The kids and mommies in our playgroup have been such a blessing to me this year! My kids (especially Lilly) LOVE playgroup time.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE playgroup time too. As a mom, the number one piece of advice I have to other new moms is to have new mom friends. You need somebody else that is in the same phase of life as you are at that moment. I can't explain it, but you just do!
Being a mom, either stay at home or working, has challenges. Don't get me wrong, my children are wonderful blessings from the Lord and I thank him for them daily. There are many moments when I will be watching them play that my heart is literally so full that I tear up and am overwhelmed by how much the Lord has blessed me! But any parent will tell you that it is tough and there are rough days.
(Side note: Isn't Jillian just precious?????) Anyway, lately, as I have mentioned--I have been overwhelmed. So. Overwhelmed. I have been bogged down by this feeling of having so much to do that I don't know where to start and a to-do list so long that it almost feels impossible. Feelings of inadequacy and insecurity in my ability as a mom really started to just hinder me and my attitude. Thoughts of, "Am I cut out to do this?? Are my kids getting jipped because I am their mom?" ran across my head. Don't worry--I quickly replaced those thoughts with truths from God. He handpicked me for a purpose. He gave me MY children for a reason and gave my children ME as a mother for reason. I only tell you these things because it wasn't until today at lunch when talking with a couple of other moms that I realized they are struggling with the exact same things that I am. I am not alone. And--the moms I was talking to are wonderful moms! So, with that said, I thought I would share a few things that I have been struggling with lately...just in case anyone else is in the same boat.
1. Despite the fact that I feel like all I do in my spare time is clean, my house is never clean. My children drop food on the floor and pick it up and eat it (before I can get to them) and all I can think is, "I don't know when I last had time to mop."
2. I may never be caught up on laundry. In fact, I am beginning to think that "being caught up on laundry" is an urban myth. Also, I loathe doing laundry. I try to look at it as a symbol that the Lord (and my hard-working hubby) have provided plenty of clothing for us to wear and keep us warm and covered....I even try to use that time to pray over my children and family and friends so that it isn't just "laundry time"....nevertheless--if there was a "dislike" button for laundry, I would be pressing it with both hands!
3. I have really had to work on not getting frustrated with the kids for just being kids. You know...getting into everything even though I have told them umpteen million times to "not do that". I catch myself saying "no" more than I do praising them for things they do right. My goal is to try and praise what they do right MORE than I redirect them, tell them no, and put them in time-out or spank. I think it more effective. Judging from the fact that both of my children's favorite word is "NO!", I am not succeeding.
4. I am sick of having sick kids. Again, to clarify, if I had to choose between having sick kids and not having my children at all. There is no contest--I always want my children. Sick. Fussy. Tantrum-throwing, mess-making, pantry-emptying...I will take them any day of the week. The Lord has really had to remind me this week that even though my children have caught a few "bugs" lately, they are healthy children. He may or may not have revealed this to me after I cried out to him, "Lord, why is Reid sick again??? I pray that you keep them healthy every day. I have fasted over it. Begged, pleaded, and most certainly whiiiiiined over it." Yes, some days, I have ugly moments.
(Side note--please notice the book that Trenton laid on Trevor's head. He is also giving him a kiss in this picture. Sweet boys.)
5. I also feel like the Lord has changed me so much this year, but I still feel like I am so far from the person he wants me to be. It almost seems unattainable. Just like the clean house, being organized, never getting frustrated with my husband or children, and reflecting Jesus even during the most challenging of situations does. But the truth is God doesn't expect us to be perfect, he is happy with progress and I should be too!
6. There are days that I have no energy. My kids do not have those days. Enough said.
I know this post is a little personal but I just want to encourage any mom that is having a rough day or is struggling and thinks that she is the only one that doesn't have it all together--You are not alone! You don't have to be perfect!! And here is a little secret is...none of your other mom friends are either and that is A-OKAY.