I’m dabbling. In everything. Barely entering into life outside motherhood and when I do, I feel scattered and unsteady. The world around me has shifted so significantly. I stumble into each day with utter delight, bursting at the ability to be a mom one more day. We go through our routines. Diapers. Giggles. Bottles. Playtime. Breakfast. Naps. My hours are like a giant groundhogs day and I adore it. I know what to expect for the most part. When the end of the day comes and the last kiss has been given, prayers have been said, and Josh and I stumble into the kitchen to start dinner, we are exhausted. Full hearts, but utterly wiped.
Tomorrow I do it all over again. And throughout the days, I get little reminders of the life I used to have. Texts from friends asking when we can grab coffee or lunch. Work emails building up, reminding me that I need to hustle during both naps today to catch up. A heart that is screaming to get words onto a computer screen. A desire to sit and have quiet time, pouring into the Scriptures and being fed by a book that craves to be underlined and marked up. Birthday cards that need to be sent, personal emails that need to be returned, family to connect with, and what ever happened to my friends … the list goes on and on and on.
This same list pops into my head at about 9:30 at night, when I am tucked away in bed and trying to fall asleep. Shoot, I never texted her back. Darn, I forgot I wanted to read that chapter today. Gah, I really need to get that article written. Urph, I need to return that phone call.
The other night the list of non-mom stuff made me feel like I needed to take a giant time-out from life and sneak away to a hotel to have a full week of productivity. One day I could schedule back to back to back coffees and phone dates – reconnect with my people. Another day I could sit in silence, then listen to worship music and pour over the Word. Another day I could sit in a coffee shop and write and write and write. Maybe even start that next book that has been brewing in my heart. Another day I could catch up on work stuff, feeling like I am on top of things. I. Just. Need. Time. (Don’t even get me started on the baby books that never got done, errrr, started, or the first birthday party that needs to be planned. I sent invitations, now what!?)
And here’s the thing I am realizing – that time isn’t going to happen. I can’t sneak off without sacrificing time with my kids and while that’s totally okay to do, my dream of a week away to play catch up is only going to pause the problem, not solve it. And so here I sit, wondering how in the world do I balance all the parts of me that are trying to find a place in this new world I am living in.
I have no answers. But I know I am probably not alone.
Being a stay-at-home mom is amazing and exhausting, euphoric and tedious. The days mainly look the same, partially because my kids do wonderful on a schedule, which means we don’t venture out too much. But I miss my people, my tribe too. We shuffle to MOPS and BSF, grateful for both, but missing my 1:1 time with people. I used to have time to have lengthy conversations with friends, or text talk, or 3 hours coffee dates, and now, well, when a free minute comes my way, I am either working, cleaning, or trying to prepare for the next session of the day. My social life is quieter than ever before. I weigh commitments with a brutally small scope of tolerance. Gone are the “yes’s” to make someone happy.
I love working too. It stimulates my brain and I am thankful for a job with FertilityIQ that allows me to work during nap times, and doesn’t require me to take time away from being a mom. I like checking things off a list and feeling like I got something results-focused done.
Finding my new rhythm is messier than I thought it would be. It’s disorienting. I am utterly fulfilled with motherhood and completely thrown off my tracks at what makes me who I am. I can barely find the time to return a phone call to the people I care about deeply. Going out after the kids go to sleep sounds fun in theory until 7 pm hits and I am cross-eyed. I see pictures of mom’s doing stuff online and I wonder HOW they do it? I am still in the season where sacrificing sleep doesn’t seem realistic.
I’m learning about priorities but even then, some of my inner circle priorities are taking a hit. And so, I stumble on, admiring the mom’s who have their nails painted and their play dates mapped out and their blogging calendar planned. I wish someone could tell me how to figure it all out.
So, here’s to the women who are spinning around like me. The women who get their hair cut twice a year because there just isn’t enough time in the day. The women who feel like they are failing their friendships because they forget to reply, or follow through on that promise for coffee. The women who didn’t get out of sweat pants for 3 days in a row. The women who peppered her children with kisses while singing worship songs to the radio because that’s the only quiet time she’s going to get today. The women who fall into bed like a heap and the women who feel like they are being swallowed by to-do’s.
The only thing that’s holding me stable right now is reminding myself that my days aren’t a surprise to God. He sees the in’s and out’s and is with me through it all. I know I need to get better at surrounding myself with balance. Right now I just need to admit I can’t do it all and if you are feeling the same, you aren’t alone.
God is faithful to pick us back up when we are exhausted or overwhelmed. I keep seeing the pattern in scripture of how He cares for His children – He typically provides them sleep/rest, food, a sign of who He is, and provides them with someone to do life with.
