Ha- did I get your attention with this blog post title? It came to me in pieces, but the final part was on a neighborhood walk… keep reading for that story…
Now, Motherhood. What job on earth compares? Not many, I dare say. I love the memes and images that come up when you google Mothers.
A few of my favorites: ( seriously get ready to spit out your coffee)
I chose the title to highlight a few things about Motherhood that have been on my heart. Two truths and some encouragement.
A whole lotta laundry: I was fighting with the laundry the other day ( the clothes were winning) and as I struggled with a sore back and aching arms to successfully move what seemed to be 30 lbs of soaking wet pants, soccer shirts, underwear and towels from the washer to the dryer, something smacked me in the face. And it wasn’t a loose baby sock. Each time I leaned in to transfer the heavy load from one machine to the other, I found myself mumbling, “I do NOT remember putting ALL this in here… jeesh, this is utterly ridiculous…and it’s HEAAAAVVVYYYY.”
Okay, am I alone on this one? Has that happened to anyone else while unloading the washer? I think I reached in 10 times and pulled out everything our family owns. How did it all get in there? I know I don’t love to sort, but I can’t imagine throwing all of that in. In fact, the washer can’t wash and the dryer can’t dry if it’s overloaded… See, Adam, I do listen when you talk :O) The “chunka chunka” noises coming from my laundry room are certainly sounds of a something extremely hardworking, but also the very sounds of something that could break at any time…
You see what I did there? Huge metaphor for Motherhood. Right. In. Front. Of. Us.
We don’t always realize the burden and weight of all we’re doing until it comes down to the wire. The machine buzzer, or in Mom terms: the child who asks us to find their favorite shirt as the bus is coming down the street, the email asking for one more of your already-packed hours, the shopping list that keeps building, the overdue library books, the gym membership that’s collecting dust, the Amazon order you were counting on thats now somehow “lost”… and I could go on and on.
It’s a lot. And it’s heavy. And it certainly didn’t start out that way, did it? We had really good intentions. But we’re only one person.
On to the next metaphor…
I was cleaning the bathroom the other day, ( another highly relatable moment in a Mother’s life) and I was refilling the beautiful soap dispenser I had recently purchased from the Magnolia section at Target. Full disclosure- sometimes I go there and sit on the couch and pretend Chip and Jo are sitting next to me and ask for my help on their next project. Then, someone throws something at me and wakes me up from that dream….
So, I slowly and carefully tipped over the extra-large refill container and started to gently squeeze and let the soap flow into the pretty one. All went well, I filled it perfectly! Then I went to put the dispensing top on and the soap erupted like a volcano on all sides. Now I had a huge mess. I may have added the perfect amount of soap, but I had forgotten to leave room for the most important part…
Lastly, some encouragement.
I went on a walk in my neighborhood yesterday and I was stopped by the sweetest older gentleman. After exchanging “Good Mornings”, he pointed up his driveway and asked me to watch the cactus sitting by his porch.
I took off my sunglasses and stared at it intently. The sweet man smiled and let out a little chuckle. He told me that he didn’t mean watch it right now, but be on the lookout for what would happen soon. He went on to tell me that this particular, amazing cacti only blooms once a year and when it does, its only for a day.
This, my friends, is our challenge and blessing all in one.
Motherhood- a vocation, a load that is heavier than we thought it would be, a life where we are overflowing with our commitments to our families, our communities, our world. There are many times when no one will even see us at our best, how hard we are working behind the scenes. Most will walk right by and only see the pokes and spikes of our un-showered, un-caffeinated exterior. We will be tempted to measure ourselves by all that we’re not. But rest assured, you have a greater purpose. There is a beauty in it all, and we can bloom nonetheless. You are brightening the world- one day, one heart at a time.
Happy Mother’s Day!