Happy All Saints Day! (And Día de Muertos, have I ever mentioned my deep love for this beautiful celebration?) This post is only tangentially related (as in, motherhood is one road to sainthood and all hard-working mamas are saints in my book!), but it's a great one from one of my favorite bloggers, so give it a read anyway? I won't say a thing if you leave it tucked into your reader until All Saints and All Souls have passed.
I'm fairly certain you have read Matt Walsh's latest post about being a stay-at-home-mom. If you haven't, log into Facebook; someone posted it. Or just read it here. It caused a lot of discussion and controversy as posts like that are wont to do. And in a few days, Miley Cyrus will pull another stunt or Congress will shut something else down, and we will forget all about the article and move on to the next sensation. But, while everyone is moving on, moms (working in or out of the home) are still doing work that will never make the news and never win them any awards. Hardly anyone will ever talk about her job, and that's ok. We don't do it for the fame; we do it for our kids. And no matter where we spend our 9-5, raising kids is a battle, and moms need mental armor to win the daily fight to raise outstanding human beings. I feel blessed that I was able to choose to stay at home with our kids, but on days when I know I am blessed, but I'm not really feeling it, this is what I keep in mind:
This is what I am doing right now.
It is so easy for me to constantly look ahead to what I wish I was doing next. "If I can just get Sam to sleep, I can finally answer that email." "As soon as I get these dishes done, I can read a book." But, what I have found is that I am wishing my life away. I am not always great at it, but I try to stay in the moment and enjoy the task at hand.
They are my job.
Doing the laundry is not my job. Freelancing is not my job. Running errands, answering emails, watering the plants, emptying the dishwasher. These are not my jobs. My main job is to take care of my children when they need me. And yes, sometimes that means showing them how to be an adult by taking care of our home, but sometimes that means letting a load of laundry get wrinkly because a teething baby just needs a snuggle.
Jesus give me patience.
I say this one out loud - a lot. I look straight up at the sky and ask for His Holy Spirit to descend on me and give me the patience I need. I am blunt and humble when I ask Him for help. I can't handle these kids on my own; I can only do it through God.
Just do something; it doesn't matter how slowly.
Often, I don't have the energy to get moving. So, I make a deal with myself: I just need to get up and start doing something. I don't need a burst of energy to knock out a huge to-do list. I just need to head over to the dishwasher and start putting things away one by one. It doesn't matter how long it takes. And more often than not, I start to get motivated and really do tackle that list.
I can only do what I can do.
And, when everything feels like a mess and everyone is crying, I have to remember that I am only one person. There is literally no way I can manage to put out all of the fires at once. Someone will have to cry and something will have to continue to get dirtier. Just start somewhere and do your best.
Don't discipline because you are mad.
Do it because you love your kids too much to let them act that way. Sometimes I get mad at my kids because I forget that they are my job. I feel overwhelmed and unsure. That is not their fault. I don't want to yell because I can't handle the situation. Does that mean I never do? Nope. But I sure do try.
Do you have any mantras you repeat throughout your day? Lay them on me.
Jenna is a stay-at-home-mom from the Midwest. You can call her Jenna. Call her your daily dose of Catholic living. Call her mom. Call her funny, approachable, curious and a lover of beautiful things. Call her what you will, but always Call Her Happy.