The realistic side of full-time mothering is that it’s not always a bed of roses.
I remember the first time I told my husband, “I don’t want to be the mom today.” One of the kids refused to go to sleep, one was throwing up, the house was a mess and everyone was exhausted. “I don’t mean I don’t ever want to be a mom.” I struggled to explain. “I just mean that for mow. Like, right now. Like for the next couple of hours, even.” The way he looked at me, I was certain he was about to call the child welfare authorities.
That moment passed, as they always do, and the next morning when I went to get our babies out of bed, I was once again in love with motherhood. I did feel guilty for having that feeling, but I’ve learned that guilt comes with the territory. I try to remember that my feelings about motherhood may change hourly, and that’s okay. It’s my commitment that must remain solid and stable.
We are definitely not the perfect family. We want only to be the Field Family – a collection of interesting individuals with a strong bond. We want to be ourselves and to fashion our own unique way to be a family. For us that means taking meals together, attending church as a family, and taking time to enjoy our lives together. It has taken lots of time and hard work and some sacrifice to grow to the unity we now enjoy, but I believe this work is more important than anything I ever did in the marketplace.
I find my full-time mothering to be all-consuming. I have learned that I cannot juggle many different activities. If my mind and my schedule are too crowded, the whole family suffers. So I have determined what is most important for our family and those are the things I concentrate on.
Have you heard the expression, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? Mothers are the barometer of emotional stability in the home. If Mom is distracted and being torn in a hundred different directions, her children and her husband will suffer. Some moms are so busy and so fragmented that they just drag their way through their days. Granted, we all have some similar days, but where is the joy in that. Do what you need to do so that joylessness is not your normal condition.
On bad days when I can’t see beyond the pile of dirty diapers or the mediation of 50 fights before 9 AM, I have to remind myself that although some of these days are very long, the months of childhood flee rather quickly.
May a give a bit of advice from an older mom? Be wholehearted about all aspects of your life, build up a rich legacy of memories and know joy in this season of your life.