Three kids in three and a half years. That was the start of my journey into motherhood. It was also the end of my sanity.
My boys, now ages 11, 10 and almost 8, laugh hysterically at the stories I tell them from when they were little. And while the memories come with great amusement, at the time I wasn’t amused at all. I was completely overwhelmed.
And if I’m really being honest here, I’ll tell you that not only was I overwhelmed, but I was unhappy, angry and lonely. Yes, it is possible to feel alone even when you have three little ones hanging on you and have the support of a loving spouse.
All I wanted was to be left alone. Granted, all toddler moms really want is just to pee without an audience. But I fantasized about being alone. No one touching me, no one talking to me, no one expecting anything from me. Just me, enjoying air that was void of children’s voices. I just wanted to actually sit. And breathe! Breathe without feeling suffocated.
However, when reality harshly snapped me back to a stack of dirty dishes and a poopy diaper that needed to be changed, I just wanted to scream…
Get these kids away from me!
It wasn’t that I actually wanted to get away from the kids. Well, kind of.
It wasn’t because I didn’t love my children and didn’t love spending time with them.
It was because I was my to-do list was overwhelming my mind while my soul was underwhelmed.
I wasn’t getting (or taking) time to fulfill myself with rest. I wasn’t fueling myself with the soul food of scripture.
I was running on empty. I was unhappy. And even as much as I loved my children, I wanted nothing more than to be away from them.
Fast forward to today… one month into Shelter at Home quarantining.
I’m the eLearning assistant.
I’m now making 3 meals a day for 5 people who aren’t as satisfied as I am with a ½ cup cottage cheese and ¼ cup of mixed nuts that is my quick get-stuff-done lunch.
I’m trying to keep my boys quietly entertained while their dad is on conference calls.
And even though my boys are no longer toddlers, the sibling rivalry often puts them on that level. Along with the number of times they come to me for help, tattling, or hugs.
Our backyard is nothing shy of a mud pit. The playgrounds are off-limits. And the boys have rollerbladed and scootered up and down the sidewalk so many times they are already bored.
We literally haven’t been away from each other in 38 days. Or 912 hours, if you’re counting.
GET THESE KIDS AWAY FROM ME!
If you’ve thought this during the last month of Shelter at Home, you’re not alone. I won’t say the thought hasn’t crossed my mind a time or two.
But then I realize… this season of family seclusion is actually a blessing. A huge blessing.
I spent most of my time during my boys’ toddler years wishing the days away. Even despite all the elderly ladies who stopped me in the store and told me to “savor the moment because it goes so fast”, I didn’t. I just prayed that I would make it through the day with my head above water.
But today, as I sat and played board games with my boys, I looked at them with a heavy heart thinking about how much they’ve grown and how much time I’ve wasted wishing they would grow out of each challenging stage quickly.
My friend, I challenge you to weather this storm of uncertainty and of Sheltering at Home with joy.
You may be fearful, anxiety-filled, sad, stressed, financially burdened, overwhelmed with “what ifs”, angry with cooped-up kids, and feeling like a hot mess… but remember this time is a blessing.
What Satan may have meant for evil, let us use for good.
Let’s enjoy every home-cooked meal around the table with our family.
Let’s savor the snuggles during movie nights, the science experiments sprawled across the kitchen counter, and the Legos littering the floor.
Let’s embrace our extra hours of together time by doing family devotions daily and watching live-stream church in our pajamas.
Instead of feeling put out, overwhelmed and wanting to scream, “Get these kids away from me!”, let’s make our battle cry one of gratitude for this life we have been given and for the blessing of being with our families.
Praying for you, friend!
Mom, we’ve rounded up a list of 90+ Verses to encourage you when you experience different feelings and struggles in life. Click HERE to get yours!