There’s a scene in Sex and the City 2 (which I’ve never watched, but have watched this particular scene on Youtube) where a character (Charlotte) is attempting to decorate cupcakes with her two young daughters, while on the phone with her friend. She’s cradling the younger, fussy child on her hip as she tries having a conversation…and squeezing pink frosting on a cupcake. Her older daughter is making a huge mess with red frosting, yelling over the baby cries, “Look, mama!”
I’m sure any mama can understand the challenging moment this mother is living in – wanting to make a good memory with the kids, trying to hold onto the rare phone call with a friend, and feeling the frustration building. To make matters worse, as Charlotte sets down the crying baby, her frosting-covered child walks up behind her and puts her red-dyed hands on the back of Charlotte’s vintage white skirt. She hangs up the phone, yells at her daughter, and runs into the pantry to cry.
I’ve yet to experience a moment exactly like that, but I can certainly understand how all of these little things add up day by day. Is the mess of cupcake decorating with toddlers worth it if they won’t even remember? How many diaper changes, potty breaks, and nose wiping can a person deal?
One of my favorite Christian authors, Sally Clarkson, came out with a few books that I read back when my toddler was an infant. In these books, she wanted her readers to know how important and life-giving the art of motherhood is. I loved (and still do) what she said, but there are days where I still question whether these mundane, repetitive moments in motherhood are worth it. Every day is the same as the day before. I wake up before the sun rises, only because my toddler is an early riser.
Mornings start off with breakfast, diaper change, lunch making, boiling water for tea, school drop-off, toddler potty break, bible time, toddler potty break, give into a cup of coffee, wash morning dishes, workout, toddler potty break, read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom four times, sing the ABC song two times, scream John Jacob Jinglehymerschmidt ten times at the top of your lungs, listen to the Peppa Pig music CD for the 100th day in a row, start lunch, try to convince toddler to eat lunch, clean up, try to convince toddler he wants to take a nap, give in after seven times of going in to try to get toddler to fall asleep, let toddler play on your phone for 30 minutes so you can have some time to write, toddler potty break, wrangle toddler in car to do school pick-up, coax children to eat healthy snack, help with homework, toddler potty break, throw a load of laundry in, start dinner, switch laundry, get two out of three children to shower, serve dinner, ask children to put their clean laundry away, wash dishes, ask children four more times until they finally put laundry away, pick up lonely sock off of floor, find a fork on the floor of the living room, send children to have dada time, assist in toddler bath time, convince toddler to go potty, break up an argument……..
Okay, so maybe I should have stopped describing my typical day descriptive minutes ago, but I really wanted to paint a picture for you. There are so many days where my husband comes home and I just verbally unload all my built-up stress on him. Resentment builds in us because he wishes he couldn’t miss all the moments I’ve come to overlook, as I envision a day at work to be a wonderful break from life at home.
It’s easy to become frustrated and burnt-out when I don’t have my eyes on the Lord. It’s Jesus who reminds me of how the simplest things and the most repetitive tasks can have such a lasting impact on a person. My booger-wiping, crumb sweeping life is building a legacy of Jesus-followers. The relationship a person has with their parents as children impacts their future relationship with God. Motherhood reflects the characteristics of God.
In the middle of the night, I sacrifice sleep to comfort the child who will one day learn how God is always there to comfort them.
Some days, the only time my son would nap is if I wrapped him in his carrier and walked around with him. It did a number on my back, but it reflects how God carries us.
The joyfulness, peacefulness, gentleness, kind, caring, affection, and pure love that I express in these daily moments, mirrors God. And most importantly, my faithfulness in my creator leaves a priceless path for my family to follow.
If you’re a mama who’s feeling overwhelmed or a SAHM who is wondering if life would be better if she was working instead, take heart. Lean on Christ. Give your worries and struggles to your Heavenly Father.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 NLT
“Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.”
Psalms 22:9 NLT