But for now, this momma has no clue how to balance her life. I don’t want to miss a moment of their little lives, yet I have no idea how to fit in everything that keeps me sane, flourishing, and mentally healthy. If you have any advice or guidance, I would love to hear it! Until then, know I’m grateful to have giggling children who know they’re loved and if that’s all I accomplish today, I am totally okay with that.
And all of this said, I would rather dabble and feel a little wobbly a hundred times over than not be in these shoes. These precious shoes of motherhood are the greatest gift in the world. If you are still in the wait, please hear me when I say I know you would give anything to feel disoriented from motherhood. I wish that for you too. Keep the faith that if the desire is still burning in your heart, God is not done working yet. Much love.
9 thoughts on “dabbling.”
Yes, Chelsea, I remember those days and totally get where you are coming from. Just remember that this is a season. A season to sow into your kids. This is what they need at this point in time. There will come a time where you will have more time to do those things you can’t do right now. Enjoy these precious gifts as time flies by too fast. This is where God has you now and He will give you the grace, love and stamina you need to make it to the next season. God is SO faithful. I look back at just how faithful He had been to me and our family and I say, “thank you, Jesus”. Continue to lean on Him and see all the blessings He is bestowing and will bestow on you and your family!❤️
This could not be more timely. I have an 8 month old and feel the EXACT. SAME. WAY! I love this new life but it’s definitely been an adjustment. Thank you for helping me to realize it’s ok to feel a little lost and out of sorts at times. 😊
Such is the life of a stay at home mom. No one tells you just how much work goes into staying at home, let alone working from home. Parenthood reveals sacrifices that aren’t anticipated, and while we will always choose the sacrifice it’s still a bit sad when a part of us is changed.
I am a sahm to 18 month twins and this post explains the trials anf joys so well. I am starting to get out more with them and accomplish those normal activities but it is still a challenge! You can certainly love this season of life while acknowledging how hard it can be to find balance. You sound like you are doing great though and I promise it gets easier!
Thank you so much for this honest and beautifully expressed piece. Reading it makes me feel much less alone in my struggle to find balance. I have been reading your blog since becoming pregnant with boy-girl twins (now 7 months old). I too experienced infertility and multiple miscarriages before having my precious miracle babies. You have been a wonderful source of comfort (and great tips!), and I just want to thank you for making time to help and support others in this way. You are amazing!
I am a working mom but I think it can be true for stay a home moms too. I feel like I am away from my daughter (16 months) enough so I try to maximize the time I do have with her. I have cut down on other expenses so I could afford to have help with things that need to get done but take time away from my family…like cleaning. I got to the gym on my lunch break, the list goes one. Use your creativity and involve your family and circle of friends to come up with something that works for you. After going through infertility I feel a lot of guilt taking time for myself and my marriage instead of being with my daughter as much as possible because I waited so long for her! I realized two things, first, my daughter is also blessed by spending time with other people in her life who love her; second, I need to be a role model for my daughter on making space for myself even in the midst of motherhood. It is so hard and even though I don’t get to do some things as often as I used to I treasure the time I do :) Hang in there, I feel like we are just getting to the point where I can take a breath because she is getting more independent and able to do things for herself. You are a better mother and stronger than you know!
There are so many things vying for our time, resources, gift and focus. There is a culture out there screaming ‘you need to be more’. The pressure on women is greater than ever to be everything to everybody: mommy-blogger, IG icon, and to live pinteresting lives that look like magazine cover photo ops, are generously sprinkled with coffee dates and include generous amounts of play-dates and tribe time. The majority of it is an illusion and a distraction that threatens to steal the real power away from a generation of brilliant and amazing young women. There is another voice speaking — a still small voice. The voice that wants you to know that the pattern of this world is not the way to peace, joy or fulfillment. That voice is speaking rest, quiet, acceptance, contentment. Motherhood is not “another role” for us to play. It is THE role. If you did nothing else with your life but faithfully invest in those precious little ones and support the man God has given you, you will hear “well done, though good and faithful servant”.
I love this word and wisdom, thank you for this perspective!!!!! AMEN!
This was so real and well written. I could feel myself there and I remembered those days. I think what I would say is that you never will get caught up, time will continue to pass. Then one day you will realize that you no longer fall behind on work, or phone calls, or friendships. In fact you will have to much time on your hands. You won’t be able to pinpoint the moment it changed, the day you sat back with a sigh and thought, “wow! I did it!” You will long to go back for a day, and though you don’t necessarily welcome the chaos going back would bring, you would know to set it all side because it truly can wait. You grab your littles ones in your arms, talk with them, kiss them, play with them, read them stories, and when its bedtime you will kiss their little heads and whisper I love you..you will look down at their pouty lips and baby cheeks and engrave it into your memory, that day. If only it could be.