It had been a long day. A long week too. Heck, it’s been a long year for crying out loud.
Over the past almost 12 months I have found myself lamenting over all that I haven’t done and all that I am not doing. Every time I feel a spark of energy or when everything seems to quiet down just for a minute in my personal life, I think okay. Now is my time to push forward with projects, with ideas, with the plans I had for this year. Life has calmed down and everyone has what they need right now.
I reach for that gear stick to shift speeds… and I stall out. Again. It’s the kids getting sick. Or it’s a few rough nights in a row managing Blair’s numbers and the post-sleep catch-up. Or it’s a career shift for Jarett and adjusting routines at home that it requires. Or it’s medical appointments that drain me mentally and emotionally leading up to them that I find myself unable to focus and function on anything else (tell me you have anxiety without telling me you have anxiety).
It’s been a season of growth for our family, but the really hard and messy kind. The kind you shove behind the door in your Monica closet because it’s just too painful for outside eyes. The kind that comes after being in survival mode for the past two and a half years as you are shoved into, what you hope, is a season of thriving. But it’s been a while and you are white-knuckling the twists and turns. And all of this in the midst of (and opting out of) the societal and global chaos.
The truth of the matter is, I have just been trying to get through each day since May of last year.
And for someone who loves achieving and doing? It’s been a hard space to live in. You know, to actually sit still sometimes. Hey, I wouldn’t be me if I was any different.
The other night I had just sent Brooks on his way after letting him linger longer in the bath to play. I went through the motions of washing my face and getting ready for bed. Clothes hung behind me on the shower air drying. A pile of laundry on the floor behind me waiting to be washed. My mind flooded. I forgot to call and pay the car bill. And I still never texted back if I can make it to lunch. Wait – that was last week so I missed it anyway. The feeling of a crowded room is all too familiar.
I stood at my bathroom sink and sighed a heavy sigh. I glanced at myself in the mirror and stared for a moment. I sure hope there is another woman, somewhere out in the world, standing in front of her bathroom mirror feeling the exact same way I am. And just a fleeting moment of clarity, all of a sudden it was like, this is it. The trenches of motherhood. This is the visual depiction I’m looking back at.
I grabbed my phone and snapped a photo. Tangible evidence. A moment to realize the struggle and then simultaneously remember what it is all for.
And just as this quiet moment of reflection came, it left as a little one called out for help finding pajamas.
For the homemaker. For the caregiver. For the mother within the trenches of motherhood. Solidarity. I see you.
It’s OK to be tired. It’s OK to say that we are tired. And it’s OK to stop to take a breather. This work is not for the weak. It’s physical work. It’s heart and soul work. It’s mind, body, and spirit kind of work. Every minute of the day work which is why the feeling of depletion hits so hard at times. We do so much in caring for our families and our cubs. You are doing so much. And in case no one told you today, you are doing amazing.
But please don’t ever lose sight of how incredibly important the work is. I know it can feel insignificant some days. I know it can feel like thankless work at times, but those simple comforts of home? They are life giving.
The bedtime story you read to a persistent little one after a long day. The clothes you laid out for your son’s baseball practice so he wasn’t late. The dinner you had cooking before everyone got home so they could put a home-cooked meal in their bellies before running off to evening activities and practices. The simple motions of bedtime tuck-ins. It allows our family to shake off the outside world and melt into the comfort of home. A place where they can feel loved and seen. A place where they can feel peace. A priceless commodity.
And when the world seems lost and the days seem dark, there is a thirst quenched in the work of the homemaker. In the work you do.
So, chin up sister. Don’t lose sight of the importance of all that you do within the four walls of your home. Don’t lose sight of just how much miracle work you hold in your hands.
On those days that you feel you have nothing more to give, remember this: you are cultivating heaven on earth for those that love you most.
Keep going. I’m cheering us all on.