First, let me say how gut wrentchingly, impossibly glorious motherhood has been for me. It is the single most treasured experience of my life. And yet…
The cry of my soul, from the get-go, has been, “Is this normal?” Or more pointedly, “Am I normal?”
Five weeks into motherhood, as I lay in the fetal position in the kitchen, trying to catch my breath…trying to steady my mind…having my husband call into work because I could not function…my heart cried out, Is this normal? Surely no? Surely not? Surely?
And yet, I soon heard from other moms. They too had to lean heavy on the hubby who did such things as prepare twenty or so peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…put them in the freezer…with instructions for the sweet mama, “Just microwave for 10 seconds sweetie, and you’re good to go.” Yep, for some of us, the whole motherhood thing is our undoing. And that is our normal…a slow but steady destruction of the mind, body, and soul…at least for now.
Today I had coffee with a mama whom I love and adore and greatly admire. She is almost a year and a half into this mothering thing. And she is exhausted. And she has no time for friends. In fact, she has no time to even cry. And her soul is dying a little bit each day. And she asks me, “Is this normal?”
And I had to tell her, I don’t know. Because the truth is, when your heart cries out, “Is this NORMAL?” The unsatisfying answer is, YES, and then again, a resounding NO. Arg.
I am almost four years in, and this is my normal (the struggles – not the joys):
I have no healing time with God. Little prayers with the girls each meal time and before bed. Some hymns sung at night. Church on Sunday. But no time soaking in, talking to, or mediating on or with Jesus. None. I try to pray, but it feels fake, cause somewhere along the way I stopped feeling Jesus. And like my friend, I feel like my soul dies a little more every day.
I wake up to my girls…not for my girls. I wake up to my life, not for my life. Used to be a morning person…a couple of hours up before anyone else…coffee, prayer, scripture, exercise. I greeted the “work” day full of energy and good cheer. Now, I drag out of bed…pull a comb through my bed-head, deodorant…go, go, go. Typically, I just sleep in my clothes…so I can hit the ground running. I know things need to change…but sleep.
I have one get-out-of-the-house activity each day…cause I will suffocate if I don’t. But it takes so much energy to get my two up, dressed, in the car, out of the car, play, play, play, in the car, out of the car…that once we get home, that is it for the day. It. I am done. And it’s only about twelve o’clock.
I have a few books on my bedside. That I never read. Facebook is so much easier. So much.
I have no soul sisters right now. None. For me to connect, I need to go deep. I do not have time for deep. Yep, doing MOPS. Yep, doing play dates. Yep, making the effort. Yep, in a life group at church. Yep, staying connected with my sister, who prays for, encourages, and admonishes me. Yep. Soul. Is. Dying.
And I cry to Phil often, “Honey, is this normal?”
It is my normal. You?