Main Truth “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5:3
I had big mommy dreams before I had kids. I pictured myself chasing lady bugs and butterflies through open fields with my children as they giggled with curiosity and delight. I also imagined our family sitting around the dinner table extolling our hard-earned wisdom to our eager children as we ate nutritionally, balanced meals.
My husband and I were married for almost eight years before we had kids, so I had a lot of time for these fantasies to become well rooted and unchallenged.
And then we had kids...
When our first child was born I turned into a complete lunatic because of the lack of sleep. I clearly understand why sleep deprivation is used as torture tactic. Feed, burp, cajole to sleep, pray for sleep, beg for sleep, do anything for sleep, wake up after a cat-nap with spit-up all over you, and then do it all again. Every day felt like groundhog day. I was buried in monotony, and I felt guilty that I wasn’t happy about it. Of course I loved my baby, but if only his mother would show up so I could take a nap.
We did, in fact, chase ladybugs and butterflies in an open field. Once. But the kids were so busy arguing and throwing weeds at each other, I ended up growling at them while I begrudgingly gathered lady bugs in the stupid habitat container.
Dinnertime, my prized fantasy, ended up being the most awful time of day when our boys were young. Our kitchen table turned into a battleground complete with lines drawn while my energetic boys, bouncing in their chairs, often made weird sound effects - obviously not the setting for words of wisdom. Dinner was over in a flash, and I felt resentful that my two hours of cooking organic, hand-made meals were dismissed with pinched noses as if I were serving sewer contents.
Raising kids is hard, but through all this, I found there’s a special joy that comes with making peace with domestic chaos. As my boys grew older and I had years of making adjustments, I can tell you when I tuck my children into bed at night and I lay my tired mommy self next to them, my world is complete. As they open their hearts and reveal their secrets, dreams, and fears, I’m leveled by their compassion, untainted truth, and willingness to forgive.
They’re far wiser than I ever imagined.
I’m the one learning most of the lessons in this sacred relationship. Yes, no one ever told me how hard motherhood was. But they also didn’t tell me how my life would really begin the moment my children were born.
Any mom worth her weight will probably admit that she wasn’t born a good mom. She’d probably tell you she had to work at carefully unpacking her past hurts and developing past her natural abilities. She’ll also swear that every moment of frustration and fatigue pales in comparison to the holy bond she has with her children.
Long gone are the days of expecting things to be perfect. Instead of a sparkling, clean house, our visitors are promised nothing beyond flushed toilets; and I’m ok with that. Friends might not be able to eat off the floor, but they’ll be greeted with happy hearts and a genuine desire to connect.
Original Written by: Lori Lara. Post adapted with permission from "The Fantasy of Motherhood in The Multi-tasking Mom’s Survival Guide (Chicken Soup for the Soul 2014)