It’s not that I’m ungrateful. It’s not that I want anything to change. It’s just that this is a different life than I expected.
It’s noon and so far I have sorted two loads of clean laundry, tidied rooms, done dishes, changed a pee diaper, changed a poop diaper, vacuumed, made breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, put in more laundry, tended to a crying pox-covered child, disciplined the non-poxed one, hovered over the poxed one to get her to pick up her toys, processed medical paperwork, worked on our August budget, angrily picked up my husband’s socks and assorted other abandoned clothes of his, turned a blind eye to the bathrooms that have needed cleaning for far too long, worked out a meal plan for the week using only what we have on hand because this month’s budget is $500 short, researched MRSA because the doctor’s office called with positive culture results from the pox (“We are running additional tests”), and felt frustrated at every turn. Mad, even. Except I’m too tired to maintain being mad.
Today I feel like a tattered remnant of myself. This is the weirdest job I’ve ever had. And it’s not a job. It’s what I am: mother of small children.
Mothers of small children are a people group unto themselves. This season of motherhood shapes a female human in very specific ways. And regardless of occupational circumstances, whether she be full-time at-home or full-time work-and-home, mothers of small children are stretched thin.
Oh so thin.
A few years ago my friend, who at the time was pregnant with their first-born, said she was worried that she’d feel stuck at home after baby was born. My response, as a mother of one toddler, had been so confident: “The answer is easy. If you feel that way, let’s get in the car and go somewhere fun!”
Nothing wrong with positive thinking. Right? But today I’m feeling so deeply what my friend had feared. It’s as she described: stuck. Stuck at home. Stuck in my heart. Stuck in a rut. Stuck in the hamster wheel of day after day sameness. Like I’m living in my own version of the movie “Groundhog Day.” I’m desperate to find a way out of this loop. Today the thinly stretched me is asking: Am I living in the fullness of God’s creation of me?
Today I felt led to Titus 2. And by “led” I mean… it came to mind and it made me angry. And I see His familiar presence in the stirring of my heart. The Holy Spirit is taking me to a passage to mentor me. He whispered, “keeper of the home” to my heart to get my attention. And, as He knew I would, my reaction was to rise up and revolt. Those words, “keeper of the home,” feel like a cage. Like a punishment. Like I’ve been benched from real life. And put in a place of bland resignation. Yes, Holy Spirit, you have my attention. [Continue…]
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