an honest post on motherhood in the summer.

Let me start this post by saying that I fully believe that there is no one way to be a good mother.  I think that one look at Proverbs 31 gives us an amazing array of all different kinds of women and mothers we can be.  I don't believe for one moment that there is one way to be a good mom but as many ways as there are stars in the sky and determining that path is up to you and God. 

It all depends on God's path for you.  And accepting that path as your own once you discover it.  And above all, being OK with that path and not comparing that path to someone else's path. 

And apparently, using the word "path" a lot.

With that being said I must admit something.  Something that I am certain that will bring me some flack and criticism.  But I can't be alone can I?

I love my kids.  Adore them, work hard for them, do anything for them kind of love. 

And I can't wait for school to start again.  It's not that I don't like being with them or having summer fun with them or creating memories of long summer days with them.

But the 24/7 thing is just not how I was made as a mother.  I need a break.  I need time apart.  I need some structure to our days.  I need school to start back up.

And the absolute irony to that is that I will also be sad when school starts back up.  I will miss them during the day and wonder what they are up to and how they are faring.  But I need that time away.  I need it to be a better mother.  I need it to be a better wife and friend and business owner.

I am not a mother who longs to be with her kids 24/7.  I was that way when they were babies.  When they were completely helpless and needy I fully felt like I needed them near me at all times.  The truth is that the older they get, the more I want them out there.  Stretching their little wings.  Learning how to stand on their own a bit.  Getting some safe life experiences that will form them into who they will become in this world.

I don't need to be the master of all of their time.  Doug and I choose carefully the people who get time with our kids so I have no doubt that we land them in the right places. 

Summer is equal parts stressful and fun for me.  The good moments are really good, the bad ones are not very pretty.  I've kinda been a hot mess the last couple of weeks.  Trying to balance productivity with fun.  Trying to be everything to two little boys, run a business, thrive in marriage and everything that I want to do promptly settles at the bottom of the pile.  Kind of like forced selflessness. 

Selflessness is draining when there is no recharge.  And I don't say that to sound like I am some sort of martyr or anything like that.  I am just saying, to be a GOOD PARENT, you have to be self-less, regardless of what kind of path you are on, and being self-less is something that goes against the nature of human beings, and anytime you work against your nature for an extended period of time, it is draining.

And I realize also, that some folks believe that we should never go against our nature, we should be who we are "meant" to be and not fight it but I don't think that is the destiny of those following Christ.

We are called to : "Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh."  Romans 13:14.

Part of me knows that a breather comes with the Fall.  Part of me also knows that where there is pain and struggle, there is growth in who Christ wants me to be.  

So I will trudge on.  I will start over again and again and again.  I will take deep breaths and say short prayers.  I will do my best to make memories with my boys.  I will put off self and put on Christ.  I will be sad when I leave them on the doorstep of the school but I will drive away taking a breath of relief. 

And I will be OK that this is my path.  


Al@PolkaDotsandPaisley said...

Thank you for your honesty. This is my first year as a full time mother (my stepson moved in last fall) and I'm struggling this summer. He went to camp on Saturday and it was such a relief. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who needs "me time" to be a better mom.

tigerchick said...

Totally understandable. I bet most folks feel as you do in that situation.

Amy @ Lucky Number 13 said...

Yes!!! No flack here, and I believe those who would judge any mother for being honest like this is not honest with themselves. I am made as you are... I require time away, to myself and for myself to be a good mother, wife, friend, etc. It is necessary for my mental health : ) Thank you for being open and honest and sharing your truth with us.

My name is Becka said...

This is a lovely post. I love how much you think through things. I love coming here and being inspired. Thank you.

Jeanette said...

My two girls have been across country (CA to MI) staying with my parents for the summer. I have missed them, but have not MIIIIISSSEED them (if you know what
I mean). Because my husband and I care for three ladies (with mental disabilities) from 7 am to 9 pm and its a "family" job, I knew summertime was going to be rough, trying to facilitate activities for 3 ladies, 2 kids & a husband! I'm so very thankful that my parents stepped in and asked to keep them for the summer months. I feel no guilt....only knowing that God is good & He takes care of our needs!

Jackie said...

I feel sort of the same way. My son will start school in August, so I am excited that he will start something new and sad that we won't get to pick when he goes to school now. He has to go every day. I also have a full time job, but I only work half of the days out of any month, so I have lots of time at home with the kids. There are times when I can't wait to go back to work so I can get a break. Work is quieter, simpler, and easier than being the stay-at-home mom the other half of the time, and I work in law enforcement. The days when it seems like things just aren't going like they are supposed to are the hardest. The sun sets on those does and rises on a new one. So glad that we get to start over.

Tanna said...

You said it perfectly! In order to be the best self, mother, wife etc. you need time away from all of those things to nurture your soul. I totally agree. I am ready for school to start again and never totally ready for school to be out! Take care of yourself and your beautiful family!

Krulls in Haiti said...

Oh yes. I too am this kind of mom. I love routine and breaks, and then I'm refreshed and ready to give my all. I am not my best when I'm with them constantly, but I do adore them!

Jaimee @ Havenwood House of Boys said...

Girl, I'm right there with ya. Thanks for sharing your heart in such a genuine and honest way, because it does speak to sooo many other moms out there!

Joni said...

You have no idea how much it meant to me to read these words from you. I thought I was alone in my feelings but now I feel comforted to share these feelings with someone who gets it. I completely understand that need for a break that the school year provides but of course I miss their faces and look forward to hearing about their day when they arrive home each afternoon. Thank you for sharing openly and honestly.

Sara Neufeld said...

So wonderfully written. I love how you point to Christ and how it is necessary to die to ourselves. I love how you say that we each have our own path. Totally agree. God is good. And breaks are so good. :) hang in there, mama.

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