To The Mommas of Little Children and Long Days

I'm in what we like to call a "season" right now. A season that's long and thin, one that every evening around 6 p.m. I start to feel like someone is just ever so slightly taking a hammer and tapping it over and over again on my head. It's a panicky feeling, where the walls close in and I start to feel like time has stopped and I begin to wonder if this is all there is in this life and I must – I must – find the nearest bathroom and lock myself inside with a pair of earplugs and a bag of truffles.

I am a stay-at-home mom with a husband that works long hours. I get my kids up every day on my own, and often, I put them to bed alone as well. I know it's not how it's supposed to be, but it's the "season" and while we're working to change it, I have had to learn to adapt. I have two children (Well, I like to think four since we are in the middle of an adoption process), ages three and 22 months, but the combined decibels those two can produce could compete with the tweens at a Justin Bieber concert.

I try not to write about it a lot here, mainly because I know I have a very good life. My husband loves me more than anything and truly desires to be home more, my children are beautiful – total maniacs – but beautiful, wonderful maniacs at that. I have a safe and warm home, a car that gets me where I need to go, and food to put on the table each night. My life is filled with laughter and dance parties, somewhat dangerous wrestling matches, and so. much. joy. There are other hard things in our life of course, most I just can't write about here, but overall, it's a charmed life.

But I am tired.

And as I get older and even – hopefully – a little bit wiser, I find that everyone has their hard things. No one's life is perfect, and for all of us mothers out there, no matter what your day looks like, how many kids you have, or what your struggles are, parenthood brings out the ugly in you – most of it you didn't even realize existed until you became a mother to your perfect, wonderful, lovely, crazy terrors.

So momma, if you're somewhat horrified at your reaction to your children's antics, if you feel like a failure when your head hits the pillow, if you're struggling with wishing some of this time away, especially the hours between 4 p.m. and bedtime, let me be the one to tell you:

You are not a horrible mother if you yelled at your children today, if you can't wait for bedtime, or if you forgot their hats, mittensn – even their coats – while on a walk in 45 degree weather.

You are not a horrible mother if you can't stand to play one more game of an imaginary grizzly bear family eating honey and frolicking in the grass at the zoo, or if you day-dreamed about going back to work or just plain wished you were somewhere else.

You are not a horrible mother if you fed your kids too many sweets, or non-organic, or formula, or 10,000 mini-meals instead of three square ones. You are not a horrible mother if you didn't pull together a beautiful seasonal display on your mantle or whip out Pinterest-worthy crafts to celebrate every tiny holiday – even the stupid ones.

You are normal. You are not superhuman. You are simply, human. You are a person with limits. You are a sinner in need of a Savior.

While technically, I suppose, we're all failures at motherhood, our parenting struggles are not meant to make us wallow in despair, they are meant to point us to the cross. So maybe it's time we all learned to be mothers that apologize for our lost temper. And burn the idol of "Pinterest-worthy." And put down the flag of perfection and instead raise the flag of grace.

I don't know when this season will end for me. I don't know what the future holds. And I don't know when it will end for you either. But what I do know is that I wish so badly that I could meet with you right now. I wish I could give you a hug and have a good cry with you. That I could laugh with you about that hilarious thing your kid said. That I could tell you I'm here for you. That you are not alone. That this is a hard season, but it is a worthy season. I wish we could pray together and praise God for all his good and wonderful gifts to us, repent together of all our failures, and ask him to give us the strength to keep going as we grow in holiness.

These are the days that are refining us, each day we figure out a little more of who we are, realizing, well, that we're not quite as good at life as we thought we were. But we're also learning to trust God more, to rely on his sufficiency (because ours is definitely lacking) and to rest in his sweet, vast love and mercy.

* Photo Verdigris Photography & Design

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