We had a three day snowstorm last weekend that was grossly underrated and which left us with roughly two FEET of snow. And this mama was NOT prepared. Never mind the bread and the eggs I probably should have stocked up on beforehand, we were dangerously close to using up the last of our coffee stash.
(I’m not kidding, if we had run out, I would have ventured out in waste-deep snow with cereal boxes strapped to my feet like makeshift snowshoes, and I would have found coffee… or died trying).
Anyway, in the midst of December’s Snowmageddon, my hard-working husband was outside clearing our driveway when the snowblower shuddered, took one final gasp, and died. Fuel…empty. And I could see that Nate still had to clear a decent amount of snow, including the end where the plows had come through and pushed a small mountain onto the driveway’s edge. So I ran into the basement to grab our spare jug of gasoline.
After retrieving the can, I opened the kitchen door – swirling wind and snow suddenly smacking me in the face – to place it onto the porch for my husband. And before I could react, my son eagerly stuck his face outside as well and innocently – but very loudly – yelled out to my husband, “Mama has gas!”
I’d say that I was mortified, but I don’t know that anything shocks my neighbors anymore. Also, to be honest, five years into raising my son, very little shocks me anymore either.
I pulled my boy back into the house, and – as I was closing the kitchen door behind me – I noticed the outline of gasoline in the thin, red tank. It was low. There was just over an inch of sludge at the bottom of the can, and I wondered if that would be enough to help my husband finish clearing all the snow. Suddenly all of my needs (and the needs of my family) were relying on this bit of fuel.
Just like so many needs of my family are often relying on me.
Hmmm, Mama has gas…
Or does she?
Here’s the thing… I adore being a mom. I really, truly do. I value it as the most precious responsibility that I have ever been charged with, and nothing fills my heart more than those two little children. I love them more than anything else in this entire world. But there are moments when the cost of pouring out catches up to me. And my tank starts to feel a little empty.
Acting in love when a child you adore looks up at you and responds in anger or disobedience takes something. Balancing a full schedule on little sleep takes something. Comforting and soothing away hurt takes something. Always doing and never stopping to rest takes something. Feeling as though you’re the one who has to hold it all together until a hard situation resolves itself and everything feels safe, normal, and routine again… takes something.
Taking care of and nurturing – as much as it fills our mommy hearts – does also require us to give emotionally and physically.
There are days that I feel like supermom, because it all came together. And then there are the days when it’s just hard. When I don’t feel worthy of the pedestal my adoring children have placed me on, because I feel as though I failed them. When I’m so tired that I’m not sure what hurts worse, my body or my heart.
I need space and time to be alone… but I feel lonely.
I need just two minutes without little hands grabbing at me… but I need to be held.
I’m tired of being asked “why”… but I long for someone to talk to who ‘gets it’.
As moms, we too often forget that as selfless and self-sacrificing as we’re willing to be, we can’t function if we’re empty. I’m talking basic human needs that we too often go without, because we’ve pushed ourselves so far onto the back burner. Like proper nutrition. Sleep. A bit of alone time. Encouragement. Companionship. Maybe even some mascara, eyeliner, and a cute outfit once in awhile.
We stop realizing that we’re even worth those things.
(… to be continued).