Lately I have been so discouraged as a mom--like in "the depths of despair" to borrow the emotionally ridden sediments of Anne Shirley. And by depths of despair I mean "downright depressed" some days.
Because motherhood often seems like running on a hamster wheel--I run and run and run as fast as I can and I feel like I don't get anywhere. The boys still disobey, the laundry is still overflowing, the whining never stops, the kitchen table is still sticky, and the sink is still overflowing with dishes. There is no getting ahead, no moving forward. It seems.
Contrasted with going to work--where I get the emails answered, I see my students "getting it," I see the syllabus getting accomplished for the semester--the hamster wheel seems unbearable at times.
Just being honest.
So, there have been lots of tears, lots of questioning, lots of soul-searching, lots of praying. And do you know what? God really does give comfort when we are in "despair."
Here is some of the comfort I have received just this week about being a mom.
A great conversation with my friend Debbie who encouraged me not to "put so much pressure on myself" to be perfect.
A listening ear from my BFF Candace who, though she is single and has no children, is always a comfort to me
A wonderful FB chat with my sister Kalina who, though she is a single mom, gives me such a good perspective about being thankful for what I have
A deep conversation with my husband, Aaron, who listens to my doubts and identity-crisis-blathering and still tells me "I love you"
And a host of timely internet articles that have brought tears to my eyes with their honest, refreshing wisdom about being a mother of small children.
Here they are if you need some encouragement yourself:
Feeling Invisible? I do at times. This article gave me some beautiful perspective
I judged this article before I read it (thought it was going to be super-spiritual jargon) but I was wrong: Motherhood as a Mission Field
And finally, Will you Survive Motherhood? Sometimes I wonder. But I think the answer is yes.
But I want to do more than just survive. I want to thrive--find joy.
And God knows, his joy is my strength. And that strength, just a little bit, came in the form of playgroup conversations, Facebook chats, and online articles.
Just what I needed to peek over the top of those "depths of despair" and realize that motherhood can be, well, fun. :)
PS. Here is a small picture of the fun morning I had with my almost four year olds: We watched "The Lion and the Woodchip" (aka The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) this morning. Then we took Aaron lunch, went to the library, grocery store, made cookies and had a picnic lunch in the living room. And I kept my cool the whole morning--no crazy, screamy mommy! Plus, while the boys have been sleeping, I helped two students revise their papers (over email) and posted final grades for a class I taught earlier in the semester. Overall, it's been a great day. Thank God! :)