I am me. The only me that I have ever been and the only me that I will ever be. Sometimes that is okay. But sometimes that pisses me off.
Sometimes I get so sick of my struggles. I understand that we all have them. I understand that I am blessed. I understand that we all have space and opportunity for improvement. But sometimes I am just so sick and tired of fighting the same battles.
It gets redundant and old and boring and incredibly frustrating.
I read an article today where a mom discussed watching an episode of Wife Swap where one mom starts grilling the other mom’s children when they say they want to be stay at home moms when they grow up. The first mom couldn’t understand this. How could anyone choose that? Surely they must be repressed.
But the kids weren’t repressed. Most of us who choose to stay at home don’t do it because we are forced to. We don’t do it because someone is making us. We do it because we want to. Because we believe the sacrifices are worth it. Because it’s what we love to do.
This article went on to explain the satisfaction that she finds in home keeping. She wrote about how she wants her home to be a sanctuary for those she loves. She wants it to be warm and welcoming and a soft place to land after a hard day.
And as I read, I heard my internal voice screaming “Yes! Yes! Yes!” That is what I want. But I looked around my home and I saw “No! No! No!” because my home doesn’t look like a sanctuary. It looks like the leftovers of a hurricane that hit a toy store while the toy store was giving away Cheerios.
Some women don’t find satisfaction staying home, and I really understand that. When I first started staying home, I struggled with my identity – trying to separate who I was from what tangible results I could produce. But now that I have six years of experience with it, I find great fulfillment in it. I love being with my girls. I love that I am always here for what they need. I’m proud to be their constant.
And I love the housework parts to. I like making things pretty. I thrive on organization. I find cooking new and healthy meals to be challenging.
But I look around most days, and I can’t help but feel that I am failing at this. I can’t clean up toys at the rate that three children can scatter them. I can’t always find the milk filled, nasty sippy cup that I know is hiding somewhere. I can’t keep up with the clothes that somehow (somehow that I clearly don’t understand) get thrown and stuffed in every single nook and cranny of our home.
And I wonder if it matters.
It matters to me. Mess gives me nightmares. Clutter makes me shake. Dust (quite literally) makes me sneeze. I’m not able to relax in the midst of a messy floor. It isn’t a sanctuary to me.
But this too I know shall pass.
What I worry more about is them. Do they care that the floor is cluttered with toys? Will they be scarred for life because sometimes we have to do bath time in the mornings because I still cannot figure out a way to get homework done, get dinner made, read, AND do baths all before a reasonable bedtime? Will they look back on their childhood and think, “if only things were cleaner?”
My head tells me no – this is not what they will remember. My heart is beating in fear, however.
And so I sit here, in the middle of it all, and I get so sick of the struggle. I wish I could be somebody else. Someone inherently more organized. Someone more capable. Someone more productive. Someone… better.
I believe raising a family is a holy endeavor. Those of us called to it are called to a life of little sacrifices made in great love. It’s a servant’s life. A life given up for the wellbeing of another. It is my greatest love and my greatest joy.
I just hope I’m not messing it all up.