It’s been one of those days.
You know the ones…
I’m exhausted, and not completely sure why.
I made it to the gym this morning to work out with my friend, but now it’s 4:30 and I’ve done nothing else productive.
My kids had juice boxes, squeezable yogurts, popcorn, and bananas for lunch.
I fell asleep while putting my littlest down for nap and woke up feeling more exhausted than when I laid down with her.
I’ve been lying on the couch scrolling through Instagram for I-have-no-idea-how long. My kids are watching endless YouTube videos and getting constant snacks from the kitchen. Presumably because of their lack of actual lunch.
Those snacks include more popcorn which we all know is about the messiest snack, leaving a fine dusting of crumbs all across the floor in it’s wake.
I cannot seem to motivate myself to get up and off this couch.
The house hasn’t been picked up since yesterday. Shoes, coats and backpacks are strewn about by the front door. Blocks litter the main part of the living room. Breakfast and lunch plates sit languishing on the dining room table. The laundry pile is overflowing out of the hall closet. Pillows and blankets are haphazardly tossed on the couch and the floor.
I finally muster myself off the couch, and get myself a big glass of water in the kitchen.
I look out across the wreckage. I don’t even have the energy necessary to get my kids away from the computer to help with cleaning up. Sometimes it just feels too hard. The struggle is real.
So I look out again and tell myself to find five positive things to focus on instead of only seeing all of the negative.
1. My hubs brought me beautiful flowers yesterday in memory of my dad. The lilies smell absolutely amazing.
2. It’s a cold and windy day and I’m making chili for dinner. One of our family’s favorites, and so easy. I’m thankful I don’t have to worry too much about dinner tonight.
3. My husband cleaned up the kitchen twice yesterday, before and after dinner. So the kitchen isn’t a complete disaster along with the rest of the house. This is a comforting thought to me.
4. I’m a good kind of sore from my workout this morning, and a crazy hard but amazing barre class I went to on Sunday. It feels really good to be working out on a regular basis.
5. I just love my kids. I love them so incredibly much.
One part of me wants to look at them and be frustrated and annoyed at the mess that they always, ALWAYS leave in their wake. Maybe that’s why I’m exhausted? Just the act of continually taking care of little people’s needs and wants and messes and so much more… drains me of every single ounce of energy I have. And I feel like there’s nothing left for me.
No time for me to do something I really WANT to do. (I didn’t really want to scroll through Instagram for an hour, I was just too tired to do anything else.) No energy left for me to do things I need to do, like clean out and organize the kitchen cupboards, or fold the mountains of clean laundry that are piled up on my bed.
But as I reflected on these five positives that I found in the midst of the chaos, I realized there was one more I had missed.
6. Tomorrow is a new day.
Another chance to implement new and old routines to get my house back under control. Another chance to teach my kids the importance of cleaning up after themselves, again. Another chance for grace.
Being a mama is NOT easy. Some days are obviously much better than others, and we’ve had lots of those days lately, which I’m thankful for. But it’s still not easy by any means. It’s good to remember though that these exhausted and frustrating days don’t define me as a woman. Days of mess and too much screen time and laziness on the couch do not mean I’m a bad wife and mother.
My identity does not come from having a clean and organized home, kids who play imaginatively together all day – without fighting – and always clean up after themselves, exercising for an hour every day, or making elaborate meals for my family.
My identity comes from what God says about me. That I am God’s beloved. All of my identity, worth, value and significance comes from who I am in Christ.
You have worth, not because of what you do or don’t do. Not because of what you have achieved or accomplished. And certainly not because of how you choose to mother or how your tinies turn out.
In Christ, you are loved. You have value beyond your productivity or accomplishments or choices as a person and as a mother.
-Sarah Bessey, My Practices of Mothering