“I hate being a mom some days,” I muttered under my breath.
“What did you just say?” My husband asked, looking at me in confusion.
“Nothing. I didn’t say anything,” I said as I picked up the car seat and walked out the door towards the van.
“No really, what did you just say?” He persisted.
I put the baby in the van, my other two calling out to me from the back seat as I closed the van door.
“I said, ‘I hate being a mom some days,’ ” I said as the tears started to well up in my eyes.
I climbed into the driver’s seat and started off down our lane towards the main road. I gripped the steering wheel, feeling my face turn bright red, my throat burning trying to hold back the sobs.
It had been a day. Actually it had been a few months. We’d added a new baby earlier this year, our four year old was turning into a teenager, and our two year old (I was convinced) was demonic at the flip of a switch. OK, maybe not demonic, but she was a force to be reckoned with. And I was just tired of it all.
Some days motherhood is just absolutely defeating; if it’s not one thing it’s another. Sickness that’s going around town has invaded your home, constant diaper changes, and kids who won’t nap. Meals to be made, dishes to be scrubbed, faces (whole bodies) to be wiped off, and floors to be swept.
And in the middle of all of the everyday tasks came all of the little things that sent me over the edge that day. The whining, the bickering, and the “oopsies.” And the noise. Oh my goodness, the constant noise. Compounded with the lack of sleep I was experiencing, I was at the end of my rope, completely overwhelmed. I looked into the rear view mirror, my oldest two flipping through books in the back seat, the baby finally asleep, and then my eyes shifted to my own face.
Who was that tired, unhappy woman and where did she come from?
And then I thought back to what I had said to my husband just a few minutes earlier. I quickly pulled over and grabbed my phone.
“Honey, you know what I just said… you know I didn’t mean that, right? I mean you really know that?”
“Of course I do. I’m just so sorry it’s hard right now.”
“No, I mean I’m really sorry. I really didn’t mean it. It’s not that I hate being a mom. I just hate what it does to me sometimes. Actually I hate that it pushes me over the edge and I get so overwhelmed sometimes because I have so much on my plate. I hate who I’ve become as a mom some days and I just wish it wasn’t so dang hard.”
Our phone call abruptly ended due to the screaming baby who had lost his binky, but as soon as he was settled again, our trip to Target continued. Our time at the store was short…short and very loud. Before I knew it we were back home, and again I was feeling overwhelmed and just mad. I turned on a cartoon for the older two, got the baby settled for his nap, and headed into my pantry with a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
As I sat there in my curdled milk-covered t-shirt and my comfort in a bowl, I started scrolling through my Facebook feed. A news article on the chemical attack in Syria popped up and I clicked on the link to see if there had been any new developments.The first image to pop up on the screen was one that I quickly began to scroll away from. Ashamed of myself, I scrolled back up to see a truck full of children being hosed off; their parents desperately trying to wash off the chemicals that were causing the most horrific of symptoms. Foaming at the mouth, seizing, hallucinating, pain…. it was too much for me to bear and I closed the article.
I can’t even begin to imagine what the mothers of those Syrian children have experienced. To see your child suffer, but then to lose them so painfully and in an act that was so incredibly senseless? It’s a pain that I can not even fathom. To go from having a house full of little chatter and laughter to a life of deafening silence….
I snapped out of my thoughts and realized that it was silent in my house, I could only hear the soft hum of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the background. I walked out of my pantry and peered over the couches to see my oldest two children sleeping, the baby still dozing on and off on the monitor. My heart felt so selfish, so guilty, in that moment of silence.
All day long, all I had wanted was a few minutes of silence; to be left alone to get my household chores done and to pee by myself in peace. While on the other side of the world, there are 11 mothers who would give anything to be barged in on while trying to get their to-do list done or to be interrupted while on a phone call to a friend. And here I was wishing it all away.
On this day, I was humbly reminded of the gift that my children are, even on the most defeating days. And while it’s OK to be overwhelmed and frustrated in our hardest seasons as mamas, we must, we must remember that our children are our greatest blessing. So go ahead, eat your mint chocolate chip ice cream in the pantry, have a good cry in your mini van, and let your frustration out to someone you trust. But remember the mamas of Syria, friends. Pray for their precious hearts and hug your babies a little tighter tonight. And be thankful that it’s your home that’s filled with the little chattering and laughter and not the deafening silence of loss.