It’s easy to wax poetic on the blog about the divine purpose, broader perspective, grand scheme importance of mothering. In my heart of hearts, I know I feel every single ounce of every such proclamation I’ve made, in this space, and others, or else, I never would have made them in the first place.
But many days, it feels much simpler than that. I find myself motivated not by a desire to be the very best, or give the very most. Rather, I’m simply trying to survive – to make it to the end of the day, the end of the summer, the end of whatever it is that, in any particular moment, is making me stark raving crazy.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that five kids is hard, that maintaining a house for this many is an endless, often thankless job. I clean and clean, thinking that eventually I’ll get to the end, only to realize there isn’t an end to a circle. And cleaning a house lived in by seven people? Um, yeah. One GIANT circle. But cleaning isn’t all I do. I usher, feed, drive, chaperone, entertain, teach, scold, encourage.
I keep pedaling, pushing onward, trying, trying, trying to just make it through one more day. And I get tired. Really, really tired.
Tired of messes I didn’t make.
Tired of lessons that still aren’t learned.
Tired of tantrums.
Tired of being tired.
I get the purpose, the meaning. I feel it, love it, want to keep doing it. But it’s hard, people! Hard not to completely loose my cool when someone wakes up the baby or poops on the floor or makes a mud pie in the bathroom sink.
It’s hard to hold onto my sanity when I’m loading the washing machine for the fifty bazillioneth time, or sweeping graham cracker crumbs off the floor in my bedroom even though no one is allowed to eat at the computer desk in the first place and I’ve said it so many times, you’d think everyone would remember, but why would they remember when no one really hears me when I’m talking anyway unless someone is bored or hungry and their legs and brains are obviously broken which is why they are standing in front of me with puppy dog eyes wanting me to feed them, entertain them, make a rainbow, build a swimming pool because it’s so hot, and why didn’t I tell them it was going to be so hot so they could put on a different shirt this morning, because I should have known they would not like being hot!
But then the baby smiles. The kids laugh. The husband comes home from work early. And suddenly, I’m rescued. I realize that I’m surviving, because there is so stinkin’ much to survive for. I’m pushing through one more day because in the midst of all those days, are the moments that make this gig so worth it in the first place.
I don’t love every day. I don’t love everything that mothering requires. Some days, I’m merely surviving. But I’m surviving because it is worth it. (Here we go again – waxing poetic.) I’m surviving because I have to, I want to, I need to be with these little people that so desperately need me.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard.
And sometimes, you just gotta say that out loud.