So here’s the deal. For the past two months I’ve been a mess. I’ve been trying to organize my life. I’ve been dying to hang on to relationships that seem impossible to rekindle. I’ve been filling my to do list with random things that don’t REALLY need to get done. I’ve been over committing to lots of projects and people. And I finally had a big, fat, giant breakdown about a week ago. I mean, I literally thought I was pregnant due to the stress and hormones I was feeling.
I have a really hard time with being content. I am being honest here. Here’s the thing: I am a stay at home mom, and I chose to be. I wanted to spend time taking care of my daughter, household, and supporting my husband. I knew at the time that for a season I’d be saying no to a paycheck, saying no to a ton of independence, and would battle the idea of what my new role and identity would be. After changing poopy diapers all day no one says- “Hey, you should get a raise! You are excellent at changing diapers!”. So I tend to find a ways to over commit my time and resources so that I feel accomplished! It is really backwards.
I cried at how I am feel mediocre at everything I do. I tried to make pancakes on Father’s Day and they turned out disgusting. Which made me cry about how I intended to play the guitar (and it hasn’t left the closet in over a year)… which reminded me of how I hadn’t worked out in a long time… which made me feel all gross and ugly.
But you know what? I can’t have it all. I cannot be the best at everything right now. It’s literally not possible (even though Pinterest likes to tempt us so). I only have so much time and right now my desire is that it would be filled with the important, eternal things. I realized how selfish I had been. I also realized how easy it is for my priorities to get out of whack when I am comparing myself to other people. When I prayed about my life and stepped back, I realized the solution is very simple. I needed gratitude for my situation, to spend more time daily with God reminding me of truths and changing beliefs in my heart, and to simplify my life so I have time to tend to these important things.
This morning Brian and I worked out in our backyard. I filled the kiddy pool with water for Lillian to splash in. Well, she wanted IN- all the way in. Of course. So I took off her clothes. When her diaper hung down to her knees I decided it was time to take it off. She was a naked baby, having a ball. I threw my plans out the door for the next two hours and watched her run around in total delight, butt naked. She was running through the sprinklers, tossing rocks, and rolling around in the grass. There is something about watching a naked baby running around that let’s down your guard. I walked into our house (which I had just tidied up) and saw toys and food and clothes and movies covering our living room floor. And the thought hit me: these are the sweetest days. The days when dirty socks and sippy cups remind me that the most precious moments are near me. I have all I need to be fulfilled. I don’t need a stellar social life right now. I have a toddler who wants to talk babble to me like there is no tomorrow. This is so fleeting and beautiful.
Why is chaos so scary? Why do I try so hard to organize chaos and box it up into a pretty package? Chaos can be so lovely, wild, and freeing. Running with the wind, being ready for change, and living life at the edge of my seat is a privilege I get to live right now. Seasons come and go. I find we are always looking forward to the next. Pumpkin lattes in the fall. Christmas carols in the winter. Flowers blooming in the spring. Each season reminds us of the season the year before. Sweet memories and scents we long to recreate. I want to be better at enjoying the season I am in, because I know I will deeply miss it when it comes to pass.
This is my life now. It is difficult to raise a toddler. It takes sacrifice, a ton of patience, and a vision for the future. Yet there are so many funny, once-in-a-lifetime moments that happen in my home each day. I love my baby girl more than I could have ever imagined. She fills my heart with so much joy and happiness it is crazy! It is fun being a parent and watching my husband tickle her and his face light up around her. He loves that little girl, too. Being a parent has been the most fun, enjoyable thing I have done yet, worth every sacrifice.
I long to be present and content where I am at, knowing that it is the simple things- the smell of my baby after a bath, the look on her face after seeing her first bubble, hearing “mommy” for the first time- that I will look back on with fondness forever. The socks, toys, and silly cups won’t be there forever. Cleaning up is easy. Being present to sit down with my kiddo and love on her takes intentional living. I won’t remember how dirty my house was. I’ll remember how much love was inside it.