Just keep swimming… (a rant)   3 comments

So, I promised a rant…and here it is.  🙂

I shared in an earlier post about how I manage my days to give me the time I need to myself, but without forsaking my role as a mother.  Well, this week, my eyes have been truly opened–and it has made my heart so sad.  Let me go back in my story a bit before I explain.

Papa Bear and I have been married for almost 12 years.  We had our first child just 5 years ago, a son, Brother Bear.  When he was only 7 months old, we found out we were having another baby!  Surprise!  Sister Bear was born when Brother Bear was only 15 months old.  Super close together–but it was awesome having two babies!  In fact, I remember saying to my hubby one day when our oldest was only about 6 months old that it was kinda boring with just one child!  And I thought that maybe we’d have a second child sooner than we had thought (you know…the typical 2 years apart) or that I just needed to get out of the house more!  🙂

Somehow, I managed life with two kids so close together, we got out of the house (with the help of babywearing), and I was able to keep my home relatively clean and picked up (most days, anyway).  But the truth is, life at that time was HARD.  My hubby was working those TWO full-time jobs and I was home (many days and nights alone) doing all of that myself.  Oh…and I cooked all our meals too, sometimes WHILE nursing the baby.  But I knew I was doing what the Lord had created me to do!  Just as much as I knew that my husband was doing what the Lord had created HIM to do–which is to be the breadwinner and provider for our family. 

I remember reaching out during that time to friends and a mentor or two.  One mentor, let’s call her “Mrs. Cole”, encouraged me in that truth–that he was meant for work and that he could shoulder it.  I knew she was right–and that it also meant that I could shoulder my responsibilities at home.  I am SO thankful that “Mrs. Cole” spoke truth into my life at that time.  It kept me going.

Just shy of two years later, the Lord surprised us again with our sweet little Baby Bear.  (Yeah…who am I kidding?  He’s almost two years old now…but he IS sweet!)  It was unplanned and we were unprepared for another baby.  I mean, adding a baby was easy, but hubby was still working two jobs–and actually, at that time, I was also working full-time.  (I’ll save that for another blog post that I have on my heart.)

So we were basically bogged down in life–never saw each other (except one time…otherwise, how would we have had another baby?)  🙂  We never had time or money to spend as a family.  I was not doing a very good job of maintaining my home AND working AND raising our kids alone.  I was MORE than overwhelmed.  And when our Baby Bear was born, he had a lung infection which required a week’s stay in the NICU…and I had to go home without him.  Having to leave your baby behind in the NICU can send a mama over the edge by itself.  But add that to the stress I was already feeling, and it is only by the grace and protection of the Lord that I didn’t totally lose my mind at that time.

Postpartum.  Recovering from a cesarean.  Hubby working two jobs.  Three year old son.  Two year old daughter. One-week-old baby boy.  Meals to cook.  House to clean.  Toys to pick up.  Groceries to get.  No family nearby.  No sleep.  All by myself.

Add up those factors and the solution doesn’t look pretty.  At all.  BUT…what’s a mama to do?  In the words of my favorite blue fish, “just keep swimming…just keep swimming…”  (Thanks, Dory!)  I just kept on going.  I had to keep going–or I would have drowned in this thing called life.  I have said before that I was on the brink of depression–and it is true–had I stopped and looked around me at this wide empty ocean my life FELT like at the time, I might have just resolved to stop swimming.  But, again, God kept me afloat!

AnyWHO…

So you are wondering by now what my rant is all about. 

This week, I had a great opportunity to be around other Christian mommy friends while our children played together.  This was great fun for all!  The kids all played so well together and it was great to get time for adult conversation with other mommies right there “in it” with me.

Now, I am no wallflower–I can work a room in conversation with the best of them–but this time, I wanted to observe a little to get to know the group of ladies there.  I learned about several of them–you know, their “stats”–married x years, have x children, ages x, x, and x…live in x–you get it.  All the basic stuff. That part was fun!  I like getting to know new friends!  And these are some great ladies!

But there was just one thing that I heard over and over in conversation that literally makes me want to cry just thinking about it.  I heard moms say things like, “I can’t WAIT for him to start school!” and “my life is going to be so quieter/different/better in a few years when they are ALL in school!” and such as that.  It truly does break my heart to hear those things said–and to think that they were being said with little listening ears at our feet.  I know that MY 5 year old and almost 4 year old hear every word I say about them. 

But to keep from sounding like I’m judging these ladies/mommies…please know that my rant is not about their comments.  Sure, it breaks my heart to hear it!  And I don’t understand how anyone could look on with eager anticipation for the day that her blessings would no longer be in her care.  You see, our children are a gift from God!  (Psalms 127:3)  They are a blessing…an heritage!  WHY would anyone look forward to the day that they are no longer ours?  I mean, if you had a brand new car, would you daydream out your window saying to all your friends, “I am just so excited for the day that the transmission blows and I can leave it at the shop for a while!”  Or…”My life will be SO much quieter/different/better when someone steals my car; gets it off my hands for a while.” 

