Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Letter to My Mom-Friends

Hey mom-friend. I see you, and this week, this month, my heart is filled with compassion for you. Your job is hard work, and it never stops. Even when your kiddo sleeps, you’re not done. There are bottles to be washed, laundry to be done, adult-conversations to be had.

I’m not there yet—but I see you.

I see you when your kid is sick and your whole routine is thrown off, when you miss work and that lunch date and the social event you hoped to go to. I see you when you can’t make it to the party because you can’t find childcare or when you take your kid out and hope to God he or she behaves. But then they don’t, and you wish the earth would open up and swallow you inside, and you think, Why did I think we could eat out or go to the grocery store or do anything in public—ever.

I see you when you feel like you are doing a hundred things, but not one thing very well, when you feel like a failure at work because your attention is at home or when you feel like a failure at home because your attention is at work. I see you when you feel alone, like no one else is failing like you are, when you make your mom-of-the-year joke about forgetting this or being late to that.

I see you.

Tuesday night Hal and I got home from work. I grilled chicken outside while he trimmed the bushes. After we ate, we went for a three-mile walk, and then spontaneously decided to get Sonic shakes (yeah—I know, good choice after exercising). We sat on the porch and drank our shakes and watched the sun set.

You probably can’t remember the last time you watched the sun set with your husband. And if dinner gets cooked at all, there’s a lot of shared work involved. Multitasking takes on a whole new level as you hope, fingers crossed, that the kid stays entertained while you chop veggies or flip the meat. 

Your meal always waits anyway—if it happens at all, until your kid is fed, maybe even bathed and put to bed. It’s 9:00, and you think, Did I eat tonight?

Impulsive decisions aren’t really an option anymore, especially when it involves a car seat. That quick trip just added several more minutes to the tab. Every choice is balanced with—is it worth it?

So, I want to say this to you, my mom-friend:

You have permission to miss your social life. And your consecutive eight hours of sleep. And any few minutes of peace and quiet. And sunsets with your husband.

You have permission to feel: Feel tired. Feel overwhelmed. Feel nostalgic for those yesteryears.

But please don’t ever feel inadequate. Never feel guilty. Never feel alone.

You have permission to be: Be late. Be scatterbrained. Be distracted.

But don’t ever beat yourself up. Never lose sight of who you are in Christ—you are enough. You are full of grace and power. You are equipped to train and raise up your child in the way he should go.

I am proud of you, of the work you’re doing. It’s worth the investment.

Someday I’ll join you, and I hope you’ll encourage me, too, when I feel discouraged, when I feel overworked, when I feel like the job never stops. You’ll remind me that we’re equipped for this work. You’ll remind me that it’s a blessing and a privilege.

And so today—I want you to remind you. You are tucked securely and safely in your Father’s hands. He’s holding you—and He’s holding your kid, too. He is filling you with all the fullness of Christ, grace upon grace.

I see you—but more than that, He is El Roi: The God Who Sees.

He sees every dream, every hope, every plan. He sees every thought, every perceived failure, every fear.

Show him your heart today and let him exchange it with His grace.

I love you my friend.