This. That. Mom.

Some of this and some of that. Musings of an ordinary mom.


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I Had a Moment

I had a moment this morning.

It’s the morning before my favorite holiday, the sun was shining, my kids were all safe and healthy, and I had a moment.

I was tired. I hadn’t eaten breakfast.
The baby was crying.
Two sisters were bickering.
One brother was looking for a lost jersey.
One brother had to tell me a Harry Potter spell rightthatminute.
The three-year-old was yelling my name from the bathroom because he wanted to be wiped.
And then the crying baby knocked over a container of wallpaper glue, and it spilled all over the kitchen floor.

And I had the moment. The moment when I felt completely alone, and I closed my eyes and thought
Please. Let me be anywhere but here. Let me be in any moment but this one. Let me be anyone but this mom. Let me do anything except clean up this mess, put my hand in someone’s poop, settle this argument. I honestly believe that I might not survive this moment.

Thousands of years ago, there was a young man. And before He died on the cross, before He rose, before He showed us what Love was, He had a moment. In a garden, when He felt completely alone, and He closed His eyes and thought
Please. Let me be anywhere but here. Let me be in any moment but this one. Let me be anyone but this man. Let me do anything except sit here while they arrest me, torture me, put me to death in front of my mother.

In those moments, He and I have a choice: we can run and live – or we can stay and die. Die to ourselves, to selfishness, to worldliness. In those moments, you and I have a choice: to live for ourselves or to live with Him. To allow ourselves to be crucified with Him in that moment. To show the world what love is. To rise with Him.

These moments aren’t beautiful at the time. In fact, for me, they’re some of my ugliest moments as a mother. Impatient, tear-filled, close-to-temper-tantrum moments that I hope no one sees.

But these are the moments that refine us, that move us from what we were before to what we’re trying to be.
These are the moments that unite us with Christ.
These are the moments that make this a vocation, not a job.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some rear ends to wipe.

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Moms with Benefits

I think I was the last person on Earth to know about the “Mommy Wars.” I guess it’s been a thing since roughly 2005, but I seriously just heard about it last week, thanks to the whole Gwyneth Paltrow debacle. Don’t worry, I’ve made up for lost time because I have been totally bombarded this past week with articles about working moms vs. stay-at-home moms. (Note: if you’re not familiar, take a minute to Google “mommy wars” and get up to speed. We’ll wait.)

And not even about which one is better for kids – just about which one is harder.  So, I started thinking about my job. To clarify, my job is staying at home with my kids. Now, I understand from this “Mommy Wars” business (I involuntarily roll my eyes whenever I hear, see or type that) that staying home with kids might not actually be considered a “job” – but I checked out the definition on dictionary.com (Am I the only person on Earth who still uses that?), and I’m comfortable calling it that.

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I’m also comfortable saying that I’m not thinking about the kids here. I think about the kids basically all the time. At this moment, I’m thinking about me. What’s in this job for me??

My job doesn’t come with insurance, a 401k or um, pay. But it has plenty of benefits. In fact, I think we SAHMs have it pretty darn good! I’m not saying it’s easy; goodness knows there are days when I cry more than the kids (and we have a lot of kids), but this is a job with some great perks.

1. The uniform. After I workout (or roll out of bed – which is it?? You’ll never know!) in yoga pants, I shower and change into clean yoga pants. Or sweat pants. Or leggings. I know they’re not pants, but sometimes I wear them as pants.

2. The job description. Jumping on the trampoline, sledding, coloring, and well, playing are all job requirements. Not to mention that, for a decent part of the year, most of my job is sitting on the side of a swimming pool.

3. The environment. I pick the radio station, the temperature, the scent of the air freshener and the brand of toilet paper. No sleepy soft rock nor scratchy TP in this office.

4. The errands. I get my errands done during the week and don’t have to brave the insanity that is Costco on the weekends.

5. The food. I love lunch (almost as much as I love dinner). Fish, salad, sweet potato. . . you name it. Especially on a rough day, during naptime you can usually find me in the kitchen, on a romantic lunch date for one.

6. The friends. These ladies are everywhere. From playgroup and the gym to the grocery store and the library, almost everywhere I go during the day is a chance to hang out with them.

7. The naps. Enough said.

8. The “it was so nice outside” clause. You know: “Oh, I was going to do the laundry but it was so nice outside that we went to the park instead.”

9. The boss. I am she. I make the rules, and I make the schedule. Rule #1: No meetings where nothing is accomplished but scheduling another meeting.

10. The husband texting. Even if I wanted to, I’m not sure I could hold down a career-type job. My busy schedule of texting my husband about everything from groceries to home repair and random trivia probably wouldn’t allow it.

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Whether you work inside the home or out, what are your favorite job perks??

Oh, and as far as Gwyneth goes, I thank God for the millionth time that I’m not a celebrity and that precious few people have to hear the dumb things I shouldn’t have said.