God: How do you think you’re doing as a mom?
Mom: Well I don’t play with my kids as much as I should. I get grumpy. Yesterday they ate pizza for the second time this week. I don’t really like cooking together or crafts, but I wish I did. Sometimes I do it anyway, but mostly I’m just trying not to get annoyed. My house is like one giant clothes and crumb explosion. I really should have them keep their rooms cleaner, but sometimes I just don’t want to pick another battle. I’m not really sure when the last time my second son bathed was. That’s probably not good. Yesterday I snapped over a cliff bar wrapper that no one was cleaning up. Sometimes I worry because they bicker a lot, like is that my fault? Did I do something wrong? At night I’m so tired I fall into the couch and watch shows and eat snacks until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. When I lay in bed I find myself wondering if they all are brushing their teeth well enough. I’m too hard on the oldest and too lenient with the youngest. I love our dinnertime discussions and I just can’t get enough of their laughs and the way they tell stories. Sometimes when they’re talking though I’m not really listening I’m worrying about something completely different, I think they can tell. I wonder all the time if I’m doing a good job and if they know how much I love them.
From the first time your eyes opened and I smelled your newborn skin, I didn’t want you to grow up.
I wanted to sleep; I wanted my nipples to stop cracking and bleeding; I wanted to come out of the identity crisis I was having; but son, I didn’t want you to grow up.
I wanted you to stay right there in the crook of my arm, nestled into my chest, sleeping skin to skin, with all the peace in the world covering us up in a blanket.
When you were a toddler throwing tantrums in your time out chair, playing in the toilet, and screaming in your carseat, I didn’t want you to grow up.
I wake them up in the morning and they stumble out of bed with puffy eyes and groans. We argue about where the shoes are and who had the brush last. They grumble about breakfast and how they don’t feel like school today. I pour coffee in to my cup before I say another word. I pull the little one out of bed as she cries and grabs at the sheets as I haul her into the living room. She makes little fists and let’s out a long howl while I pull her shirt over her head and try and distract her with questions about her day.
The oldest one gives me a minute by minute account letting me know he’s going to be late. He yells to his siblings to hurry up. I grit my teeth and tell him enough as I try and put socks on a chimpanzee who is hollering nooooooooooo.
Friendship that is like family doesn’t happen overnight. Jennifer Garner posted a quote the other day that said, “The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.” Friendship is just like that. It happens over days and weeks and years of constantly investing in someone and making time for them. It’s a thousand little decisions to show up and be an extraordinary friend.
My friend, if you are lonely, my best advice is to love yourself enough to be the kind of friend you’ve always wanted.
I spent some of my elementary years in a tiny mountain town. Everything was off the grid and our public school, homes, and grocery store ran on generators. We called our teachers by there first names and they weren’t just teachers, they were our mentors and friends. There were only 21 of us the first year I was there for grades K-8th.
We went kayaking sometimes for P.E. at the river that ran through our town. I’ll never forget the day we came walking back barefoot and soaking wet from the swimming hole to find men in suits waiting for us. My teacher came in after us dripping wet and hiding his surprise about having a meeting with insurance adjusters.
We weren’t meant to live life isolated, alone, and without community. I don’t care who you are, what you do, or what your personality is; you were made for connection and belonging.
“We are hardwired to connect with others; it’s what gives meaning and purpose to our lives, and without it there is suffering.”
– Brene Brown
I love a simple summer.
Don’t get me wrong, I also LOVE trips. I love adventure and the excitement of planning something epic makes me giddy. (I also admit that sometimes the planning is more fun than the actual doing #momlife), but still. This year we are getting to visit family for the first time in a couple years, but other than that we are going to spend our days within a mile or two of our house and I’m pretty excited. Sometimes, I think *simple* is actually my favorite.
In order to make friends:
You don’t need to have clean closets.
You don’t need to eat all organic.
You don’t need to lose 10 pounds or any amount of weight at all.
You don’t need to be an expert at parenting.
You don’t need to have life figured out.
Friendship is the most important form of self care you can invest in.
More than a shopping trip.
More than having someone come clean your house once a week.
More than a massage.
Tonight, I cried. I cried because you’re getting so old so quickly. I cried because I’m not always good at being present and I’m afraid these magical moments are passing me by without me noticing. I hate that I miss it sometimes. I hate that I spend so many hours a day worrying and stressing and rushing. I hate that there are real (and imagined) things on my plate that demand so much of me. I hate that sometimes all I have are leftovers for you.