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.