An Ode to the Mommies Everywhere
My parents gave me a beautiful name that I don’t even really get to use anymore, because, in my house, I’m always some derivative of ‘Mommy’, and in my inner circle, that identity of being a mom is always at the forefront. We build play dates and vacations around it. In fact, our schedules revolve around being a mom first.
Once that beautiful bundle shows up, the personal identity you’ve had your entire life changes, and immediately becomes ‘mommy’. You love it, but most often, you are merely trying to survive another day, and get all the things done on your list of “to dos”. As mothers, we put our children first in everything. We ensure they have healthy food, no gluten, and organic everything. We do our very best to expose them to music and the arts. We plan life around naptime even when we run around on fumes. Every part of our essence thrives to make sure they are OK as we constantly neglect ourselves. It’s what we do. It’s who we are.
After a while, our bodies adjust to less sleep, our mommy ears kick in to give us special hearing, and we’ve done our routines so much it’s part- muscle memory and part- trying to remain in the present. We learn to function so well on autopilot that we are often absent in the very places where we are present. We become professional Mombies.
And somewhere around a supermom breaking point, it hits us – who am I? I mean really, who am I outside of being a mom? Am I still the person I was before my first child? What types of things do I like to do that don’t involve glitter, dolls, Tonka toys, Play-Doh, nursery rhymes, and piano lessons? How do moms get their swag back? Well I am so glad you asked!
Whenever I find myself searching for myself and figuring who I AM in the midst of all of the chaos, I am often moved to think of David. “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel…But David remained at Jerusalem” (2 Samuel 11:1). David made a life-changing decision not to travel with his men for battle. This was not the norm. As king, his duty was to accompany his men. David made a rare decision to forsake his post and his God-given responsibility, a decision that gravely cost David and his family.
This remembrance leads my heart to worship and thank our one true God. When I was not living a life characterized by a love for God, I spent most of my time doing things that served only me. How great is our God that He has seen fit to give me a post or position in life full of responsibility. These thoughts are enough to put my heart at ease. My life is not my own. The Lord has graciously provided my current life because it is precisely what I need to be made complete in Him. When my days are harder than what I would like to face, I am reminded that life is a process. The trials of my days are intended to refine me, not break me.
But these trials certainly leave me in need of a mommy timeout. When the children are napping during the day, before they get up, after they go to sleep for the night, or even with scheduled play dates – let them go to their friend’s home while you renew, refresh, and relax.
These little moments where we take a step back help us become even better mothers – we are more present, feel less like we’re always in a state of sacrifice, and it gives us some of that swag back (that we never really lost).