Stages

At 4:15 in the morning I realized, after my usual pee break, that I had forgotten to do something online.  So I grabbed my phone to do it before I could forget about it the next day…and 20 min. later after reading a random blog I realized something, besides that I was starving and wide awake.  So a snack later I am sitting here at 5 am trying to put it into words, because if I wait til morning there’s no way I’ll even remember it let alone have the time to write it down.  😉

I realized that I have moved on.  I am no longer in the stage of the stay-at-home mommy blogger that I was reading.  No longer in the days of only 1 or 2 kids at home, the days of trying to figure out DIY laundry detergent, laundry systems, homemade organic baby food, green smoothies; the days of trying to cope with a new body image that includes train tracks over half of my belly and the suspicion that things won’t actually ever get better; the days of trying so hard to figure this whole mommy in charge thing day in, day out, when the lack of vitality makes getting a shower a big accomplishment.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I can still have all those conversations w/ my girlfriends who are still in that stage, and I might actually have something to contribute.  I have figured out how to get laundry done for 7 people.  I can make my own homemade lotion and it’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.  And green smoothies are a regular item on the menu.   (but…I also buy baby food from the store.  Shh, don’t tell anyone!)  Also, I do “get it” still.  I am pregnant, trying to figure out how my 19 month old is going to cope when she gets kicked out of the bed for the sake of the new baby…sometime soon.  All I have to hear are the words “stomach flu” and my vision goes a little blurry.  But usually I just smile and nod while my younger friends talk about what they’re learning…and I realized that’s not my stage anymore.

I’m drawn to the women whose eyes show battle lines from years of effort.  The ones who need gentle prodding to talk about themselves, how they have made it so far.  The ones who look pretty put together but who have coped with things I’m still only vaguely in dread of (4 girls hitting puberty??).  I want to talk to them, I want to know how they made it this far.  I want to know how, after 10 years of child-rearing, you can keep going and not be the burnt out shell you feel like but still get excited over homemade playdough creations.  I’m in the middle and it’s hard.  I want to hear from the ones who actually have made it through that it is possible to make it through!  And without (hopefully) having children too scarred.  I am realizing that all DIY projects aside, it’s my sinful nature and my children’s sinful nature that is the biggest problem and that can’t be fixed with a new system.  All those books of the ilk of “how to have a new child by Friday” make me almost nauseous w/ cynicism.

I need to be reminded that it is by grace alone that we are saved, not by our own works.  And that grace is new every morning, because great is HIS faithfulness, not my own.  I am tired.  And there’s still a long ways to go…

That’s the stage I’m at.  So I’m going to keep looking for those women, and keep trying to remember the lessons learned in the trenches the hard way, and above all keep trying.  For my kids’ sakes, and my own.

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About nathankathy

Nathan and Katherine Born are two Christians trying to serve God as best they can.
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