I sit here with an iced coffee–coconut, my favorite–and a chocolate chip cookie baked last night. Both of my children are napping and the air outside has autumn swirling around inside of it. The house is mostly spotless and there are only two piles of laundry to fold today instead of three. But the truth is, my afternoons are not always like this. Yesterday was not like this.
Yesterday my daughter screamed more in her life than she ever has before. She screamed to the point where I needed to lay her down, walk out of the room and just breathe. I needed to go upstairs and hold my son who snuggled into me and pray that my husband returned from work sooner and not later.
I know this is okay. The midwife told me weeks ago when she was born, “It is okay if the baby cries and you just need a breather. Leave her in a safe spot and go take a couple minutes for yourself.” I know that if she told me that, she must tell all moms that. If she is telling other moms this, it must happen to other moms. I must not be alone. I must not be the only mom who has moments that need a reset button and needs to be alone. To breathe. To sit. To scroll instagram and know that the other moms on there have moments too.
“Your instagram is perfect,” commented a girl to me once. “You have such beautiful pictures.” And perhaps my pictures are pretty. But perhaps it is because I love photography. I love capturing the happy moments that happen in my little family. Don’t most of us? It’s not to make a front that my family only has perfect, smiling moments. My photos are an art in the way my words are. I think they both share different sides of my story.
So here are the words that belong in between the pictures.
My daughter went in and out of screaming. By the time my husband came home (later than normal) he took the baby without asking and I made dinner (which was served later than normal). He then shoo’d me out of the house to my spinning class where I took those 45 minutes to breathe (and work out harder than normal). I think you get the picture.
Today is better. My daughter must have worked out that gas and decided that she actually did need to nap today. She smiled at me tremendously as well and I returned the favor. Today I started my morning reading my Bible and asking God for patience. He answered abundantly.
I think it’s in these moments that the learning and persevering occur. It’s up to us if we allow these moments to make us feel like failures or instead turn those feelings over to God and ask him to use these moments to shape us into the mothers we strive to be; the mothers He has called us to be.