Summertime. I drag the long black garden hose across the dry, brittle grass to set up a sprinkler to give relief to these dying blades once green and supple with life. Maybe this is futile; maybe the grass is so far gone that it no longer has a taste for water anymore. I know it is not going to turn to a verdant patch of soft green overnight, yet I want to try and give it some love. It is hot already, and it is not yet 9am, the heavy rubber hose puts up a fight with each step I take. Finally, I screw the sprinkler to the threaded end, set it strategically in the grass and walk back to the house to turn on the faucet. I listen for the hissing sound of water shooting from the little holes in the sprinkler, but I don’t hear anything…I turn on the faucet a bit more and still nothing. I look out over the grass in the direction of the sprinkler, my eyes tracing the meandering black line and I see it. The kink. A simple little bend in the hose prevented all of that water from getting to the grass that so badly needed it.
Before welcoming your children, you probably knew that motherhood would be hard, but maybe you didn’t expect your greatest battle would be wrestling down the constant feeling that you will always be just a little short on all the magical things that make a perfect mom. Maybe you feel the need to provide your children the richest, most magical childhood you can muster, or you sense the pressure to stretch and bend and hold your world together? It is natural to want to do well, and normal to look around you for some rubric for success, but it is also easy to get sucked into comparison and become discouraged that you can’t keep up with the Martha Stewarts on Instagram that you assume are doing things better than you are.
You may have a laundry list of things you want to accomplish in a day, and frayed nerves from having your attention pulled in a dozen directions. You may be attempting to balance dreams that make you feel alive with the humble reality of all that is required to tend a household and the people in it. Perhaps you feel like there is not enough of you to go around, that you can’t possibly do everything well–at least not all the time.
The reality is–you, with your cold coffee in hand and lego creations underfoot, already have exactly what it takes to love your family well without so much striving. You are already a force of love who shows up every single day to meet the needs of those in your household, doing the seemingly insignificant tasks that ultimately build a legacy. You are a good mom.
Even if you don’t always feel like it, you have everything you need to straighten out the hose that brings water to the growing grass. When you’re caught up in anger, frustration, stress, or exhaustion, maybe the point isn’t to try harder or do more. Maybe the solution is to do less; to pause and see the treasures you’re surrounded with and recognize you are already doing the deep and messy work of loving well.
This month, you are invited to step into a conversation about what it looks like to love our children and husbands well. This series is not a guise for one more thing you need to try harder at, but instead an invitation to explore the tender places of the heart and the posture that helps bring about whole and healthy relationships in the home.
Check out the series home page for a peek at what is to come! Be at peace, mama. You’re doing a great job.
The Kindred Mom Team
(And if you missed it, check out the Self-Care for Moms series we featured last month!)