January 28, 2015

I Hate This Part.

I have always wanted to be a mother.  The love of little people oozes through my pores.  I love babies, I love being home, I love to cook and clean and watch Barney.  Mothering is what I was created for.

And some days I hate it.
I hate cleaning up another mess, I hate being patient, I hate having to gently push against the tide of natural man.
I hate driving a big van that is always dirty.  I hate shoes and laundry and cleaning up dog puke.  (Yes, my dog puked dark puke all over my recently shampooed rug!  I hate that.)

I hate feeling tired.  I hate budgeting money.  I hate consistency and never, ever being done.  I hate that my faults are difficult to hide as I parent eight.  I hate the vulnerability that comes from parenting-- eight little reflections of me are floating around every day.

I hate sickness, contention, hunger, want.    I hate To Do lists and refrigerators that need to be cleaned out.  I hate thinking of what to cook for dinner.  I hate never being able to find the scissors or the second church shoe.  No matter how hard I work there is always a long list of things I haven't done.

I hate mean people and mean kids.  I hate when I'm mean.  I hate toys and TV and busy schedules.  I hate packing lunches and I hate that pile of junk on my counter that is always waiting for me.

I used to love toddlers, but I think I've outgrown that stage.  I'm not sure I'll cry when Eve and Ben go to all-day Kindergarten.  Toddlers are a lot of work.  I'm also not a real fan of fifth, sixth, or seventh grade in general.  I know it's awful to admit, but I'm getting old folks.  

Seriously, there are many, many moments of my life where I look to Heaven and shake my fist- "What kind of crazy do you have to be to do this eight times?!!"

Maybe I shouldn't write blogs on days like today because these moments are temporary.

And, even though there are parts of mothering that I struggle with, there is still nothing I'd rather do with my life.  Nothing.  (I'm talking long-term here, short-term I'd take a week vacation somewhere exotic.)   I chose this life and I still choose it.  It is absolutely a sacrifice- but it is also an investment.

I am here when Ben learns a new word.  I get to teach Eve her ABCs and hear her sing made-up songs as she plays.  And, those hugs, the smiles, the cute things they say, the peaceful moment at night when they are all asleep and Heaven whispers you are doing a great work.

We eat breakfast together every day.  I do their hair, I find their shoes.  I feel their emotions and I teach them how to navigate through them.  I'm here when they get home.  They yell "Moooooom, I'm home!"  And, I answer them.  Every single day.  Oh, how those big kids need someone who is here during those magical transition times.  Soon enough they will be on their own.  I am shaping their foundation.  I am their inner voice, their confidence, their hope.  I love that part.

My kids have each other, and they have me.  Always.  I am their constant.  I give them my best efforts every single day.  Sometimes I absolutely fail, but most days they are some of the luckiest kids around.

I hate the days I hate my job.
But, somehow the cranky times make the good times a little better.  

I remember being surprised when Jakob was a baby, that there was so much of mothering I didn't like.  I wasn't prepared for the depth of sacrifice I would have to make.  I remember feeling great sympathy for mothers in general-- I always wanted to be a mom, I thought, and mothering was dang hard for me.  How does anyone do this?

Now, I know.
We were not meant to live forever in the Garden of Eden.  True joy is the product of genuine effort for a good cause.  Everything good in life takes dedicated effort to produce.  I firmly believe that as I parent my children I am doing the BEST work.  As I serve them, even when it's hard, I love them more.  

Yes, there are parts of this job that I hate.   But, I still LOVE being a mother.  I'm so grateful for my eight.
Even when I don't love a task, I still love my life.
Life is good.


Anonymous said...

You really get the full range of ages with your 8 kiddos- littles, middles and teens! I loved your point about how your kids have each other- how lucky they are! The work in rearing and raising children seems relentless. It's the best job- but there's no stopping the work! Last night dinner and clean up (for my family of 3) took forever and the thought of doing this over and over for decades to come just the thought of all that repeated effort made me feel pretty overwhelmed. A good full life is so messy! tonight I felt less overwhelmed (leftovers for dinner) thanks for the post Jen. You are never really cranky- even when you say you are. -Annie

jenifer said...

Annie- you are sweet and I most definitely DO get really cranky sometimes. Ask my teenagers! My husband would agree with you, but he is just WAY too nice and he forgets quickly. Writing is my therapy-- my crankiness comes out more when I'm putting kids to bed or doing dishes. Ha! This was such an awful post for me to write (I usually save my rants for my phone friends who have no permanent record of my crankiness...) I'm pretty shocked I published it.
Thanks for your comment.

Amy said...

Yesterday was just a grumpy day for me! Thanks for writing this...it will help me to push past it! I love your blog!

Amy said...

Yesterday was just a grumpy day for me! Thanks for writing this...it will help me to push past it! I love your blog!

Marie said...

Love how you keep it real, Jen. ❤️

Rachel said...

Thanks, I'm glad to know that hating the job sometimes is just part of it. Maybe I can better accept myself when I feel like that and just appreciate that the best things are really a lot of hard work.

Catherine Andrews said...

Thank you for being real and telling your real emotions! I appreciate that! It make me feel like I am ok because I am not the only one who feels that way! How do you deal with the feelings of everything that goes wrong is moms fault?

jenifer said...

Catherine- I talk on the phone with other moms who are also pushing forward, I look my children in the eye and I tell them how lucky they are to have a mom like me, I pray and I feel God is grateful for my efforts, and I write a blog where I remind myself all the good that I do. When that doesn't work I spend the morning in bed feeling sorry for myself and then I get up and try again. Ha! Life...

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