Stuck

Parenting

STUCK….

That’s how I feel most days.

Here’s why….

 

Today was a rough day.

No.

Scratch that.

This week was a rough week.

Nope, that’s not it either.

This season has been a rough season.

Three babies born in three years, which means three toddlers at the same time. (Can you hear the tiredness in my words?)

To say most days are loud is an understatement.  To say most days are busy is only the half of it. To say most days are longer than long is so far from the mark, it’s not even in the same ball park.

Most days I start the day with a plan, a “to do” list, and a good attitude.

Most days I end with a longer “to do” list, a wine glass, and a “What did I actually do today?” attitude.

And the hardest part of all of it is that I wake up the next day and have do it all over again.

My life is consistently inconsistent.

So, after years and years of having the chaos of babies and toddlers take over the house, our schedule, and my dreams/passions/plans that don’t necessarily involve or revolve around children, I can honestly say I’m done with littles.

I know, I know….

 

“You’re going to miss it someday.”

“The days go by slow but the years go by fast.”

“You’re going to want this time back.”

 

Everybody from the grocery store clerk to my great aunt have told me this.

I get it, I really do.

Here’s the thing though….

I have had toddlers in my house for twelve years straight.

 

TWELVE. YEARS. STRAIGHT.

 

That’s 626 weeks, 4380 days, 105120 hours, and 6, 311, 385 minutes.

That’s over a decade of diapers and wipes.

A decade of tears and tantrums.

A decade of spills and messes.

A decade of sleepless nights and non-stop days.

A decade of earsplitting screaming and irrational crying.

A decade of no eating, no listening, and no downtime.

stuck, diapers, raising littles, raising bigs, todders, teens, busy mom, mommyhood

And I’m exhausted. Mentally, physically, and emotionally.

 

Don’t get me wrong, there’s been a lot of good times.

Great times.  And there are some things I will miss…..

 

The cuddles and snuggles at bedtime.

The awe and wonder of seeing the world through new eyes.

The silliness and giggles during playtime and bath time.

And the way that a toddler hand fits so well in mine.

 

But I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt that I will not miss this season. I can finally see the light at the end of this never-ending toddler train and I am so ready to get off!

 

And, keeping it real, I am struggling a bit lately because I am, and my heart is, so ready for a “quieter” chaos. I’m ready for big kid conversations, big kid problems, big kid drama, and big kid messes.

 

Because I feel like two different moms right now.

 

I have three big kids with big kid wants and big kid needs. But I have three toddlers with toddler wishlists and toddler demands.

 

And no matter how hard I try to balance the two, I can’t.

Toddler chaos, toddler mayhem, and toddler attitudes won’t let me. Most days I don’t handle that too well. Most days I feel like I’m being pulled in two different directions, because, well most days I am.

 

My preteen needs me to have a heart to heart talk BUT the two years old just found a bottle of lotion *again* and has smeared it all over herself and the couch.

My ten years old wants to tell me all about his latest Lego town or building project BUT my three years old has found a permanent marker *again* and has tattooed himself and colored the washer and dryer *again*.

My seven years old wants to play a game BUT my four years old is having a mega meltdown because the two year old has taken her baby and is running around in an attempt to get chased, because that’s fun.  For her.

 

I want to give my big kids the time and energy they deserve and need, but most days I don’t have either left.

 

And that is so frustrating.

 

I’m ready to be mom to just “big” kids.  Not babies, toddlers, young children, and preteens, all at once.

My life is one big contradiction.  I can’t “rest” like my big kid mama friends but I’m not so new to the baby stage that I feel like I’m going crazy like my toddler mama friends.

I really just feel…..stuck.

 

Stuck in between being a mom of littles and being a mom of bigs.

Stuck between sippies and sleepovers.

Stuck between diapers and driving lessons.

Stuck between timeouts and tryouts.

 

 

STUCK

 

I set my alarm clock for 6:15 A.M. every morning.  On a good morning, I have had at least five hours of sleep, Baby Bee doesn’t wake up early, and I get up without hitting the snooze button four times.  On a normal morning, I have only had maybe two hours of sleep, Baby Bee decides 6 A.M. is the perfect time to greet the day, and I turn on my kid’s mode app so I can sleep for another hour while she plays games.

Every once in a while though, the stars align, prayers are answered, and miracles happen, and I get a good night’s sleep, Baby Bee stays in bed, and I have an uninterrupted hour of quiet time.

That once in a while happened this week.

Thank you, Jesus.

Because I was gifted with a little bit of honesty and perspective from God’s Word.

I have been doing a daily devotional from Paul David Tripp’s book New Morning Mercies (I highly recommend it!). The passage for the day was Psalm 86, which is a beautiful Psalm about God’s faithfulness.  But it was actually a reference to Psalm 90 that really got my attention.

Psalm 90 is a party pooper of a Psalm.  If you’re looking for a pick me up, don’t read Psalm 90. It is full of bad news, bad vibes, and bad attitudes.  Sounds like a summary of most of my days, which is probably why I was drawn to it.

It was Psalm 90:10, in particular, that spoke to me…..

 

“The days of our life are seventy years-or even, if because of strength, eighty years; yet their pride is only labor and sorrow, for it is soon gone and we fly away.”

 

My life, while seeming long, will actually be short, and will be full of trouble and pain.

There’s some encouragement!

Said no mom ever!

 

 

It may not be good news, but it is truth. And we all know the saying….the truth, while hard to hear, will set you free.

And the truth of this Psalm is simple, and two-fold.

We live in a fallen, broken world.

I am a sinner.

My kids are sinners.

And we will spend our entire lives fighting our own brokenness all while we fight the world’s brokenness.  I can wish for a new season, but the truth is every season will have its own set of problems, its own set of troubles big and small, and its own set of pain and suffering.

So my hope can’t, and will never be found, in a new season.

My hope can only be found in the truth, surprisingly, at the beginning of Psalm 90.

 

“LORD, You have been our dwelling place [our refuge, our sanctuary, our stability] in all generations.  Before the mountains were born, or before You had given birth to the Earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are the eternal God.”

 

Life is going to be hard.

Seasons are going to come and go, and will all carry their own burdens.  But I am never alone.  I am a daughter of the King.  A child of the Creator.  Adored.  Loved. And cherished. And I am never alone.

Grace walks with me.

Grace saves me.

Grace leads me.

And Grace meets me with new mercies every morning.

When I am tempted to wonder where God is, when I am tempted to cling to my future instead of my Creator, when I am tempted to feel forsaken, alone, and hopeless, I am reminded that Grace brings me into the presence of the One whose power, love, and strength don’t change {no matter my season}, doesn’t show favorites {no matter what I’ve done}, and never fails {no matter how bad I mess things up}. I am never left to my own resources.  I am never left to figure it out on my own.  My struggles, all my disappointments, all my hardships, and all my pain aren’t “seasonal”.  In Christ, no matter the season, they are conquered, they are redeemed, and they are finished.

I don’t have to live life ruled by my difficulties or by my season.

I just need to give them to the One who covers me in His Love and is the God of all seasons.

 

“It is because of the Lord’s loving kindness that we are not consumed, because His tender compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great and beyond measure is Your faithfulness!”

Lamentations 3:22-23

 

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