“This is not going to get easier any time soon.”
This thought occurred to me as I was wrangling my toddler under one arm, dripping wet. Dusty, polluted Phoenix doesn’t know how to do rain, so instead of being a pretty, reviving rainfall, it’s kind of a mess.
I put Seb down, and then change my mind and pick him back up to go and get the groceries one-handed.
Most of my tasks involve two choices now:
- Put Sebastian down to do the thing and listen to him scream, or;
- Do the thing one handed.
Eric and I hope to have more kids, maybe enough for a whole soccer team, but every time I picture adding another child, or car seat, or tantrum to the mix, running a marathon tomorrow feels more possible.
Sometimes I play the “How Would I Do This With Three Kids” game in my brain. It’s a terrible game, I don’t recommend it. It usually ends by my brain reaching that danger zone that dings like a cartoon thermometer reading dangerously hot right before it explodes.
Then again, I never knew how I would manage to cook dinner with a cranky, overtired child literally trying to push me out of the kitchen with his cute little muscles, but there’s that saying about necessity and invention, right?
Whoever made that up probably meant prehistoric man learning how to start fires in below freezing temperatures- I’m just referring to finding a show on Netflix that is so mesmerizing my kid forgets I exist- but who’s comparing.
I put Seb in his high chair and watch him devour his lunch, picking up each cube of cheese and shoving it with intense precision into his toothy mouth.
As I lean against the countertop with one hip, I let my eyes glaze over, remembering the first time I put Cheerios in front of him, and openly wept when he managed to get 1 of 500 in his mouth.
Then there was that time when I first tried carrying his car seat to the car with my purse, water bottle, and sunglasses in the other hand, feeling like I was never going to get used to how heavy it was on my arm.
Each day of being a mom has felt like a whirlwind of the unknown, with Seb as the teacher and me as the bewildered student.
I have never stopped being amazed at how difficult it is on a daily basis to put my needs aside for the sake of his. Equally as surprising is the amount I have been able to give, even when I am convinced I have reached the end of my rope.
This trainer in a workout video I do is always telling me to push my muscles, adding more and more weight. “These are your big muscles,” he says, “they can handle it”.
Every day these mom muscles grow and get stronger in new ways- but not on my own. The truth is that I would be nothing without God reviving me. Breathing life back into this tired, exhausted body of mine and gently telling me “I know you have no patience, but I do.”
The incredible thing about God is that the more that I am incapable, the more he is able to work through me. The more I throw up my hands and invite him into the impossible situation that is a week of skipped naps, the more He is able to step in and pour out His grace.
In the deepest, darkest parts of my heart where I doubt my ability to be a mother or selflessly love this child, He is there.
Seb has finished his meal and is now picking up green beans and throwing them to the ground one by one with profound satisfaction.
I lift him out of his highchair and hug him close for a moment, his legs happily kicking my sides.
26lbs of pure, squirmy, heavy squish, and I barely feel the weight.
– Seb’s Mom