Sunday, September 6, 2009

Not the Only One

Anne Lamott said in her book Bird by Bird, "Toddlers can make you feel as if you have violated some archaic law in their personal koran and you should die, infidel."That is pretty much how I feel most of the time. But there are usually a few shining moments in every day that make it all worth it.

One moment I will never forget happened a few weeks ago. We were getting the boys ready to go somewhere one evening, and I had had a really hard day with them that day. I had knelt down to help Malachi with shoes or something similar, and Izzy walked up to me, smiling his sunshine smile, like he had a delightful secret. He put his little chubby hands on my cheeks and said, “Mommy, you bright!” And the way he said it, I felt like it was the best compliment I have ever received. Especially because at that moment, I didn’t feel very bright. I feel more like a shriveled banana peel or a storm cloud.

Those moments are really important. As a stay at home mom, sometimes I feel like life is pretty monotonous. It’s not very exciting, I don’t get paid for it, and my children seem to scream an awful lot. At me. Every day. It can be wearing.

One of my teachers at Christ for the Nations, the Bible College where Aaron and I met, used to say, “Surviving can drop dead! I want to thrive, not just survive!” But most of the time, I feel like I am definitely more surviving than thriving.

Some days I am not sure my kids will live to adulthood. Other days I am sure they will, but I question whether I will still be sane when they do.

But I take courage, knowing that I am not the only one. I am not the only one who is going through this right now. I’m not the only mom who feels exhausted at the end of the day.

Sometimes when I’ve had an especially difficult day, and I feel like a terrible mother, I think how unfair it is. It is unfair that if Aaron had a job that he felt he just wasn’t at all good at and it wasn’t working, he could quit and do something else. But you don’t get to quit being a mom. Even if you really are a bad mom, quitting would make you a worse mom, not a better one. So you just have to keep going, and trust that one day, you’ll see some fruit from these little “plants” that you’ve put so much of your life into growing. I look forward to that day.

And I know, I’m not the only one.


  1. I have resembled those remarks many, many, MANY times myself. I've been the insecure mom, the grouchy, mean mom, the mom doing her best tho' she's feelin' like it's killing her. There is no greater love than a person laying down their lives for another. And that is what parenting is all about. We lay down our lives time and time again, so we can pour into their lives, helping them learn and grow...preparing them for the day when they'll face life head on...on their own. I feel it's been worth every bit of the life I've poured into my kids. They have impacted my life in ways no one else could. And I love the people they've become. I enjoy being with them (and they're teenagers!). ;)
    Love it, Tam! Good blogging here.

  2. Thanks, Marce! And I love the people your kids have become too. I am amazed by how really cool they are. You've done great with them.

  3. awww tami!! loved the imagery in your post. thank you for sharing your life with us. :-)

  4. You most definitely are NOT the only one. I know that for sure.