Or–if you aren’t a car person (I’m not…had to ask my hubby for those!)…we don’t buy our dream home and then long for the day we move out.  We don’t wish away our possessions…so why does it seem that many moms dream about the day they no longer “have to” have their children, the Lord’s greatest gifts to us here on earth, under foot?  No more changing diapers or disciplining or (fill in your least favorite mommy task here).  Quiet.  No questions that demand answers.  No messes to clean.  Or at least for a period of time–typically while the children go to school. 

Now…before you think I’m judging these ladies…please know that my heart hurts about these things because I USED TO SAY THEM.  I used to just long for the day that Brother Bear would go to preschool so I’d have “only” two kids to do for.  Then, thinking ahead a year–when Sister Bear joined him–wow!  Then I’d only have to take care of ONE kid.  Yep.  Sign me up!  I would have signed it in blood at one time.  I was in a dark place and it was the only way I could see any hope getting out. 

But, again, my rant isn’t about what these mommies were saying.  It was a realization I had after thinking (I do that a lot, in case you couldn’t tell).  I remembered “Mrs. Cole” encouraging me during my darkest time–and I realized that other than her, not one other person has ever encouraged me in the role I was created for.  At least not to me directly.  I’ve been in groups where an older woman shared–and those are great also–but not one other friend encouraged me that I was doing what I should be, that it was the Lord’s calling on my life as a mother, that my reward is eternal for wiping snotty noses, changing dirty diapers, fixing ANOTHER cup of milk…not ONE other person encouraged me by reminding me that my children are BLESSINGS, not curses.  Just like my last post, all I’ve ever heard is “you need a break” and “it’ll all be better when they go to school”.

And THAT is what has me fired up tonight.  I heard these moms sharing their hearts openly–and I don’t fault them at all for that!  But what I heard in the replies were things like, “oh you are gonna LOVE it when the house is quiet!” and “Oh wow–only 2 more years of this!”  and “Awesome–you can make it that long!”  And even “oh girl, you can come home and take a nap while they are gone!”  Again–not ONE person encouraged these mommies to “just keep swimming” because her reward is coming and it is SO GREAT!  No one is reminding us that our children are our blessings from the Lord and that we are called to do this thing called mothering if we choose to have children. 

I have thoughts still stirring for a post on the OLDER Titus 2 woman…but as a younger Titus 2 woman, I need and want encouragement!  I want someone to be honest with me, with truth from God’s Word, that raising children is HARD work–but that I was created for it!  That homemaking is hard work, but that I was made to do it!  And it sure would be nice to know that I have a mommy friend who will tell me, “Don’t say that!  Especially around your children!” 

So there.  That’s my rant.  So…do you have someone in your life who will encourage you in the truth?  I hope you all have a “Mrs. Cole” in your life…but pay attention to what your friends say…and be sure to encourage her, too.  🙂

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Posted February 2, 2012 by whohearsahorton in Uncategorized

3 responses to “Just keep swimming… (a rant)

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  1. oh melissa..my heart sank when i was reading this post:( i hear the same thing over and over and over again and i can honestly say that i have never had those thoughts….i love my children more than life itself and though im constantly exhausted and want to pull my hair out most days, i have always dreaded the thought of the day they were torn away from me for 7 or 8 hours a day to go to school…i remember after having my 5 year old and i was on maternity leave….i cried almost daily at the thought of going back to work…of leaving him with some stranger to “mother” him….that was MY job…I lost twins early on in my first pregnancy and i was devastated..i was told id probably never have children. well when i was blessed with brayden…i just knew with everything in me that i could NOT go back to work. we were in a bad place financially but i really didnt care…i WAS STAYING HOME AND RAISING MY OWN BABY!!! i remember writing my boss an email telling her i wouldnt be returning to my job…i have never second guessed my de cision. you are a wonderful wife and mother and God is going to bless u in ways u cannot even imagine because of your obedience to him. i would love to buddy up with u even though we live a couple of hours apart…i too need the encouragement, hand holding, prayers, etc. to “keep swimming”. Its just like trying to be on a diet..u cant do it alone and stay motivated without other women chearing you on and holding you accountable….thanks so much for this post..i needed to hear it this morning…hugs..oh and i also wanted to add that ive never had a moms night out in 5 years and i sooo need that…a couple of hours a month to keep me destressed,etc…i know though that id be thinking about my kids the whole time….another confession..sometimes i am envious of my friends that have nice big houses, nice cars, vacations,etc..but i know that it comes with a VERY high price of not raising their own children, missing all their firsts, etc..

  2. ugghh…it wouldnt let me finish my comment…so just to finish….then i am reminded of the rewards i am reaping by living a simple life and doing what God designed me to do. I wouldnt trade my life with anyone in this entire world!

  3. Ugggggh…..I left you a HUGE long comment on this post and it must have not gotten posted??

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