Mothering is hard. Mothering is so hard that I am convinced that a large reason mothers exist is to help their daughters when they become mothers. I'm beginning to think it's unnatural to not live in close proximity to your mother (I understand that for some people, their relationship with their mom is not all that, and they will think I'm crazy. Bear with me...) I truly believe that God intended for young mothers to have their own mothers there to help them. The Bible says in Genesis 2:24 "For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." Do you notice how the man leaves his family, but the wife does not leave hers?
This week, I've felt terribly alone in parenting. Thankfully, my mom is only a phone call away, and offers encouragement. But she is too far away to come over and watch the kids for a few minutes so that I can have a few moments to rejuvenate and recover (or, you know, go to the bathroom by myself.) We all imagine having children of our own. Usually, they are perfect children who listen the first time, and naturally fall into routines, and lavish love and affection on us. Real children, of course, do not listen the first time, need constant reminders to do everything, and sometimes, they make it very clear that they don't like us.
Mothers, of course, are only half the equation. But it's interesting to me how very different fathers are from mothers. I'm sure that much of that difference (at least in our house) has to do with the time present. My husband is a wonderful father. He's willing to change diapers, feed children, wash dishes, discipline, check homework, and take over so I can take a nap. But he works two jobs, and he has a hard time remembering what day the science test is, or when it's yellow day at school, or what skill we're working on with which child when. These are tasks that fall to me, the mother. I think these are tasks that are meant to be mine, and I want to take them on and do them well. This week, I think I'm failing.
Mothering is hard work. It's hard and exhausting and sometimes, it's not nearly as rewarding as I think it should be. Thankfully, there are big baby smiles, and hugs and kisses from small children, and chocolate and ice cream. And mothers; my mother to help me through these times and remind me that someday, I will help my daughters be mothers.