Mommy Mayhem is a blog series leading up to Mother’s Day 2013 meant to encourage and bless women as we experience the good and bad chaos that comes with being a mom. This series has many guest blogs from women in many walks of life: stay at home moms, working moms, moms with grown children, and moms with young children. My request in this is that my readers use the comment section to bless woman with encouragement. These woman aren’t professional writers, they are just like you (and me) women simply sharing their journey! If you like, feel free to share and bless other Mom’s experiencing the mayhem of life!
By Courtnay Phillips
For years, I found myself chuckling at all those women who hired nannies when they were stay at home mothers. Why would they hire a nanny when they are home themselves?
(totally judgmental, I know).
Truth be told, after many a year scoffing, I joyfully attained one of those nanny positions (for 4 years). I absolutely adored the family, but in the back of my mind, I always laughed and wondered why the heck I was there. All the meanwhile, gladly accepting the paycheck …that is until i had my own crazy children.
Now I, a stay at home mom of 3, am in front of the pack with my hand raised high like a grade school kid, screaming “OH ME, ME. PICK ME. I WANT A NANNY”.
Though for me, it doesn’t stop with just coveting a nanny. No no, many times I think that my life would be complete and full of utter happiness if I also had my own house cleaner, personal grocery shopper, dog walker, chef, barista and therapist all in my house for 24/7 usage.
Yes folks, these things would most certainly bring the Phillips household our own sense of ‘world peace’. But seeing as to how money doesn’t grow on trees (darn) and people do not work for free (still not sure why), I am the nanny, house cleaner, grocery shopper, dog walker, chef, barista and therapist, to myself. Yes, i did just admit to talking to myself on a daily basis…‘breathe Court, just breathe’.
It is amazing to me how 3 little people can bring out the very best and very worst of me. They see my biggest strengths AND biggest weaknesses. I find myself having an overwhelming amount of patience, yet I still can manage to fully loose it the very next second.
Somedays (few and far between) I feel like I’ve accomplished greatness. I have mastered motherhood and deserve a GIANT trophy. All those other days, I fail as a mom and then compared to other moms it seems like I have failed even bigger.
The other day I was joking with a girlfriend and said, “It’s not even a matter of asking myself ‘why did i have 3 children in less then 3 1/2 years?But rather, ‘WHY did I reproduce at all’?”
Now, please don’t get me wrong, I love my children and I love being their mommy. But, if this were a normal 9-5 job, it would probably be time to find a new occupation. Especially when you’ve developed more bald spots on your head from pulling your hair out, and you feel like you have failed more then succeeded.
However.. this is NO 9-5 job and though we desperately may want to, we can not place a ‘For Sale’ sign on our children and put them in the yard.
So how do I usually measure success for myself? There are two things: One, that I am able to keep my cool and not blow a head gasket, spewing all sorts of crazy over my poor unsuspecting children. And, two, how many sports bras that come out of my dryer. I find myself counting as I fold them, with a growing smile as the pile gets taller–I am conquering laundry and it means I’m working out!
Though I fully believe there is a correlation between physical activity and ‘mommy sanity’, this is not, and can not, be the sole thing to keep an overtired, overworked, underpaid and under appreciated mom going strong.
The hugeness of motherhood can often leave me with little left to give, ok truthfully it’s nothing left to give. But my days cant be measured in worth just because all the fights have been broken up, the sharpie is off the wall, the month old milk stain is cleaned up and the gum wad is finally out of the baby’s hair. I need something more–not just to shower every 3 days or to wipe off that week old make-up (though those things are important).
But, Jesus proclaimed that his success is measured differently, I must allow Him to fill my soul. How can I expect to have an unending amount of patience when I am more worried about sports bras than about how much time I’ve spent with Christ that day? How can I expect that my children will be madly in love with Jesus if I am not?
If I’m not walking with Jesus daily, there are few good things that I ‘do’ that really matter. The Lord knew way back when he decided to make me a mother, that a nanny, a house cleaner, a chef etc, would not be the things that made me a better mom.
Most days, I try to disagree with Him with my actions, but I know down deep that He has given me a purpose with enough strength, compassion, patience, love (and caffeine) to live another day as a great mommy. That is, if i take it.
I read this quote a few months back and it now hangs in a frame in my house, “ The responsibilities are never-ending and sometimes feel all consuming. Yet the day will be won or lost, not based on my accomplishments, but rather based on my attitude.”
In my opinion, this sums motherhood up. Though for me, if it were all left up to my own personal attitude, it would still stink. Being madly in love with Jesus, draws me into a peaceful place. It is this peace that transforms my ‘attitude’. It pushes me on the become a great and respected mother and continually reminds me that I CAN do this, even through the many impossible mommy moments (and bald spots).
Jesus offers us beautiful tools and shows us the ways to His success. I’ve realized that almost all my momma-crazies dissapate when taken the time to enter into His presence and be reminded of my true calling as a mom. Lets be honest, I am way more fun and a million times more patient when my hearts been stilled by Jesus.
As much as I would like to say, “I have a dedicated ‘Jesus time’ in my daily routine”. I simply do not. It’s always changing and developing and seems to ebb and flow with life and each new developmental stage of my littles.
Sometimes, all I have to give is a countenance of continual worship through someone else’s words. Worship music blares through my home. When I’m changing a diaper? I praise God through music. When I’m making lunch? I’m praising God through music. It is my continual reminder to shine and pray Jesus to and over my growing babes. And more importantly it fills up my very empty cup.
I often will just stop and start weeping as His presence fills my home. There is nothing else like it! Then in those few quiet moments that come so rarely, I am already surrounded by Jesus and be still and soak in Him.
There is one song in particular that has been my life prayer lately:
I lay myself at Your feet
Asking You won’t You meet
Won’t You meet me
I cannot do it on my own
I cannot do it all alone
Here I am, oh, tonight
With my arms open wide
Won’t You come inside
Won’t You come inside, God
Come and fill this heart of mine
I’m in need of You
Of Your touch, of Your life, of Your love
I need You
I need You
I pray these words over and over until I feel the peace of the Lord sweep down, giving me grace, mercy, understanding, compassion and LOVE for my children once again. I begin to feel my cup refilling and soul refueling. Who are we if we don’t have Jesus? What kind of moms are we if we are continually ‘doing’ so much but becoming so very little?
I have come to realize that if my day actually is ‘won or lost’ because of my attitude, then the importance of ‘me time (our Jesus time)‘ is huge! There is not enough time in life for us to become spiritual pretenders. Motherhood IS all consuming, the responsibilities ARE never ending, but when we put Christ first, suddenly the mommy insanity lessens and our love and compassion grows.
Do not let being a mom be your crutch and excuse as to why you don’t have the time to grow closer to Him, but instead let it be your drive! After all, if we aren’t madly in love with Jesus, then our children may never be either. I don’t know about you… but I want nothing more then my children to love and adore our creator, so I will make the time! Be pushed, be uplifted, find peace (so you can offer peace) and let your attitude reflect HIM.
Isaiah 48: 16-19 says, “And now, the Master, God, sends me and his Spirit
with this Message from God,
your Redeemer, The Holy of Israel:
“I am God, your God,
who teaches you how to live right and well.
I show you what to do, where to go.
If you had listened all along to what I told you,
your life would have flowed full like a river,
blessings rolling in like waves from the sea.
Children and grandchildren are like sand,
your progeny like grains of sand.
There would be no end of them,
no danger of losing touch with me.”
I am 28 years old and lived in Seattle for the past 14 years. Married to my dream boat for nearly 6 years. Three kids, Paislee 3.5, Sutter 2.5and Bekker 3 months. We adopted Bekker from birth and are licensed foster parents and plan to adopt more through that. I love Jesus more then anything. Without him I couldn’t be the wife or the mom that I am.