Back From Maternity Leave

A couple weeks ago, I had a bit of an emotional meltdown.

And then, of course, following the emotional meltdown, I had an epiphany.

I started back to work at the beginning of the year, and I haven’t had the easiest transition coming back. I love my job and the people I work with, but it doesn’t feel right that I’m spending my days away from my babies. It’s been a very emotional return, and fortunately the Lord has blessed me with many friends (old and new) who have been so understanding and have reassured me that I am not alone in this. Being a working mom is hard enough without my own pressures, guilt, and longings to be with my kids flooding my mind most days.

To make matters worse, when I get home, I am overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” that needs to be done. Housework needs to be done, dinner needs to be cooked and eaten, kids need to be bathed, and it all needs to be done the moment I walk in the door. This is in my mind, of course. Caleb is a wonderful husband and is more than supportive and helpful–but he can’t change the things that sneak into my mind every evening.

We had a night of prayer at youth group a few weeks ago, and everyone shared the things in their lives that needed prayer. Some were needing physical healing, some were struggling with things, and I shared that I needed help managing my time. That was the only thing I could come up with to describe my constant dilemma, but it’s more like I feel the need to try and control my life, when I really don’t have any control at all.

I can’t clean my house every day. Not the whole thing… that’s so unrealistic. I need to be smarter in the way I do things so I’m not running around doing a whole lot of nothing. In the midst of trying to clean (or saying “I’d really like to get THIS done before going to bed”), I’m trying to spend time with my kids, but sometimes I get so distracted that they get even less of my attention. I’m already gone all day, and I come home and try to get a bunch of other stuff done. I can’t do it all. I hate that it bothers me, too.

I am going to try to not stress about some things in my life. If the laundry doesn’t get folded, it doesn’t get folded. I’d rather spend my energy on my kids. Until our life circumstances change, I will make the most of what God has blessed us with.

I know I’m not alone in this. I know many other moms who feel the same way. I’ve been reading Esther recently, thanks to the SheReadsTruth app (which I love, by the way), and one verse really stuck with me.

“…And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

Mordecai was talking to Queen Esther about how she could be the one to save her people. Basically, no one knows why we’re put in the positions we are in, but we need to be brave enough (or strong enough, or humble enough, etc…) to accept the task God puts before us. I need to remember this as well. I may not have the role I want to be in, but God never promised I would be perfectly happy in life, based on my definition of happiness anyway. This may still very well be where God wants me, and until that changes, I need to be joyful in my position and make the most of my time with my kids. And until then, I need to pray for contentment and that I would desire his plan over my own.


The mama I want to be

I have this image in my head of what kind of mom I’d be if I had the time, money, and energy to figure out how to become her.

For one, I’d make just about everything. I haven’t decided if I want to for health reasons or because I’m so cheap, but I’d definitely make my own everything. (Okay, not everything.. but the luxurious soaps, face washes, scrubs, laundry detergent, etc, etc. All infused with glorious essential oils).

I would have my own garden to grow my own veggies. This is an ideal, but I know I’d hate it. Bugs, dirt… Not my thing. But I want the “free,” fresh, healthy foods.
I would make healthy meals every day. No processed foods for this family! It would all come from my wonderful garden, and I would be intentional about the meals I made and fed my family.

I would have chickens. Those fresh eggs are the best. I know, thanks to my in-laws.
I would go garage sale-ing as often as possible during the summer, and make glorious DIY projects out of my one-of-a-kind finds.

I would (learn how to) decorate my house with said one-of-a-kind-finds-turned-glorious-DIY-projects.

I would keep my house clean. Like company presentable. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun taking pride in my home–I enjoy seeing it clean and tidy. I would love to keep things clean throughout the week so I’m not so stressed about cleaning on the weekends, but we all know I can keep dreaming.

I would teach my daughter with creative, thoughtful, and intentional activities. (Hello, Pinterest!)

I would explore my creativity and be one of those artsy moms.

Eh, maybe I don’t want it that much. Most of these things are possible, but would take a lot of time. I have to remind myself sometimes that a creative life requires more time than I’m willing to give right now. Everyday when I come home from work, I am greeted by a little girl waiting with squeals and slobbery kisses. As soon as I walk in the door, I don’t want to do anything but love on my baby. I love my time with my family, and they are my priority. So even though I enjoy dreaming of my “ideal”, in reality, I’ve already got it.