let me try to explain something about us M word’s. Taking off the mommy hat is not an option. Once we see that plus sign on the pee stick, that proverbial hat is placed prominently on our head’s, even before we feel a kick or hear a heart beat. From that moment on, our hearts are being prepared for something beyond ourselves.
With motherhood comes things I never expected.
Amore. Listen, I knew the love would be strong, but not like this. Anger. I never thought of myself as someone who struggled with anger…and then I had kids. Guilt. Never adding up or fulfilling the expectations of family members and peers plagues me endlessly. New forms of it creep up out of nowhere. Gut-wrenching worry. I am haunted by the reality that I have no control over how my kids will end up. And they will surely be screwed up, because I’m such a screw up. Joy. It’s unmatched by any other adventure I’ve had.
And that is just an amuse-bouche of what we feel on a daily basis.
Ever seen a mom stare blankly into the abyss, expressionless and pale? Here’s why she does this. She doesn’t sleep well. And it might be the kids keeping her up or it’s just her worry. She feels an inner conflict of fulfillment and confusion. It is a collision that sometimes results in her inability to communicate well, think clearly and function at all.
She can probably comfort a child, stir spaghetti sauce and answer the phone at the same time, but in her own eye’s she is failing every task she starts.
She knows that human souls are at stake when she fails and that burden rests right on her chest; pressing harder and harder like a persistent heart attack. And it follow’s her everywhere she goes. A friend’s house. The market. The park. Work. Church.
In her own eyes she is failing her husband for not keeping the house clean enough and not being sexy enough. And she is failing her kid’s for not being consistent, attentive, creative, strong, patient and loving enough.
Just so we are clear this is not another mothers are saints, you should pity us kind of post that seems to circulate social media every second day. Any mom worth her salt knows how often she fails the battle against her own selfishness. We are not saints and we don’t deserve special treatment. Aside from having a uterus, I don’t know what qualified me to be a mom above some other wonderful woman in my life. Also we are not above criticism and if you are close to us and have a concern, express it with love.
What this is though, is an inside into the complicated world we face.
So please be patient with us when we don’t call you back immediately. We aren’t exempt from common courtesy, but we are very very forgetful. My brain stops functioning promptly at 7:30pm (my kids bedtime).
When our child is acting up in your presence and you think you could do a better job, your probably right. But God gave these kids to us and we are going to do what we feel is best in the moment. You think your judgements are just in your head, but they’re actually written all over your face. And what you don’t know is that we are already judging ourselves, only its probably a lot harsher then yours.
So my plea to you is that you go easy on us mom’s. And not just mom’s, but anyone struggling to do a job. Like the distracted waitress, grumpy customer service rep, flustered new driver and confused looking dad. Let your default be grace. Couldn’t we all use it? Yes, some moms are trying harder than others, but it is probably not our duty to decide who is and who isn’t unless severe neglect or abuse is in question.
So please pray for us. We could really use it. And it might not hurt to say something encouraging if you see us particularly anxious. Which is something we should probably do for the waitress and dad also.
Extend some grace. That’s all I ask.