I’ve been struggling to feel connected to my life. Perhaps that sounds silly, but I bet that you know what I mean. At times it feels like my entire goal is to make it through the day. Then I turn around and do it all again the next day.
It is like I am waiting for that moment when my real life starts, but this IS my real life. Do I feel this way because I’m still waiting to feel like a real grown up? Is it because there seems to be a lack of deep purpose behind preparing meals, doing laundry, and picking up toys? It is because my spiritual life needs a tune up? Or is it simply the constant level of stress that comes from having little ones?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not depressed. I’m not sadden with my state of life. I just feel like I’ve lost my focus somewhat. I’m living day-to-day without fully embracing it.
I want to embrace each day and cling on to these moments with my little ones. I know that in a flash they will be grown and I will desperately long for a do-over.
I don’t want to live with regrets. I want to live intentionally.
So today I tried.
Our day was wide open and I decided we would make today all about enjoying the fall season. The first stop was a pumpkin patch to pick up pumpkins we will carve later today.
It was adorable. Noah was determined to pull the wagon.
Grace spent a lot of time looking closely to be sure the pumpkin she picked was perfect.
They smiled and let me take the classic we-are-at-a-pumpkin-patch-look-how-cute-we-are pictures. It was fun.
But it was also not fun.
There were too many choices and they struggled to pick a pumpkin. They cried and fussed when I pulled out my camera. They whined. They fought over who got to pull the wagon. Someone wanted two pumpkins when I said they could only pick out one.
Eventually we picked out the perfect pumpkins, bought some apple cider, and headed out to get doughnuts. Drinking apple cider and eating doughnuts was the next autumn activity to do today.
Once home we had a lunch of apple cider, doughnuts, and cheese sticks. It wasn’t healthy and I was proud of myself for allowing them to eat doughnuts for lunch.
Then the whining started. Someone was mad that they weren’t eating a chocolate doughnut even though they had picked out blueberry. I explained that we would all split the chocolate doughnut later when we carved the pumpkins.
Later wasn’t a good enough answer. There was a lot of complaining until I put my foot down and said to knock it off.
Next up was a game of Candy Land. Look at how intentional I was being! Playing an organized game with my little ones that will teach them about colors, taking turns, and playing by the rules. I am such an awesome mom.
Until I won.
Then there were tears. Lots of tears.
Little feet storming up the stairs.
Gasping sobs and the awful words, “You don’t even love me!”
I am trying. I am really, really trying. I want to be a good mom. I want to be an intentional mom. I want to embrace the days with my little ones and cling on for dear life, but…
It is so hard.
It is hard to live with a constant level of chaos. Constantly teaching life lessons. Constantly feeling like what you offer isn’t good enough.
One pumpkin per person wasn’t enough.
Doughnuts at lunch weren’t enough.
Playing a game wasn’t enough.
And I bet that later tonight when we carve the pumpkins, somehow it won’t be enough.
Can you relate? Are my words connecting with you? I’m not unhappy with my life. I don’t regret my children for an instant. I don’t want to wish away any of this, but it is still hard.
Parenthood is hard. Intentionally living in each moment is hard. Not taking this stage of life for granted is hard. Focusing on what is right in front of us instead of the dreams that are ahead of us is hard.
But I’m willing to keep trying. Are you?