This post also appeared on My Big Jesus.
Sometimes I feel like I do everything. I’ve fed them, bathed them, clothed them, entertained them, and put them to bed. I’ve done all the things, and they are not only entirely oblivious to my efforts, but seemingly ungrateful (read: ignoring and/or defying me). My children are my world, and I spend more time with them than anyone else.
But enough is enough.
I am allowed to be overwhelmed. To be full. And I don’t mean in the sweet “my heart is full” sort of way. I mean in the “my plate is so full I can’t figure out how to survive” sort of way. Fullness is a blessing, and I do not discount the ease with which we had our children, or the privilege it is to call them my own. But there’s not a mother out there who can tell you that there aren’t moments, days, or even weeks where things are just so full that they’re hard.
A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be on vacation. I was in another state, literally and figuratively. I was down there in big ol’, wide-open Texas, and all I did was wonder what my kids were doing at the moment.
The truth is, those kiddos frustrate me. And they thrill me. And they drive me up the wall. And they are the most joyous three people I know. My world revolves around them. I’m constantly learning how to be the best when I’m with them, and when I’m not. It’s a test of balance to see how I can be myself in both situations. If I’m wearing nice clothes, carrying only a small purse, and driving a car with no child seats, I must be missing something… right? Sometimes, I realize what I’m missing is my grumpiness. I’m missing the exhaustion and stress that sometimes follows me when I’m lugging the kids (and their stuff) around.
But the biggest thing I’ve learned is that grumpy is okay. Exhausted is okay. Angry, even, is okay. Joyous is okay! Delirious is okay! Whatever stage you’re in, moment you’re in, and feelings you’re having- it’s okay! It doesn’t mean those feelings define you, or that you’re stuck in that rut. But you’re allowed to have big feelings just like your little ones are. So embrace them. Use them as an excuse for a break. Use them as a teachable moment. But don’t shun them; let your feelings show, because that’s how you move on to the next moment.