Do you ever get the feeling that you are a complete mess?
Like, take yesterday for instance. I made the bold decision to take all three kids into the store for a split second in order to purchase a ridiculously expensive ink cartridge for my printer.
We were in the store less than five minutes, in which time Jake had torn two secured printer pieces off of the wall, Ada had bumped into some angry looking lady, and Mya managed to knock all of the gum boxes off of the shelf in her quest to convince me to buy her something.
Sometimes, I just get so tired that nothing is ever easy, even running into the store to buy an ink cartridge.
I really feel like it’s just me; I see other people’s children acting like normal, sane human beings in the store and I look at mine and think, how on earth did they get so dirty from the walk out of the car to here? What IS that on her face? Ohmygosh, where did Jake go??
And then I think about what’s coming in T-minus 5 months and counting and I am afraid, very afraid.
But the other night, my husband said something to me that made me completely reevaluate my life as I see it right now. Actually, when I think about it, I’m kind of impressed at how profound he is.
We were at dinner, and of course, my kids were being their normal overall happy selves, but messy and loud and I made a remark that sometimes, I was embarrassed to go out in public with all of them and my big pregnant belly, just knowing that people thought of me as that lady.
You know the one, right? The one that’s always disheveled, with messy, out-of-control kids, that you suspect lets her children stay up to all hours of the night eating sugar? The one who must be crazy to have all of those little kids?
I sighed and Ben, to my surprise, shook his head emphatically at me.
“Oh, Chaunie,” he said firmly. “Stop it. You may be in this stage right now, but it doesn’t define you.“
Who knew my husband was so wise?
I sat, slightly dumbfounded, amidst the crumbled cracker crumbs that Jake was currently reveling happily in, as the girls bickered for their uncle’s attention and I realized, holy crap, he’s right.
I may totally be that disheveled mother with slightly messy children right now.
And I may have trouble making it through the grocery store unscathed right now.
And I may wonder if I will ever sleep at night again right now.
But these things, this one particular stage of life does not define, just as, thank god, high school or the awkward teen years didn’t define me.
They are are a part of me, not just me, the mom, but me.
The kids will grow. They will gain the ability to walk through a store without knocking 15 things off the shelf. They will not always require me to do a half-hearted job of wiping their faces after each meal.
I am in the thick of it right now, these crazy, messy, sometimes hard, always beautiful, mom of little people years.
But they are not forever.
So I can learn to laugh through them, accept them, and know that someday, eventually, we will move past them.
Although something tells me–
I will most likely still be slightly disheveled even then.