I had every intention of writing something uplifting and flowery and everything-is-so-wonderful, but that’s not what came out. Because that’s not how I feel right now. I am weary, overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted.
Regardless of whether or not you are a parent, life is full of these stages – these hills and valleys. Winter is always the hardest for me. As silly as it sounds, things that I could brush off in the summer become big issues to me in the winter. If we are having a hard day in the summer, we just go outside and literally run it off. As I write, the thermometer reads zero – as in, zero degrees Fahrenheit. Running it off is not an option, so we are stuck inside where we find ourselves keeping everything inside until the festering becomes too much and our behaviors show our true feelings.
On top of my winter weariness has been my disdain for the phrase ‘enjoy every moment.’ I just can’t stand to hear it because I don’t – I don’t enjoy every moment. If I didn’t have kids I certainly wouldn’t enjoy every moment of my life. So, why I am expected to enjoy every moment just because I am a parent? This is what I am learning – I don’t need to enjoy every moment, I just need to be there through the moments.
What I’m saying is, I just have to be there to get us through to the times when we are less weary, overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted. I just have to keep showing up. By saying we should enjoy every moment, we imply that these seasons in our lives shouldn’t exist and perhaps we are doing something wrong if they do. That’s just not the case.
This is the reality:
I didn’t enjoy the moment when my son clogged the toilet today with a roll of toilet paper.
I didn’t enjoy the moment when my other child ran through a store like a wild man when I needed to get some things (like the aforementioned toilet paper) and we couldn’t just leave due to his poor behavior.
I didn’t enjoy the moment when I worked and worked to cook dinner for my family only to have it met with rejection.
I didn’t enjoy the moment when my kids ignored my request to clean up and instead made a bigger mess before throwing tantrums.
I didn’t enjoy the moment when I had plans with my husband and was asked to stay late at work.
It’s reality and it’s life and it’s okay. I am reminding myself of this more than anyone. I serve a God who has overcome so much more than a clogged toilet and a temper tantrum. That doesn’t mean that I am not allowed to feel frustrated, it just means that He understands what frustration feels like.
Just like the promise of spring, I also know that there are so many rejuvenating and wonderful times when I more than enjoy the moment.
This is the reality:
I enjoyed the moment when my children ran up to me for no other reason than to hug me and tell me they loved me.
I enjoyed the moment when my kid used such great manners that other people noticed.
I enjoyed the moment when my family raved about a new recipe I tried (cooking is neither fun nor easy for me).
I enjoyed the moment when the kids cleaned up their toys without being asked.
I enjoyed the moment when my boss thanked me for my hard work.
I know I don’t have to tell you that the good times far outweigh the bad, but sometimes that hope and that reminder is what pushes us to keep showing up.
Spring is right around the corner.