I [dont] want to be a mom.

Those days. Sometimes they run consecutively. Sometimes they're sprinkled in the midst of the joyful, fun days. Sometimes they stay a while and wear out their "unwelcome". The days I [don't] want to be a mom.

I bracket the "don't" because on these days, two parts of me battle within....one part is begging and pleading in surrender and the other part doesn't want anyone else to step in and steer the ship because that's my job. It's only my job.

The days I [don't] want to be a mom are filled with frustration, depression, anxiety, and most of these days are coupled with "no playing outside" weather. (Although, not always the case)

The days I [don't] want to be a mom are filled with envy. Envy towards the jogger on the sidewalk, envy towards the moms who get dressed pretty each morning and get a break from their houses and kids and head off to work. The envy is towards my husband as he backs out of the driveway waving and smiling, with an undetermined amount of time away from home {what I sometimes consider "my personal prison"}. I envy the solo drivers I pass while taking my 12 passenger van to the store for butter or milk.

I envy the moms who have time for weekend getaways and who get regular dates with their husbands. I envy my 20 year old self and how I took for granted not being followed to the bathroom, being my sole responsibility, and the hardest choice I had all day was if I was going to eat in the cafeteria or take my lunch back to my dorm room.

These days are filled with feeling like a failure, a recluse, a non-virtuous example of what I'm supposed to be.

On these days, I keep quiet, not to burden another soul with my self-pity and inward loathing. I picture a better time, long ago, when mothers had help {and it was the norm} and mothering was exactly what it should be. The nasty competitiveness and comparability was missing from everyday interactions, unlike how it is today.

I often think about how back in easier times, everyone was a stay-at-home-mom, young and old, and there was a community, a team, an interweaving of encouragement and ideas. Child-rearing was done simply and a mother wasn't the only source of care and wisdom that a child received. There were grandmothers, aunts, cousins, grandfathers, and fathers that usually worked from home. I wish life was that simple and beautiful again. A time I never experienced but long for nonetheless.

I wish some days, I wasn't everything. On these days, I rethink everything: homeschooling, breast-feeding, child-training, faith-instilling, cloth diapering, etc. I want to dump everything off my plate, into the trash, and just do the bare minimum.

if only I didn't care so much

On the days I [don't] want to be a mom, I become bitter towards and resentful of the help I don't receive. I think that while I am busy thinking of everyone else and everything in this prison cell, no one returns a thought for me.

But then I hear His whisper. He speaks with a love I cannot rightly fathom. And if my head isn't too clouded to hear Him, I am gently reminded that this is where He has put me: in this exact place with these exact children that He saved just for me to mother. He reminds me that He allowed me to be a mother in this era of time (the most difficult time in history to be a mother) because it's part of His great masterpiece. He understands and knows that I am lonely, burdened, and hopelessly flawed.

"nothing you do goes unseen"

While the life we have been called to will never be easy, [it's not supposed to be], I pray that we will "encourage one another, build each other up" (I thess. 5:11). And bare each other's burdens in love. We may not have a network of helpers that we can share some of the mothering load with, but I encourage you to go to a fellow mom friend and take her kids once a week so she can take off her mom hat for a bit. We must be there for one another, and stop being combative, sensitive, and competitive....especially on the days we [don't] want to be a mom.

-Alicia