Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Being real

"...apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

There is so much to say and I don't know how to say it all or if I even should say it all, I've been somewhat overwhelmed with our life this past week  Maybe you are just like me and look at other moms and wonder, "How do they do it all?"  It's funny for me to hear people say, "I don't know how you do it, homeschooling and having a big family with so many little ones."  The truth is I don't know how I do it either most days and I feel that I fail at doing it by a landslide.
I don't mean to be negative or complain but I feel obligated to be honest about the true struggles I have within myself as a mom to four young children.  It has always been my goal that other moms would be encouraged by this blog.  Sometimes it's most encouraging to hear and see the real facts about some ones life, to know that they struggle, that they are in need of more than themselves too.
So, this past week I've been pretty beat down.  Every day has had a new set of challenges, I'd like to be honest and share what's been going on.  Let me start by saying I am very excited about Baby #5, I am so thankful for their life.  We are all eager for them to get here when the time is right and love on them and welcome them home.  Joe and I had the chance to see them via ultrasound this week and there is nothing like it in the world, AMAZING!  I couldn't believe how much they have grown in four weeks.  Life is such a miracle, they're life is a miracle!  In addition to that, I have battled through some very real emotions about the changes this little one has brought into my life, I'll try to explain.
Last summer, for the first time in my life, I started running, often, regularly, long and hard.  I worked with a very clear goal in mind, to run a 5K on October 29.  I ran in the heat of summer, the humid days at the end of long days mothering.  It was the first time I have ever worked for anything {for myself} so hard that didn't come easily for me.  It's the hardest thing I have ever done.  I was proud of myself, it felt good to be doing something to improve my health.  Eventually I was running a 5K distance, something I never thought I'd do.  I knew that I could accomplish my goal.
Our anniversary was the week after I found out I was expecting.  Joe and I went away for a night and went shopping the next day.  As we walked into Old Navy, I broke down crying, I realized that my goal of going shopping for new fall clothes wasn't going to happen.  There would be no new-smaller-size clothes, all my work wouldn't be paid off by a shopping trip.  There was no point in it, my fall and winter wardrobe would be my usual box of maternity clothes.  I never thought I would be "that woman", the woman who cried over maternity clothes.
Last Saturday was October 29th.  I didn't run a 5K.  Since becoming pregnant I've stopped running.  Running hasn't even been an option, I have no energy.  My mom ran it, her first race ever and I am so very, very proud of her!  I called to congratulate her, genuinely happy for her and eager to hear all about her run.  I unexpectedly broke down crying, I realized that something I worked so hard for and planned for didn't happen.  Sometimes it feels like I give up so much being a mom, and no I wouldn't change it, but the struggle is there.  I never thought I'd be "that woman", a woman who cried over something she gave up to have a baby, it sounds so selfish.
Brady has had a 14 day cold that ended up becoming a sinus infection.  He's been pitiful, feverish and wanting to be held.  I haven't felt well either, I've been battling the same cold, on top of still having pregnancy yuckies and headaches that last days on end.  My  brain has been in a fog until today from one.  My carpal tunnel has been acting up and last night as I held him my hands kept tingling and going numb. For me, being physically weak by sickness is sure to be followed by an unkempt house and a failing to-do list, and then a pity party.  I had one, let me tell you, after I found out this news.
Monday I went to the doctor for my 13 week check up.  The results from my glucose test were in and I have Gestational Diabetes for the 3rd pregnancy in row, except this time it started at the 13 week mark instead of the 28 week testing.  I have started the diet and the daily testing my blood sugar, I can say that the next 27 weeks look much longer and daunting than ever. Slowly, I am reminding myself of the good that comes from this disciplined time and I know that God has a good reason for making me to be healthier.
Jenna has been extremely demanding lately.  She has demolished her closet most every afternoon at nap time, instead of taking a nap.  Everything from climbing on a doll house to pull down board games and getting Play-doh in the carpet to tearing up Bethany's art work.  Yesterday I switched out the door knob, with a lock, from their bedroom door to their closet door, so maybe we could end some of the drama.  Today she found a pen and wrote all over her arms and legs.  She truly is a very sweet and loving child, she keeps us all laughing and smiling.  I don't ever want to miss saying how great of a girl she is, but she can also be whiny and demanding and very disobedient.
The combination of so much has really been hard for me to deal with and when I read it back I think, "Gosh, you are so pathetic that this has all gotten you down!"  But the truth is the truth.  People tell me they couldn't live my life and have 5 children and there were moments this week where I agreed with them. I really thought to myself, "I can't do this!!"

And you know what?

