Last Saturday, our family went out to our city’s annual festival 2 mile road race. My husband went ahead of us and I pushed the boys in a borrowed double jogger with my daughter running/jogging beside me. The baby wasn’t so into the whole jogger idea so I ended up carrying him on my back with my Beco and so we’d run until he cried from too much jiggling and then briskly walk and then run and so forth. I was impressed that my daughter kept going on for so long. Towards the middle of the route, I could tell she was getting tired so I told her it would be ok if she wanted to hop into the stroller for a little bit.
She was determind though and just shook her head and kept going. She started whining though so I offered her the seat again and she still said no. So I finally told her that she was either going to keep running/jogging with me and not complain or not do it at all and sit in the stroller the rest of the time. From then on there were no more sighs or complaints as she and I jogged along together.
After I’d told her that, I started thinking about how I could probably use a little of my advice in my own life. Being a mother is hard work. I can definitly say I am a working mom because there’s hardly a time when I am not doing something. Laundry, cooking, cleaning, mediating, driving, coercing, teaching, building, mending, etc, etc.
A lot of times, it is easy for me to see drudgery in these daily responsibilities instead of joy. I whine and complain to God or whoever will listen probably about as much as my kids do sometimes. Then I get these awful jealous thoughts and dream up all sorts of better lives for myself. I have several pictures of Mary around the house and I have to admit that I even get jealous of her sometimes. I mean, how hard could it have been to raise Jesus-the omnipotent and ever perfect Son of God? (to which she usually gently reminds about the time she had to watch Him suffer and die on a cross.)
A few days after our family fun run day, (yes I know that sounds way too corny and ‘perfect’ but remember that I had to run with a baby on my back for a good mile!) anyway…so after that day I was talking to one of my brothers who will be graduating and going off to start a new life somewhere. We talked about different possibilities of what he might do and somehow one of us said that it didn’t matter exactly what he did, as long as he followed his passions.
So the ever practical older sister reminded him that sometimes we have to set aside our passions for what is practical. Like when I have to do laundry instead of reading or writing or painting. But then he reminded me that my family is my passion and since I do laundry for my family I am still living out my passions. How could I argue with that?
On Mother’s day morning I woke up and the house was very quiet. My husband had gotten the kids up early to get me flowers and doughnuts. It was nice to have some quiet but I realized that it would be oh so incredilby lonely without them around to bug the heck out of me.
So what is the point in all this rambling? I’m not entirely sure except to say that this week, and hopefully next week, I have been smiling more as I work and sighing less. I’ve been praying for my family more as I work for them and thanking God for them more. Life as a mother is not all sugar and spice and all that is nice. Mother’s are made of hugs and kisses, giggles and raspberries, it’s true. But they’re also made of tantrums and whining, throw-up and poopy diapers, sassy know-it-all back-talkers and selective-hearing little monkeys.
This is what it is though, and it is my life. So I’ve got to just suck it up and keep running.