When You Deserve Flowers, But You Get Sarcastic Air-Quotes Instead
Hey Mom. You work hard. And you're pretty. Here's some flowers.
There now. Was that so hard?
But guess what I got? Air quotes.
My son was frustrated that I had the audacity to enforce a reasonable bedtime on a school night. He's seven, after all. Bedtimes are for babies, I guess. Also, he informed me in the school line at drop off the next morning that perhaps school is "not for him." Maybe he would try something else with his life….
"Gabe, get out of the car," My sharp response put an abrupt stop to his early morning mussings.
Mornings are hard, man. Now that I think about it, so are afternoons. And bedtimes. It's all hard. I didn't say not delightful or rewarding. So mom-shamers, settle down. Sheesh.
I'm a "stay at home mom" and a "work from home" mom, so I feel that I can speak for all the moms today.
My job description for my unpaid position includes but by no means is limited to, Dinner-prep, short order cook, fridge stocker, chief launder-er, carpet cleaner, candy-land player, drive-r-around-er, etc.
I hate that I had to add the quotes to the "working mom". Just seems redundant. I mean, every mom is working. I work from home because there aren't many corporate jobs I could land and be flexible enough to accommodate my children's fancy lifestyle (i.e. see list in bold a few paragraph's above). I'm not against working a corporate job. We just couldn't afford the childcare for three kids. We tried. It made more financial sense for us for me to stay home. But with three kids, we couldn't afford me not to work either. So I did what most moms do. I figured it out. I bake for my company Smallfolk, and I'm also a writer. Both of those jobs generate some semblance of income. I call it, piecing together an income. Women are nothing if not problem solvers/solution-finders.
My friend Kim cleans condos some weeknights and weekends when her husband is home with the kids so she can earn an extra income for her family. Her conviction is to homeschool her three girls, so she does whatever she has to do after hours to fulfill that conviction and do the best thing for her kids, and her family. She is the epidemy of putting her family first.
My friend Lyndsie is entering a summer program for Med School. Her conviction is to pursue higher education of learning. She does this for herself and for her family. Her example to her kids is exemplary. "Hey kids. Follow your dreams, educate yourselves. Be your best self. Help others."
I'm beyond inspired by my women friends. We're all taking so many different paths. Some at home in the trenches wth littles just longing for a shower. Or those pumping themselves with coffee every morning to clock into an office every day, putting a smile on their face to serve others outside of their own tribe.
At my own home, I am meeting myself coming and going right now. Our busy is in full swing. Two of my boys are in soccer, one is in t-ball. One is taking drum lessons, one is taking piano, I have two in Boy Scouts. Can anyone relate?
Oh! We are also finishing up building our new home.
So I wasn't in the mood for Gabe's 'tude when he, in his speech impediment Gabe-voice said,
"All you do is wook on your compoota. You don't even have a "weal job" like other moms. You pwobabwy just pway games all day."
He made air quotes with his hands when he said that last part.
Yes. the child is still alive, thanks for your concern.
But dear one, you have inspired me to encourage over-worked and under-appreciated moms everywhere, who deserve flowers but get air-quotes instead. I have no words for your sarcasm, my sweet spawn. Yet I have so many.
The truth is, we like down time, right moms? We're not robots! I like loafing. Gasp! I know. Imagine, a MOM having the audacity to also want to have fun. In my dream world I would only ever wear flannel pajamas, have a book in one hand and a warm latte in the other. It just doesn't happen very often in my current reality. All the seasons aren't this buys, don't worry. But this one, is.
The busy is not all bad. The sounds of the children playing at the park during soccer practice, smells of freshly cut grass on the field, sticky popsicle hands reaching for the bottled water I packed them, chatting with other moms you'd otherwise never know if it weren't for the sidelines of soccer practice.
But part of me misses the quieter winter already, when t-ball sign ups were still just a bean in their mother's womb. Motherhood is literally creating quiet moments in chaos.
I ran across this quote from Corrie Ten Boom: "Don't pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it."
I feel like this simple quote might save me in this season.
Things got so crazy so quickly that I spiraled into a chasm of chaos before I had a chance to create a sacred space. A space of quiet, intentional listening, of reflection, and devotion unto God. This part is not optional for me. No matter how much I love my kids, without this appointment, the crazy will take over.
Usually once a week, I will set my work aside, and meet with a friend at a cozy coffee shop. I need to connect with other women. To share my heart with a trusted friend, and listen to the goings on in someone else's life. Without this I start to feel lost, alone and overwhelmed.
For some reason, the idea to make an appointment with Jesus has never occurred to me. Meetings with him have always seemed to come organically. Moments of clarity, an open Bible at the end of a long day feel like salve to a wound. But these meetings get neglected in the fullness of spring schedules.
I love Miss Ten Boom. And I love her advice. "Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it."
Sometimes, being a mom feels like being held hostage. Not to be dramatic. But I've been held against my will in many a home-work session. Or in a pile of bedtime stories. Or a recipe gone wrong in the kitchen. Or settling an argument I want no part of.
But we're moms. We do what we don't want to do. We are motivated by love more than most.
Mom, you are validated. We are all doing our best here and only an angry seven-year-old up past bedtime would have the audacity to give you air quotes. We become experts along the way in piecing together what we have to do to make it work for our tribe.
NEXT WEEK on the blog I'm GIVING AWAY what I secretly want for Mother's Day. (*cough* Got that kids, I want this for Mother's Day.)
Isn't this Tribe Necklace adorable?
& right in time for Mother's Day! So if you haven't subscribed to the blog, do that now so you don't miss out!
Here's to you,