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Finding the Joy Amongst the Chaos

Being a mom is HARD. Stay-at-home mom, working mom, single mom, work-from-home mom, any kind of is hard for ALL of us. I have always known I would want to be a SAHM (stay-at-home mom), and I am beyond grateful that my husband's job allows me to do so. But lately...I have been struggling.

I know this is not what I told you my usual content would be, (and that it has been a while since I made a blog post) but I have had this on my mind for a while now. And, in a selfish way, I feel like this is almost therapeutic for me. To put all of these thoughts and emotions into words and putting it out there, it is freeing in a way. I also hope that those of you reading this who might be going through the same thing will know that you are NOT alone.

A burnt out SAHM

A tired mom laying in bed.
This is an accurate representation of how I feel most mornings.

I look around my house and I see a mountain of tasks that need to be completed. In some ways, I mean this almost literally- there is currently a huge pile of clean laundry in my bedroom that I have yet to put away. I have just been grabbing items from the pile as needed, even throwing things into the dryer to quickly de-wrinkle them. It's just easier to do that than put all of the laundry away.

Everywhere I look, there are toys that need to be cleaned up, socks that a certain child has removed from his feet and tossed, dishes that need cleaning, counters that need wiped, floors that need cleaned, paint brushes that need washing, and a list of appointments that need to be made. It is mentally exhausting.

I love my children. I love being able to spend my days with them, watching them grow and achieve new things. They are the biggest light in my world, and I truly would not wish for anything to be different. But it can be hard to not let the daily stresses of #momlife wear you down. It is a continuous battle raging in your mind and your heart. You know that you should be enjoying these moments with your children, because time goes by so fast. also know that if you have to throw away a plate full of perfectly good food that your 4-year-old suddenly doesn't like to eat, you just might throw said plate out the window.

Through the eyes of a child

I had this epiphany the other day while I was sitting on our back deck with my 4-year-old son. It had been a VERY hard day. My 13-month-old daughter had started sleeping terribly again (thank you teething), and both of my kids decided to wake up before 7am.

I was dragging.

I had planned to make homemade buns to go with dinner, but my daughter didn't want me to do anything but hold and nurse her. As I was trying to divide and shape the dough, she was crying and trying to climb up my legs. I made my son a turkey sandwich for lunch, and while my back was turned and he was in the bathroom, one of our cats jumped onto the table and ate half of the sandwich. (This is the cat that is bigger than most small dogs, he doesn't need the extra calories!) My son came out of the bathroom and cried. Meanwhile, my daughter was banging her tray, demanding more of her lunch.

At this point, I was on the verge of tears.

Once Elizabeth went down for her nap, I felt like I could finally tackle the MESS that was the kitchen. As I headed into the blast zone, Cody asked me if we could go eat peanuts together on the back deck. My first thought was "But I have so much to do", and then I immediately felt guilty for thinking that. So, we went outside, and we got his water table out of the shed and filled it up. We watered the garden together and collected eggs from our chicken coop.

Two chickens outside.
These are two of our hens, Hennifer & Hedwig.

Then while we were cracking peanuts together, I could practically hear my house calling for me to come back inside to clean. I thought to myself "What will my husband think if I haven't gotten things cleaned up before he gets home? Why can't I ever get anything done?" Then Cody put his little hand on mine and said "I love you Mommy. Thank you for making those rolls Mommy. And thank you for getting my water table out. It is such a lovely day Mommy."

I looked into his innocent eyes, and I saw nothing but joy. To him, this had been a great day. He wasn't thinking about the meltdown Mommy had in the kitchen. Or the dishes piled in the sink. Or the crumbs on the table. Or the laundry that needed to be done. He was thinking about the beautiful sunny weather and the fun he and his Mommy were having outside. I smiled at him and told him that it sure was a lovely day and that I love him too.

The promise

In that moment, I made a promise to myself (and my kids) that I would be more present and do my best to find the joy in every moment. I want to see the world through my children's innocent eyes. As I reflected on the events of that day, I started seeing the good that I previously overlooked. In doing so, I made a few observations:

- I should be thankful and proud that I am able to make delicious, homemade bread for my family.

- While my daughter was crying at my feet, my son was being a kind big brother by trying to cheer her up by playing with her.

- We are fortunate that we can provide our children with food and that we always have extra.

- I am fortunate that I have been able to breastfeed my daughter for 13 months and can still provide her with nutrition and comfort.

- I am blessed to be able to stay home with my children, watch them grow, and make memories that we will always cherish.

Two children on a toy tractor.
I will always do my best to be the best Mama I can be for these two angels.

The laundry will get put away. So will the dishes. The kitchen will get cleaned. The floors will be vacuumed. It will all get cleaned. My husband will not hate me just because the house is not in perfect condition every day. My children will not remember the laundry that is not put away, or the basement stairs that need vacuumed. Or the bathroom sink that needs to be wiped down.

They will remember me sitting on the floor playing with them. They will remember me teaching them how to grow their own food and take care of animals. They will remember their Mommy holding them when they needed comfort, holding their hands and telling them she loves them.

Give yourself some grace

Even though these days are hard, I will cherish them. Because one day my floors will not be covered in little toy tractors or noisy toys. One day, my daughter will breastfeed for the last time. One day, she will be too big for me to carry her on my hip. One day, my son will be too big to sit on my lap. (Excuse me while I go bawl my eyes out)

I'm not saying that I will never have another meltdown, or that I will never feel stressed again. I am only human, and FAR from perfection. But I will do my best. That is all we can really do anyways. Try our best and show ourselves some grace. Because our kids sure do.


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