This stage of life.
It’s hard, you guys.
I’m talking right now to you moms who are around my age …. late 20’s to mid 30’s. You have kids. Likely two or three . Being a mom is the hardest job ever . Add in a child with sensory needs and a speech delay- some days are REALLY hard .
They probably range in age from toddlers to 7 or 8 year-olds. (Give or take a few, on all of the above mentioned stats). In this stage of life, you are dealing with exhaustion. Mental, physical, and emotional. In this stage of life, you are dealing with tantrums and beautiful moments … With stomach viruses. You are juggling schedules, appointments, sports , and constantly going from point A to point B. A million balls you are juggling, and you probably feel like you are dropping most of them sometimes right ? Then guilt tends to plague you because something is eating you up inside . In this stage of life, you are dealing with guilt. Guilt over having a career, and not spending enough time with your kids, or guilt over staying home with your kids, and not doing enough to contribute financially. Yet everything you do IS for the kids. Guilt over being too harsh with your kids. Too lenient. Guilt that your house is clean, but your kids were ignored, or guilt that you enjoyed your children all day, and now your husband is coming home to filth. Guilt. Yep.
In this stage of life, you are bombarded daily with a whole lot of decisions. Some of them life-changing, some of them not. None of them with clear cut answers. Do I vaccinate my kids? Do I not? Do I send them to public school? Charter school? Private ? Is this special needs system even good? Is this what’s best for him/her! ? You don’t know the answers to ANYTHING, but you feel constant pressure to figure out EVERYTHING.
This stage of life is less and less about watching your friends get married and have babies, and more and more about standing by and witnessing your friends struggle in their marriage, and even get divorced. It’s a stage where you’ve got to put in the time and the effort and the work and the energy to make sure your OWN marriage stays healthy. And that’s good, but it’s hard, too.
At this point, you or someone you know has experienced infertility. Miscarriages. Loss of a child. It’s a stage where you are buying houses, selling houses, remodeling houses, renting out your house , packing up houses.
It’s a stage where your hormones are all out of whack. You even question whether you’re bipolar . You look at yourself and you’re like wow. I definitely look different I love my battle wounds. Shall you decide to have one more ? You realize time is ticking and time goes fast !
It’s a stage where you are struggling with identity. Is my entire identity “mommy”? Is there anything even left of me that isn’t about mothering? Is there something more glamorous I could have/should have done with my life? I LOOK like a mom now, don’t I? I totally do. ( as I STARE) at the mess I’ve been trying to get to for two days! It’s a stage where you are on a constant quest for balance, and can never find it. You think you do , but you don’t . There’s no such thing as balance friends .
It’s a stage of life where you are overloaded. Constantly. You are overloaded with questions. Your children never stop asking them. You are overloaded with touch. Someone is constantly wanting to be held, holding on to you, hanging on to you, touching you. You are overloaded with to-do’s. There is so much to do. It never ends. You are overloaded with worry. You are overloaded with THINGS. Your kids have way too many toys. You are overloaded with activities. You are overloaded with THOUGHTS (thoughts about how to not be so overloaded, perhaps?). It’s hard. So….what do you need to do to survive it all?
You need to ask for help.
You need to accept help when it’s given.
You need GRACE.
You need to not neglect your marriage.
You need to put your kids down for bed early.
You need to wake up EARLY to fill your cup FIRST!
Sit outside with your husband, drink a glass of wine, and have a conversation when the kids are down.
You need more girlfriend time .
You need your mom or Dad.
You need older friends, who have been there and done that. Who can reassure you that you AREN’T screwing it all up as badly as you think you are yet won’t judge u and tell you their way is best and act like they know it all.
You need to not feel bad about doing the things that make you happy.
You need to lower your expectations….then probably lower them again. But deep down your raising your bar !
You need to simplify. Simplify every single part of your life, as much as it can be simplified. Get rid of the negative and focus on positive . You need to learn how to say “no”. You need to practice grace .
You need to pray. Girl, you need to pray.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, you need to remember that….. ….this stage of life is beautiful, too. Like, really really beautiful. This is the stage of life where every single older person you ever meet tells you, “you’re going to miss this”. And you already know it’s true. It’s the stage where your kids love you more than they are EVER going to love you again, for the whole rest of your life. It’s the stage where they can fit their entire selves into your lap to snuggle…and they want to. It’s the stage where their biggest problems ARE tummy aches or big emotions they can yet express .
We’re not dealing with problems like broken hearts or addiction or bullying yet. It’s the stage where you are learning to love your spouse in an entirely different….harder…..better…. way. The stage where you are learning together, being stretched together, shedding your selfishness together, and TRULY being made into “one”. It’s the stage where you get to see Christmas, Halloween through your kids eyes, and it’s so much more fun and magical than it would be just through your own eyes. It’s the stage of life filled with field trips, class parties, costumes, swim lessons, bubble baths, dance parties, and loose teeth. And those things are so fun. It’s the stage where you are young enough to have fun, and old enough to have obtained at least SOME wisdom.
It’s SUCH a great stage. But, man it’s hard.