In 2002 my boys were 6, and 4 and I had been experiencing severe fatigue and depression and mood issues since the first pregnancy. Parenthood was my first priority, while working some outside the home was also a necessity. I was a conscientious mom, and gave all that I had to my kids, and cherished them, held them, and played and interacted with them as much as I possibly could. But when you love your kids you never feel like what you have to give is ever enough. This is a journal entry from that period of my mommy days.
5.28.02 For every time I have released my pressure valve to spew frustrations over your sweet little-boy heads and made you cry, I am so sorry. For every time you asked me to play with you and I said “I am too busy right now” or “I’m too tired” there will always be regret, even though a mother does have to do other work. For I know, as I always have, that the days when you seek me are fleeting. I know it so well that it has often made me cry, and yet sometime, somewhere between babyhood and toddling, and the miniature grown-ups you’re becoming, I’ve managed to push that thought, and the guilt that can go with it, away behind the clutter of everyday concerns.
You are my treasures, my boys, my men. There is nothing else in all of my existence on earth that means, that could mean more to me than my family. I feel so unavailable to you sometimes with alll the demands, and my depression and ”tired sickness, fatigue that seemed to come along with the unimaginable privilege and responsibility of becoming a mom and the unfathomable terror of not being up to the task, not being wise enough, unselfish enough, not being strong enough.
With the first breath of a baby inside my universe, I began to hear every tick of the clock. I’ve always worried about doing things right, and not doing them well enough. Now it matters not a little bit to me how I do anything else because all I am, all I have left inside belongs to the task I’ve been given by God, to love, cherish, nurture, teach, and raise you two boys. And every move I make within the scope of your awareness must measure up to the standard to which you deserve to be raised.
And so often it feels like walking in a minefield. Who you are to be, I hold in the palm of my hand, to what feels like a great and frightening extent. Such precious cargo to carry with me in all that I do and say, and everywhere I go.
As I go about my duties, cleaning, working, refereeing, disciplining, as I interact with those around me, serve in church or choose not to, spend or save, flare in anger, or forgive, pray, or fail to; in all these actions I carry your future, your character with me, to come out the other side changed, always effected in some way.
What an awesome mantle to wear. I fear this place and find it hard to dwell here. I do not fill the role well. And yet, when I look around, when I raise my head from my own pondering, and wonder for an instant, who out there might do it better, the fierce and lightening-fast soul-deep response is “NO ONE!”. I am your mother. I will pour out my blood to do the job the very best I can, and I know that I will.
I know the days come when you will not adore me. When you will look for solace, guidance, and companionship elsewhere. I have such a fleeting short moment to do my job. God help me never to take a fraction of that time for granted. Help us both, Lord, for such precious charges You gave us guardianship over. We give ourselves to You and this endeavor all over again today. And ask You to sustain the commitment within us to come to You daily for our equipping. Please help us to stay the course. Please pull back the curtain each day, that we may glimpse the eternal beyond all of this temporal.