This season of life? It's hard.
Actually, it feels more than hard. What is it? Difficult? Trying? Strenuous? Exhausting? No, it's all of that compiled in to one giant helluva pile.
You've probably read my most recent post, "The Seven Layers of Hell, aka Life Lately," and if you haven't, you may want to start there. There's been sickness after sickness, one doctor visit after another, and loneliness. Lots and lots of loneliness.
If you're a mom, you've been there. Your kid throws up and you strip him butt naked, strip the bedding, rinse out the bedding, wash the bedding, and you just keep going. The afternoon and evenings continue and you think, "I'm kind of hungry. Food kind of sounds good right now," but there's more to get done.
A walk would be nice. Some fresh air, Vitamin D, breathing in something other than a gigantic bubble of sickness. But life just keeps going. Friends go out to dinner, to the mall, to movies, to workout together. Summer parties happen, food, drinks, being surrounded by the people they love. And yet, here I am, Mom, stuck in the middle, wiping one more surface, picking up one more toy to disinfect, internally wishing someone would text me and say:
Hey, I'm coming over. We're going out so that you can have a break.
It sounds so selfish, doesn't it? If you don't have kids, maybe you're thinking, "You signed up for this. You wanted to be a Mom. You wanted kids. You should be thankful." Trust me, I'm thankful for my title. I'm grateful that God chose me to raise the two little souls that I am. Their laughter is contagious, their hugs are indescribable, their kisses magical. But before this, I didn't know what it looked like. No one does. We don't plan for these things, we can't be prepared for these seasons, they just happen. Crap hits the fan and no one warns you and when it does, you just feel alone.
My husband hasn't been absent or missing and really, he's been anything but. He's completely a hands-on Dad, he has been here with me in the trenches, cleaning up vomit, being quick with the puke pans and making sure that we're all cared for. But as I've gotten older, I've come to really long for womanhood--for a Tribe perhaps, that feels like my own, as we support and rely on each other. High school was so so. I played sports and was involved in after school programs. Honestly I had the same best friends from the time I was 4-years old until we left for college. No, we aren't all still these BFF's who call each other weekly or send goofy text messages, but I'll always tell you that they were my very best friends. I'm grateful for social media and for it allowing so many of us to stay in touch. From Boston to Denver to Utah to Michigan, it's so fun catching up on photos and watching everyone live their lives.
But what about here and now. When my church community is shifting and changing and all of us are going through so many different seasons. And when my parents live six hours away and getting there with sick children is just impossible. What about the present, when I am reminded that God called me to be a mother x 2, but I am tired of being asked why, I'm tired of looking forward to bedtime, and I'm tired of praying, "Lord, please just help us to be over sickness." Life is busy, but not in the fun ways. We've attempted dinner parties that have had to be postponed due to illness, and each time we've canceled plans, my heart sinks and fights hard to see the light.
This season of life? It's lonely. But I refuse to allow it to win. Loneliness breeds so much negativity-- darkness, and so much pain. So when I scrub the dog pee out of the carpet (yes, that happened) and when my daughter dunks her head in to the toilet (yes, that happened too), I will remind myself, This too shall pass. These are the days, the years, that they will need me the most. (Maybe not the pets, but definitely the ever-growing toddlers.) They cling to my legs and demand a hug and a kiss even if I'm leaving for a five minute breath of fresh air. They fight still over Mommy putting them down, and this season of puke, fevers, sore throats and boo boo's, well, it's only just that--a season.
I've felt sorry for myself lately, but I won't anymore. I'll listen to their deep belly laughs and snap pictures of their kitten cuddling naps. I'll pray for a community, hold tightly to my girls who have loved me well, and believe that this temporary loneliness will NOT steal part of my life. And I'll also continue to be honest. When you ask me, "How are you?" I have told you, "I've been better but I'll be okay," and I mean that.
It hasn't been all sunshine and roses, but I do know and believe that life will just get better from here.