I am not enough.
There’s not enough of me to go around. I’m tired and sore and wishing the next weeks away, longing for the day I’ll feel normal again. For the day I feel normal again.
I can’t ever take the kids to the park enough times to suit me. The zoo pass sits lonely and unused far more often than I’d like. I haven’t played with my kids outside since the first time it snowed. That was at least a month ago. But lately, it’s not just “not enough”. It’s “not at all”.
The subject of “mommy guilt” has always confused me. Guilt about what? Lately, it’s all come crashing in on me. Guilt about everything. There’s something about pregnancy hormones that will do that to you.
And yet, as I lay in my bed last night, unable to sleep, I couldn’t help but wonder at the thought process. My children aren’t complaining. They rub my belly and look forward to the day they can hold their newest sibling. They take joy in serving me… most of the time… even if, in Pierce’s mind, it’s bringing me a Coke four times a day. (Since I bought the Coke to marinate deer meat, it’s an interesting gesture. Basically, it has him moving Coke from the box in the basement to the fridge in the kitchen because I don’t have the heart to tell him I don’t want it. So I procrastinate and send him to put it in the fridge for me. We’re getting a huge stash up here, only to be taken back down… he must think that box will never, ever empty itself.) Liberty offers to make supper every single night. Eden loves to look through cookbooks to find me recipes to make with the ingredients we have. Sterling is the expert “stand on a stool and stir this” supper helper and Ruby loves to get things out of the garage for me. She usually comes back giggling with a tale of “I had to climb into the chest freezer to find the broccoli.” Such hardships, I’m sure.
I wonder. Is pregnancy a way to make me slow down? Is this an opportunity to teach my children service, empathy, and the value of offering to help instead of spend their time doing less fruitful activities? In my guilt over what I’m not doing with them these days, have I missed the bigger picture?
Our home is still functioning. The floors are swept… most often by an eight year old these days. Laundry is as caught up as it ever is. (You decide what that means!) My older two have learned how to sort, start laundry, switch loads, fold, and put away. The younger four are fabulous at taking laundry to the laundry room. School has happened every day, just like we always do. Grocery shopping is enough to make me need a nap – but my children pitch in and put groceries away and while I have yet to find the onion soup mix we bought last week… that’s minor. I’ve had more chances than normal to sit and read books to the kids, to snuggle up next to my little ones, to convince Pierce to take a nap – with me.
Maybe, just maybe, I need to look at this as a season to live differently, a chance to teach my kids things they’ve not learned yet about service, compassion, and empathy. Maybe, instead of seeing this as what they aren’t getting, I can see it as a chance to get something entirely different.
It’s hard. I’m thankful it’s not anticipated to be long term. But instead of looking at it for what it isn’t, I’m going to look at it for what it is. Guilt free.
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun… (Ecc. 3:1)