Momma Get Stronger
Today I tried to do something for myself. I stood in front of the mirror and gave myself a little pep talk. Which went something like this: “Jackie. You’ve got this. They’re just kids. They aren’t going to kill you. They aren’t going to kill anyone else. Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to feed the one a snack while you nurse the other while packing the diaper bag while making sure your cell phone is charged while making sure additional snacks are in the bag. Don’t forget your wallet. You’re going to lug both of them up the stairs, change their tushies, grab a stack of additional diapers, sing Itsy Bitsy Spider to the one to distract him from the fact he has to leave his trains behind while wildly waving your hands in front of the other to make sure he doesn’t realize he is being put into the torture seat (AKA carseat). Then you’re going to make a mad dash outside, into the car, and then drive like a bat out of hell to the class. Got it?” Good.
So I proceeded to do just that. And I wasn’t late. I even called ahead to see if I would be penalized for signing up for a class only to not make it due to a melt-down of the century. Momhood is misunderstood. Mommas aren’t late or miss dates because they are eating bon bons on the couch. I was assured there was only 13 people signed up and that I could just show up. Sweet. Maybe no other kids? Maybe they’d love this. This would be the first time I ever attempted dropping my babies off at a nursery while I attended any kind of class, let alone the Barre3 class which I just joined and was super excited about. What could possibly go wrong? Well let me tell you.
Precisely 27 minutes. That how long it took for both kiddos to get so worked up that I was flagged down. The humiliating walk out of a PACKED class because MY kids were the disturbance. No kidding. I couldn’t help but notice all of the other babies playing quietly while their moms got to work out, have some “me” time and regain their sanity. Not my kids. I thought Cade would be fine. I had no such expectations for Kai. But everyone says you just need to power through. You need to keep trying. Keep trying to live. There was not just one sweet lady trying to calm / watch my babies but FOUR. And all four were just as bewildered as I on how to do that. What the heck is wrong with these kids?
I held onto Cade, Kai was a lost cause. And in between sobs he kept saying, “momma get stronger. Momma get stronger.” Just what part of me is getting stronger? It’s certainly not the flabby belly. I had talked him through the entire ride there. Momma was taking a fitness class. You’d be able to see me the whole time. You’d get to play with new toys. Momma needed to get stronger.
As I stepped outside, defeated. A bit embarrassed, the sky literally opened up and I was pelted with hail all the way back to the car. The heavens were throwing their “tomatoes” at me—at this act called motherhood.
So many people have said, “this will refine you” or “this will make you stronger” but it’s not…not yet anyways. It is literally breaking me into pieces. Hammering every hope, every sanity, every self anything out. Two kiddos, one stay at home momma. My world is getting smaller and smaller, it’s defeating at times and today is one of those times. And if I chose to sit here in my defeat I would ultimately stay broken and no good would come. And something good has got to come out of all this breaking and shedding of self.
We’ve been attending the same Bible study for 8 years. And just this week, Matt and I came to the conclusion it was finally our time to step back, take a leave and try to survive these kids. Our world just got that much smaller.
And after today, this horrible wreck of an attempt to do what normal people do every day, I realized, our world has gotten smaller so we can ultimately make it bigger. We’re adding two people to this place and we’re pretty darn determined that they turn out ok and do good in the time they have. I have been broken so I can come back stronger. It has to be that way. I’m raising littles up into the world. I’m contributing something. And they’re showing me every selfish bone in my body and the breaking hurts. If I hear one more well-meaning person tell me just how quick this season goes I’m going to spin wildly out of control like a half filled balloon, untied and allowed to loop through the sky until it falls to earth…defeated. Quick it may be but only when you look back.
Momma get stronger. I’m trying sweet Cade. I am slowly learning to embrace this season of smaller worlds and daily defeats. And I’m going to get a pedicure tonight just to spite it all. Where is your world breaking so ultimately you can change, get bigger, come back stronger?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11