Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Great Dichotomy

If she tells you she wishes her car got better gas mileage, that doesn't mean she wishes she'd never learned to drive.

If she tells you she didn't like the middle of the book, that doesn't mean it wasn't worth reading.

If she tells you she doesn't love her job, that doesn't mean she won't come back tomorrow.

If she tells you she needs a few hours by herself, that doesn't mean she's not committed to her family.

If she tells you today was hard, that doesn't mean there was nothing to smile about.

If she tells you she's tired, it doesn't mean she'll never find rest.

If she tells you this is harder than she thought, it doesn't mean she's done.

If she tells you she doesn't love the tasks, that doesn't mean she doesn't love the role.

Sometimes it just means what it means.

The thoughts inside a woman's head are one tangled mass of cooked spaghetti. The noodles wrap all around one another, and it's tricky to pull one long strand from the bowl without getting lumps of marinara on the placemat. Everything connects to something else. It's hard to set boundaries, boxes, or even perforated lines around the things we think and feel, because we don't usually think and feel in a linear, organized fashion.

So, if we are honest with ourselves, there are things we might say, if only we could be sure they would land safely apart from the thoughts that surround them.

I don't love doing laundry; I will, however, make sure my children have clean clothes to wear.

I'm not always good at forgiving myself; I can easily share grace to others.

I'm utterly exhausted; I do not wish someone else had rocked my sick baby during the night.

I don't love the tasks of motherhood; I dearly love being a mom.

I need a break; this doesn't mean I want out.

Those get tangled and messy, and when a woman says, "This is harder than I thought," she follows it up, with her hand on your arm, saying, "I love my children. I do. I love my children. I do. I love them. Know that I do."

Because saying that we don't love serving someone else every minute of everyday is dangerously close to saying we don't love them every millisecond in between.

And we do. Know that we do.

It just gets messy sometimes. The laundry, the dishes, the tasks, the spaghetti, and the thoughts.

I think we could all breathe a little easier if we just let ourselves say it sometimes.

It's harder than I thought it would be.

(But I love them. I do.)


Polly said...

Being a mom was harder than I EVER thought it would be. This work of bringing up people includes so many things we'd really just rather not do that day, and putting ourselves last is certainly among them. And it's a 20-year marathon (nor does it stop there, but usually it slows down at least!).

But I, too, do love my kids. In the end, nothing else I did with my life matters even half as much as raising those two amazing people, of whom you are one. Hang in there. And get some rest. (Count on me to help with that!)

Mellifluous said...

I posted this on my fb because I know that I'm not the only mom who needs to know she is not alone. You said it so well! thanks

Sheryl said...

This is beautiful! You've said it well.

I don't have the privilege of being anyone's mom, but I watch moms all the time. You're heroes.

Keep up the good work!

Meghan said...

So beautifully said! That totally spoke to me right where I'm at today. Thank you!

Sarah said...

I got here from a FB link that a friend posted, and your post makes me cry. As I sit here rocking one baby and watching the other one sleep, after a VERY difficult day, this is exactly what I needed. Thank you.

The Leivas said...

I just love this post! You have such a gift with words!

CB said...

I loved this. I think back at the times that I have told my teenage daughter that "I Quit" when I don't feel apprecciated. The truth is, I can't quit. I'm a Mom! This is my team and you don't quit the team. It is hard to raise a teenage daughter and two little boys. My kids do know that I love them though. It is nice to know that we are not alone.

birdlover said...

Triicia, I would love to share this with my daughters. You have a wonderful way of expressing what most of us don't know how to put into words.

Sara @ Embracing Destiny said...

You have said beautifully what I've been thinking and feeling lately. Thanks for sharing this. It helps to know that someone else understands!