Summer is coming to an end. I’m so happy I get to have my summers off and be home with Malachi. I know it’s time I’ll never get back. But can I be honest? It’s been hard. Being a stay at home mom is not for the faint of heart. I’ve struggled with a lot of guilt over the last year, and felt like I missed out on a lot of things outside of my home. I’m a doer. I’ve always been involved in as much as possible. Sometimes I find my identity in my titles. And I’ve had a lot of titles over the last 10 years.
After I had Malachi, I stopped helping out with the youth group. Before he was born, I wasn’t sure what my role would look like. But this wasn’t exactly my plan. My days were filled with caring for a newborn. Then Joel started a new job and was working 50 hours a week. It was all so overwhelming. By the time I went back to work, adjusted to this whole parenthood thing (as much as you can), going back to help with youth felt weird. I felt like I had let so many people down. And the people pleaser in me struggled with that.
In the spring, I started talking about some of the guilt I’d been fighting. After some conversations with some of the people I thought I’d hurt the most, I realized it was all a lie. Thy weren’t mad at me. They were happy that I’d finally gotten the baby we all prayed for. One of them even told me I’d been right where God wanted me to be the last year. As I looked back over the year, I realized she was right. Motherhood is hard. I needed to take some time and fully invest in it. But she also told me that it was time to get back out there. God has more for me. This was confirmation to what I’d already been feeling. The doer in me is ready to do more again. I still don’t know exactly what God has in store, but I am seeking Him for it.
While that guilt was removed, I’ve still been feeling like I was missing out. Church camp was just a couple weeks ago. I was able to go to one of the night services by myself (hallelujah!), and it was incredible. But it also made me miss being there all week. Then I saw pictures upon pictures, and post after post about how amazing the week was and it the “best camp ever”…. and I had missed it. The girl who does everything missed it all so she could put her baby to bed on time.
As I was reflecting on this again last Sunday, my attitude changed. I don’t have to do something for Malachi, I get to do it. The miracle I’m raising everyday isn’t lost on me. But losing certain freedoms overnight is an adjustment nonetheless. I can’t leave whenever I want, or do whatever I want anymore. My life is longer about me. And sometimes I want to be selfish. But I can’t. Even though I’m so thankful for Malachi, I discovered that my attitude and perspective had room for improvement. I don’t have to hold him in the cry room every Sunday while he naps, I get to. I don’t have to change another diaper, I get to. I don’t have to play on the floor with him, I get to. Children are a gift, not a chore.
I feel like attitude of gratitude has become such a cliché, but there’s so much truth in it. When I’m so focused on what I do have, I don’t have time to think about the things I’m “missing out on”. I thought twice about writing this post because it’s super transparent (even though all my posts are) and is a little humbling to talk about my less than perfect attitude. But I also know I’m not the only one who struggles. So often the enemy makes us feel alone in our thoughts and what we’re fighting, but I promise you are not alone. You are not the first person to fight the battle you’re in. Be encouraged! You’re doing a great job, mamas!
Children are God’s love-gift; they are heaven’s generous reward.
Psalms 127:3 TPT