I am a mommy of 4 beautiful, wonderful children that I love with all that I am and that wear me out. Are you wore out too, Mama? Tell me I'm not alone. Because I'm here to tell you that you aren't alone.
Today I actually threw my hands into the air and yelled at 3 of my children, "JUST GO AWAY AND LEAVE ME ALONE FOR A MINUTE!!" Yes, that was not my best moment. As they walked away with sad hearts, I told them to come back so I could apologize, ask for forgiveness, answer their questions and then politely send them on their way.
This past Sunday at church 3 different people called me "Supermom." Which was so sweet of them, but I just have to shake my head at that thought. I am anything but Supermom. I'm sorry if I have done anything to fool you into thinking I am a supermom. Yes, I am a stay at home mom, a pastor's wife, I have 4 children, I homeschool and we are getting certified to be foster care parents. But that doesn't make me Supermom. It makes me a frazzled, tired, and slightly crazy mom actually. Now don't hear me wrong, I do love being a mom and I think my love of it shows in who I am. But if Supermom is the perfect mom that has it all together. Oh my. I am anything but. So many people think I have it all together. I don't. I promise I don't. I'm struggling. I lose it. I make mistakes. I cry. I want time to myself because I feel like I've lost who I am at times. And on some days I want to run away. Like hop into my big mommy car and drive and drive.
My husband works all day long and when he comes home on those days I have to fight against every urge in my body to throw the baby to him as I run out the door. Just for a minute or two or thirty.
Why do we wait until that point to ask for help (if we even ask then)? Why do we put mommy guilt on ourselves that we need a break? Being a stay at home mom is a lot of work - physically and MENTALLY. Of course we need a break. We are human. We need breaks. So today I asked for help.
I don't want mommy guilt. I want a few minutes in a day to myself to decompress, refuel, pray, sing, cry - whatever all by myself. Today I text my husband asking him when he was coming home and let him know I needed a few minutes to sneak out. He came home and I was able to hop into my car and drive around. My kids asked where I was going and we had to distract my 1 year old so he didn't cry at the door as I left. But I did it. I live in a small town, so no running to Starbucks and Target, but I ran into Wal-Mart and looked at a few aisles with no agenda and then went and got a Coke Icee.
I turned up the radio on a Christian station that I like. A song came on I hadn't heard before "Where I am Right Now" by Jared Anderson. They lyrics were so great and spoke to me. "Where I Am Right Now. God your plan is the best. But my heart is a mess. I'm wondering why you have me here... Your voice is crystal clear. I am called to be where I am right now. In the middle of a storm but I have no doubt you are here with me. I won't give it a 2nd guess. Trusting you with every step. Father you are here with me. Where I am right now."
I want to be where I am right now. He has called me to be a mom. He has called me to homeschool my kids. He has called me to foster care. And the great thing with those callings are - He is with me. He is with me every step. When I fail, when it's hard, and when I am tired. He is with me.
I don't have to have it all together. And quite frankly, I am done trying. I'm perfectly imperfect. Everyday I get to be thankful for GRACE and FORGIVENESS and forget perfection.
I came home and ate lunch with my family. Had a great conversation with my husband. Put my boys down for a nap. Turned on a movie for my girls. And enjoyed an hour of quiet. (WOOHOO! Extra awesome bonus of the day!) I text my best friend to say "Hi" and we started chatting. I got up the nerves to tell her that I was struggling and feeling overwhelmed by being needed so much as a mom and not getting any time to myself. I hated to say that to her because her husband works on the road and she has 3 young children. I knew she could relate, but I felt like I had no right to admit my struggle when I have my husband at home. She told me that she definitely understands and relates. And get this part - that it helps her to know other people struggle so she knows that she's not alone!
Well that gave me the courage I needed to tell you all too. Because maybe even just one of you can also relate and can take encouragement knowing you're not alone either. We are in this mom thing together. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Let's stick together and build one another up. Let's find ways to help each other. To lend a hand. To send some encouragement. To give each other breaks. Whatever. I know it will help me to quit looking at myself, forget my own pity party for a minute and instead focus on ways to encourage others.
As I was writing this post and cooking supper my phone began to ring. I answered it and a dear friend who I am so lucky to have in my life called to tell me that DHS had called her today to talk to her about us (she's one of our references.) She called me to let me know how she cried when they were asking her questions because she just thinks Jonathan and I are amazing parents and will be a blessing in the foster care world. She said she got all emotional telling them all kinds of stories. How our kids are some of the best she knows and how proud of us she is. Remember how I said we should encourage each other? Yes, wow. I needed that today.
I want to encourage you to reach out to somebody - anybody, someone who you look up to, a friend, a new mom, a single mom, that person you enjoy on social media or a stranger - just reach out. Let's be the ones to encourage others.