Before I had children, I promised myself I'd never be the mother who asked "Why did I ever want children?" but sometimes I find myself thinking "I don't want to do this anymore." It's kind of like the feeling I had toward the end of labor with my last two children. I was exhausted. Mentally, physically, and emotionally spent. That time in labor is called "transition." I also sometimes experience that feeling during a run. I just. Don't. Want. To. Keep. Going.
But with labor, there was only one alternative: have the baby. What a glorious reward for my pain and struggle! And I know that I always feel great after a run. I feel strong. I feel like I can do anything.
Motherhood is a little different. Frequently I find myself struggling along, wondering how I'm supposed to do a good job at all the necessary tasks, and I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of laundry. I used to think all the laundry jokes were exaggerated. They are not. When things get hard, when I feel like throwing in the towel, it's hard to see the silver lining. When, oh when will this end? When will my four-year-old stop whining? When will my 2-year-old stop screaming? And when will my baby start sleeping through the night?
I've had a lot of days recently where I'm changing 4 diapers an hour, staying up all night with one child or another, and dealing with tantrums, meltdowns, kids not sharing, not to mention trying to keep up with housework (which is just not happening right now!)
This morning, after changing yet another diaper, when I found myself thinking "I don't want to do this anymore," the next thought I had was "but what would I do instead?"
And then I realized that I wouldn't trade all the hugs and kisses, all the smiles and giggles, or even all the mundane or frustrating tasks, for anything else in the world. After all, this is what God gave me time for.
My three sweet children: