“Mom, why aren’t you smiling?”
My 4-year-old took one look at my face, and like an open book, she could read me. Sometimes I wish I could hide it better, tucked behind an infinite smile or a pasted-on happy face. Sometimes I wish my beautiful children—so young, free, and fun—wouldn’t see my face on a day like today.
You see, it’s just so hard—all of it. And I am just so tired. Between working a job, trying to keep up with being a supportive wife and loving mom, and the endless piles of washing( oh, the endless piles of washing), I am not smiling.
This isn’t fun . . . motherhood, life, and all that is required of me each day.
Just like my daughter saw me—raw and real, I see you—tired and weary, mommy. While this season I am in is so busy yet sometimes so lonely as I wipe up a spill, or pack a lunchbox, or fold all of the piles of clothing (oh, the piles of clothing), I don’t feel so alone because I know, out there somewhere, there are millions of moms just like me, doing the same, feeling the same way.
The good news is you don’t always have to have your Instagram or Facebook fake smile on. You can be really honest and say, “Yes, Mommy isn’t smiling right now, but I will.”
Because there will be room for smiles in between the hard, the messy, the exhausting, and did I mention the endless piles of washing? Not just the superficial edges of your mouth turned up, those pearly whites on show kin of smile but real joy kind of smiles.
So let Him give you that. That deep joy that surpasses all else, reaches beyond the here and now, takes its eyes off the difficult moment, and says, “I know you, I see you.”
You can have the joy He gives despite the exhaustion, the heaviness of life, and the moments when your face doesn’t get the message of what is deep inside.
You see, in knowing Jesus, we tired, working, unseen moms do have a reason to smile. So keep looking to Him for your joy, and when your child catches you deep in thought and mid-frown, let’s teach them that despite the moments of hardship, we have the most beautiful reason not simply to smile with our face but to be filled with His supernatural joy that only He can supply.
Well done mom, keep smiling from the inside.