“Read it again?”
Did you spill your cereal again?!
“Let’s sing it again!”
Did they dump out the toy basket again?!
“Can we play it again?”
Ugh, sandbox, he needs a bath again…
Motherhood is such a gift, such a true blessing. I don’t ever want to disparage that truth. But, I have to be intellectually honest, and admit that another very real truth about motherhood is that it is often filled with what seems like the drudgery that is the again and again, and again and again…
I just picked that up…
I, for one, sure hope the old “practice makes perfect” adage is true. Okay, I’m pretty sure it isn’t, and I often tell my children that “practice doesn’t make perfect, but it should make it better”, and I hope each day that it does, because I’m getting a lot of practice in every. single. day.
Didn’t I just wash that?
often sometimes have those days when I feel like that poor hamster on the wheel, running and running all day and never getting anywhere. I have days where the only thing I seem to accomplish is the bare-minimum-necessary-for-the-survival-of-my-family, and sometimes those days come back to back (to back to back) and it can be discouraging to feel like I’m drowning in the drudgery of what is the again and again of motherhood.
It’s all a matter of perspective.
When we let ourselves fall into the bad habit (because yes, it IS a bad habit) of thinking of it all as drudgery, then it really becomes drudgery, doesn’t it? It’s hard to look at cooking another meal as a blessed opportunity to serve, or changing another diaper as a precious moment to nurture and care, when we let the “woe-is-me, all I ever do is cook and clean, pick up Cheerios and change dirty diapers, day in, day out…” message play in our heads and hearts.
When we look at our children as the gifts that they are, knowing that we are not guaranteed a tomorrow with them, when we are purposefully aware of how blessed we are to even get to be their mothers…? Our perspective changes. A different message plays. A better message. The true message.
All of it is a gift- from the beautiful smiles to the broken glass, from the hugs and kisses to the huge pile of dirty laundry, from the precious and playful to the puke and the poop.
It’s all a gift, and some days we need to decide to see it for what it is…
When we focus on the blah, the blessings get blurred.
I need to remind myself of this often. It just doesn’t come naturally for me. I wish it did. I wish I was a glass-is-half-full kind of girl by nature, but honestly, the first thing I notice most days is that it’s half empty. They still fight. She still struggles to read. He still doesn’t do his chores without several reminders. The three-year-old still loses his cool way too often, and seems to think that whining will actually get him somewhere. I hear myself grumble, and I cringe, because it’s not what I want to hear, not what I want to feel, not what I want to model, not what I want my children to think…
Sometimes we need to refocus.
Tying that shoe for the fourth time today? Four chances to model a helpful heart, four chances to teach & train a young child to gain a new skill, four chances to get down on her level and look her in the eyes and smile, letting her know that she is not a burden.
Reminding sisters to share, or play nicely, or use kind words, three times? Before breakfast?! Three chances to extend grace, three chances to encourage compassion, three chances be the example that I want to set. Or maybe three chances to apologize for not extending grace…
Reading that book, again, for the seventeenth time today? (Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but it has sure felt like that the past several days. Little Faith’s current favorite is Have You Seen My Cat? by Eric Carle. She brings is to me again and again each day. And so again and again we sit and we read and we make kitty noises.
Seventeen chances to pause and just love on her.
I don’t know what it is about that book, but she just loves it. Or maybe, maybe it’s not the book, maybe it’s the time, the moments taken rather than missed, maybe it’s relationship, the mothering, the blessing?
How could I ever think of that as a drudgery?
Dear Lord, help me to see the blessings where I’m tempted to see burdens! Help me to see the eternity in the hearts that I’m influencing today! Help me to face all of the agains tomorrow, and the next day and the next, and help me to savor the sweetness in the service. Help me to love them like You love them!