First, how did I get here?
Let me tell you something raw and honest about myself…
I used to live every day depressed, overwhelmed and unfulfilled.
I started my motherhood out with a thud. I was blindsided by my first pregnancy after just a few months of married life at the age of twenty, and an extreme battle with PPD after our daughter was born robbed me of joy in her first year. My husband and I had always wanted our kids close in age, so we decided to ride the wave of unexpected turns and have more babies quickly.
I soon found myself in a house that was unnecessarily high maintenance with three babies under three. I was battling severe situational depression and guilting myself every day for not “seizing the moments” I knew I was blessed to have at home with my kids.
It felt like all i did was clean up. Constantly. And it didn’t even matter, because the house was always a mess.
My days were spent changing diapers, making snacks, and giving all my energy to getting my kids out of the way and busy so I could take care of the housework. It was like the purpose of my motherhood was hidden under a never-ending to do list.
I tried to be a good mom by sometimes pressing pause on the tasks and spending time playing with my kids, but it always came at a price – falling so behind that the stress of that overcame my ability to be present and make good memories with my kids.
I basically had two options:
- If I ignored the house and played with my kids, the mess would take over and I’d have to spend the evening or the next day catching up.
- If I stayed on top of the cleaning and let my kids watch Dora the Explorer, I wouldn’t spend time with them but at least I’d be caught up and they’d learn a second language…maybe.
I was on a hamster wheel to nowhere, and I could feel it. I hated this! Is this really what being a mom is about? Is this really what I’m meant for in this season of my life?
Finally, it all came to a head this one day…
I was dead dog tired. I was emotional, stressed out, trying to get the house ready for a birthday party I didn’t really want to have, and my toddlers were both throwing tantrums.
The baby needed to eat again, there was a smell that could wake the dead coming from somewhere I couldn’t find, my husband was gone for three days working hard to provide… I was about to collapse and I could feel myself giving up inside. I couldn’t do this anymore!
I ended up getting the kids busy and locking myself in my bathroom. I slumped to the floor in tears.
I did all I could do – cried out to God with my Kim Kardashian cry and got really real with Him.
“Is this seriously it?! Is this what you want for me?! Is THIS what being a mom has to be?!”
Through my fit in tears, John 10:10 came to mind. You know, the one about abundant life.
“The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that she may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Okay so…. where’s all the abundance? This sucks.
Right there on the bathroom floor, I felt pressed –
“Allie, what exactly do you spend your time doing most days?”
Me: uhhh….. cleaning up. How can you not know that…
“Cleaning up what, exactly?”
***huge pause cause I don’t even know, and also there’s snot hanging from my nose***
Me: just… stuff. It’s just never ending – all I do is clean up stuff, and I’m not even sure it’s stuff we need.