I’ve been quite tired lately. Tired, cranky, incessantly hungry, so much so that for a few terrifying days I thought I might be pregnant again. Don’t get me wrong, we want more kids. Just not yet. Dear sweet Jesus, not yet.
I love being a mom. It is far and above the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m no super mom. But I love my babies and they bring me more joy than I ever could have imagined. But they wear me out. I’m beginning to come to grips with this as my daughter turns three months old.
We’re through that up all night, cry when you don’t know why, needy all the time phase of newborn-dom. We’ve moved graciously into the giggles, squeals and squeaks phase. I love this phase. But it’s still exhausting for sure. Especially this time around, with a two-year-old in tow. I was just reading back on my post about quesadillas and the terrible twos and realized – it’s been 5 months since that post and my son is no nearer to leaving the terrible twos. In fact, he may be farther into them. Everything is no. Baths, brushing teeth, pooping on the potty, dinner. But even fun things – ice cream, dessert, cookies, cakes, candies. No, no, no. It’s baffling. But, thankfully I have learned to ignore the nos and proceed as planned. And for most accounts, this method has served me well. But he’s still two. And it’s still exhausting.
So when my husband got home from work the other day to find his wife weepy, tired, and a little on edge, I felt guilty. Which, of course, made me more weepy, tired and on edge. Which in turn made me feel more guilty. I realized I’ve been expecting myself to do it all, perfectly, without complaint. I realized I’ve fallen victim to that quiet little beast called “comparison” that sneaks around homes, terrorizing housewives everywhere. I see other moms (especially the super moms in my life group at church) and think they have no problems. They’re all working out, rearing perfect children, cooking, cleaning, probably offering their husbands sex at least twice a week. Right? Then there’s me. Fat, tired, my kids are needy, I never clean anymore, the nights I do get to cook I find myself looking for the laziest thing I can make, and all this on top of trying to maintain a successful business, raise children that don’t throw themselves down on the floor at Target over Hot Wheels, and oh yeah, there’s my spiritual life too. Sufficient to say, I’m worn out.
But I realized something today – that’s normal. In fact, (no offense, girls) none of my friends have it “all together.” I bet if I sat down with them right now they would tell me that they don’t like their weight, or they haven’t cooked in three weeks, or their kids ate gummy bears for breakfast, or their toilets look like a rest stop. And that’s ok. We can’t have it all perfect all the time. It’s unnatural. And frankly, the chaos is what keeps us on our toes.
The moral of the story is – don’t let Satan lure you into the trap of comparison. He loves making us think we’re the only ones who fail. He loves making us feel like everyone else can handle it, just not us. But he’s wrong. So wrong. And the sooner we moms can get that in our heads, the sooner we can face the day with confidence knowing we are who Christ says we are. We are wives, moms, tutors, housemaids, chefs, EMTs, professional organizers, accountants, counselors, friends, neighbors, daughters, sisters, friends. And most of all, we are HIS. Can I get an amen?
*By the way, the above image is of my children and awesome husband at Easter. We made a solid attempt at taking a picture of everyone smiling at the same time. When it was apparent that it wasn’t going to happen, my husband decided to cry with them instead. If you cant beat ’em, join ’em.