I can't, I fail at motherhood miserably.  I fail at my relationship with my husband.  I am selfish and not nearly as selfless as I give myself credit for. I lose my temper and raise my voice in frustration at my three year old.  I let what other people say about our family growing bother me too much.  I have lost focus of what God has called us to do by listening to the world and what they're saying about us.  My laundry gets backed up on a weekly basis and, in the corner of my room, I have my own personal pile of clothes that never go into a drawer or a closet.  Currently my desk is covered under in stuff that doesn't belong there.  Everyday ends with an imperfect house, and an imperfect me.
This is the point I always come back to, time and time again.  If you come here often you probably already know what I'm going to say.  But some how, I continually get lost and distracted.  Doubt seeps into my heart, worry and fear and lies.  Instead of turning them away I entertain them until I can't stand their presence any longer.  That's when I see my mistake, I'm trying to be enough, I'm trying to be perfect, I'm trying to hold it all together, I'm trying to live this life without the greatest helper of all, my Jesus.
He allows the struggles you know, but He never means for me to deal with them alone.  I can't handle it all and He knows that.  His plan for my daily life is so much sweeter and deeper than I see it most days.  What I do matters to Him.  The little things that go unappreciated, unseen and unnoticed are very important to Him.  The hurting of my heart, that pales in comparison to so many other hearts, is just as important to Him as anyone elses' trials and struggles.
He wants to meet with me in the morning and walk with me as I discipline and love and serve my children.  I miss Him, fully and completely I totally miss Him in my day.  I focus on me too much.  I am not better than you for living this life.  I am not called to live life without Him and neither is anyone else.  I can't have five children in my own strength, but with Him, He is enough. 
It doesn't matter if you're a mom, a working mom or a stay at home mom.  If your daily life is nothing like mine, it's still the same, God wants to be with you, to be more to you, to walk with you, to help and to guide you. My relationship with Jesus is very related with where I am in life, mothering small children, but God meets each of us where we are in life and every single situation, all different and diverse.
You know what?  When people look at me, they're not supposed to see me and how great I am.  How wonderful I parent, or how well I manage our life as a large family, or how smart my children are from being home educated.  They should see Jesus.  This convicts me.  There are days my children don't even see Jesus in me.  I need Him more and more, I am never enough without Him.  Please know that this life I'm living is about Someone so much bigger than me, without Him I am nothing.


Bonnie said...

Oh I'm right there with you on many points! But you speak the Truth and everyday I catch myself trying to parent on my own in my own way. I have a Jenna too and he knows how to push every button. Many Mommy hugs from across the border.

Wanting What I Have said...

AMEN, friend. I'm right there with you.

Wanting What I Have said...

PS Have I missed something? Are you expecting twins? I kept reading "they" in this post...

Miranda said...

Jen, No! :) There is only one Baby #5. I just couldn't bear to call the baby an "it"! :) Confusing, sorry! Hope you are well!

Anonymous said...

Love your honesty. You're just like your brother- often too hard on yourself. You're a great mom and it doesn't matter if the laundry piles up. Any mom that invests herself into her children will have that. I do and I only have two children! I'm sorry about your 5K, I totally understand. Before even reading your blog I blogged about how sad I was that I can't run anymore. Things like that do matter and are important. Just pick a race to train for after #5 is born. Love you! ~ Erin

~Mom~ said...

The race you run everyday is so much greater than a little 5K. I am so proud of you. And your rewards are abounding and will follow you for years to come. I am still enjoying my rewards from my children... and the day will come when you will run your 5K too! Hopefully you won't be 53, but whenever it is it will be the right race at the right time.
Love you!

SailorMoon said...

I love reading your blog & am jealous and admire you all at the same. I'm a single mom of 3, daughter 19, off in college over a 1000 miles away, son 17, a senior this year and my baby boy, 9 years old. The older 2 play club soccer and soccer and soccer and I am never at home. My house is always a mess, dishes are never done, laundry is never done, my bedroom specifically is a pigsty. Your life seems so good to me. I know, we shouldn't covet. That is one bad thing I do. I look at everyone's else's perfect life and think woe is me. I wouldn't trade my life for a minute though. You hang in there, you are a role model to me, though I'm probably old enough to be your mother, and keep working on baby #5. It is what it is, and we do what we can do. Enjoy it and keep teaching those kids the "word". ;) This is rambling but I love reading about a godly mother such as yourself.

Miranda said...

SailorMoon, Thanks for the encouragement. Your comment gives me a much needed perspective. I'm glad you took the time to comment! If you blog, you'll have to share it with me. :)

Anonymous said...


I love this post. I completely understand everything you said. Thank you for speaking the truth, a truth I can totally relate to! Very encouraging!

Kyndra said...

What is it with three year olds and nap-time? On Tuesday my three year old, Su decided that decorating my room (where she naps) with baby powder would be a good idea! After being specifically reminded that she wasn't to mess with anything on my dresser. Hang in there, you'll probably start feeling better once the diabetes diet kicks in...We're expecting our 4th in May (the eldest will be 5) and I just finished with the first trimester blahs, so praying for you....K

Jacqui said...

Thanks for being authentic in todays post! So often we read of the joys of the large family but not the struggles. They are just as real as the joys. Always when I find myself in your shoes I have to cling to the Savior. He always brings me back around to where I need to be. The Lord knows you fully & He always knows how to encourage you. I blog at if you ever want to check it out.