I am officially losing my mind, and I don’t mean it in the charming “oh, this crazy pregancy brain” or “man, there is so much on my plate these days” kind of way. I am talking downright cray cray. I had no idea that DMX was forshadowing my future as a mother in his 90’s hip hop classic “Ya’ll Gonna Make Me Lose My Mind (Up in Here, Up in Here).
I “act a fool” more than I’d like to admit with my three rambunctious boys and one more on the way. I seriously almost passed out when I saw yet another little baby penis on the ultrasound screen, and yes, I used the “p” word, which is most often the word of the day in my house. Between the arguing with each other, my requests that seem to constantly fall on deaf ears, and the older boys teaching my youngest yet another funny term for his genitalia, I am done.
I am so completely frustrated at the state of my position as mother and the behavior of my children that I find myself shutting down. I can’t utter another pointless instruction or remind them for the four hundread and thirty-seventh time that we don’t say “butt” at the top of our lungs in public. Enough already!!
Please don’t misunderstand my candor. I know it is a tremedous blessing to be a mother, and I thank God everyday for my crazy kiddos. I just wish that the good, “Little House on the Prairie” moments outweighted the bad “Roseanne” ones. When I first became a mom, I envisioned my children challenging my authority on occasion, but listening and following directions with a smile most of the time. I don’t think any mom sits around daydreaming of their children running around half naked and ignoring their instructions while burping the alphabet or begging their brothers and Dad to come look at their extra long turdy in the toilet. No, that’s not what I expected. I get so angry and frustrated sometimes because my role as mother is nothing that I imagined and feels completely out of sorts. I thought becoming a mom would make me better, not bitter. I thought it would make me grow, not grumble.
One night this week, I had more than I could take and I just slipped into my bedroom and had one of those can’t breath, mascara all-over-the-face ugly cries. My husband was so sweet to sit with me and rub my back as I let it all out. My kiddos happened to walk in the room and just stared at me because they probably thought “is mommy losing her mind?”. I just feel like I am missing IT most of the time. I have prayed for these kids since before they were born, and I continue to do so every single night. I have read countless parenting books on both parenting philosophy and practical correction advice, and yet, I feel like I am not even running on fumes anymore. I feel like a car completely out of gas on the side of the road just waiting for that one car with an extra gas can to come by and help. I have so many people in my life that I can lean on including my amazing husband and mom, but I can’t seem to shake this feeling. I love God, love my husband, and love my children, so why do I find myself missing out on the joys of parenthood much of the time? I certainly don’t want my kids growing up with a frantic and frazzled mother. There is so much at stake, and I desperately want to get this right! Is it just me, or do any other mothers feel the same way?
“You’re gonna miss this, you’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times, so have a good look around
You may not know it now, but you’re gonna miss this”
I used to think this song was sweet but cheesy, but I think the message is one for all parents. We are not going to miss the arguments, messes, loud noises, backtalk, or gross discoveries. And, we probably won’t miss changing diapers and having to wait on them hand and foot. When our kiddos are all grown up, we are going to miss those little things that we forgot to really take notice of in the midst of the chaos; the spilling out of laughter than can’t be contained, seeing pure, fearless joy deep within their little eyes, big bear hugs by little arms that won’t let go, watching your kids help each other when they don’t think you are watching, the smell of the bathroom right after a big, messy bubble bath, knowing your child had the courage to do the right thing when his friends weren’t, your toddler saying “I wuve you, Mommy”, the smile on their faces when they know they have done something great, hearing their sweet voices saying something kind to a lady sitting by herself at a restaurant, and the feel of a little, sweaty head falling asleep on your chest and their soft, rhythmic breaths, to name just a few. I will miss ALL of these kind of moments, and I need to be looking for them so I can cherish them now.
As I was writing this blog, my nine year-old son, Cooper, peeked and saw the title. He laughed and said “Confessions of a Crazy Mom?”, and I said “Do you think mommy is crazy sometimes?”. He sarcastically answered “yeah….no not really” and gave me a big smile and a hug. As he walked upstairs to go to bed, I couldn’t help but think, maybe I am not losing my mind after all. Maybe I am simply losing sight of the sweet moments, however few and far between they may be during the different phases of raising our boys. We are not promised a life without frustration or hard times, but God still reminds us to find joy in all circumstances, regardless of our feelings. I pray all of us have peace and patience with both our children and ourselves. I pray we don’t just ENDURE the raising of our kids, but we truly ENJOY them. I pray we will have eyes that see and a heart that is open when the sweet moments happen. It might just help calm down this self-proclaimed “crazy mom” and help me to remember that I have been crazy blessed.