I’ve Got My Hands Full and it is Normal
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I look younger than my age.
It has been like that for the vast majority of my life and now that I’m getting older, I appreciate it all the more.
During my third pregnancy, I was often asked if it was my first. When I replied that it was my third and then listed the ages of my children, I was almost always met with the statement, “Wow! You’ve got your hands full!”.
And they weren’t wrong. Life is busy.
But, here’s the thing. Sure, my hands are full. I’m busy from sun-up until sun-down and on occasion, in between.
I think the statement just doesn’t sit well with me because people make out like what I’m doing is basically superhuman.
They struggle to understand that I chose this. I dreamt about this. I love this.
Our Expectations Have Changed
Society’s expectations of parenting and life have changed.
Once upon a time, it used to be the dream to have a large family and work to raise them well.
Now, it is considered ‘responsible’ to have as many as is convenient and can be managed without too much disruption to your plans and career.
The average age of mother’s having their first child has also risen.
I am considered a young mom, but once upon a time having a baby at age 23 was completely normal.
We Have More Options
Today, women have many more options than they did even fifty years ago.
This is something to be grateful for in many regards, but it has made things more complicated in other areas.
Sometimes having fewer choices can be freeing. When there are so many options to choose from it can become overwhelming trying to juggle it all.
In times gone by you were a stay-at-home mom by default.
Then times changed and mothers were able to work outside of the home.
Now, you can do either of the above, or you can combine them and do what I do (work from home).
With the modern push to achieve an impressive career, it is becoming less and less common for women to choose to be stay-at-home mothers.
And it is even more unheard of to have your children with you 24/7.
None of my children attend daycare or kindergarten, and we even intend to homeschool.
People are often shocked when I tell them that.
When did it become abnormal to be a stay-at-home mom that has her children with her all of the time?
I’m not saying that sending your children to preschool etc is wrong. Not at all! Every child is different and has different needs.
I have friends that homeschool, friends that send their children to public school, and everything in between.
Something that really should be mentioned is that I don’t raise my children alone. Even though they are with me for the majority of the time, I still have family and friends that offer an immense amount of support.
Motherhood isn’t Valued
I’ve referred to this before in another post I wrote some time ago.
Read –> Because Feminism is Failing Us
It is a touchy subject for some and I’ve received feedback from both sides of the argument since I wrote it.
Honestly, I don’t believe that modern-day feminism is what it was intended to be when the movement started.
It might not be a popular opinion but there’s more of an attitude of “anything he can do I can do better” instead of actually fighting for genuine equality.
Feminism was never supposed to be a battle of the sexes.
But I digress.
My point is, the drive to pursue careers has inadvertently reduced the value that society puts on the role of mother and even parent.
Sure, almost anyone can be a mother, but we should all be well aware that not everyone can or does do it right.
Motherhood is often filled with tiny thankless tasks that become mundane when you do them day in and day out.
However, it is the small tasks that are done with love and consistency that build a child into an adult with the kind of character that will add value to our world.
So much of what makes up motherhood goes unnoticed…until it isn’t being done. Then everyone notices.
This is my Calling
Despite the lack of value placed on the role of motherhood, I firmly believe this is my calling.
Sure, there have been moments where I’ve wondered what on earth I got myself into.
But, raising children is more than just today and at this moment.
I’m looking towards the end goal.
I firmly believe that I’m in this world to do something worthwhile. What ‘worthwhile’ looks like will be different for each person.
For me, it is about reaching forward when I feel like giving up. And it is about loving when I don’t want to.
It is learning to not take the behavior of other people (I’m looking at you, toddlers!) personally.
You see, the very best part of motherhood is not just having the privilege and responsibility of molding the character of my children.
What I never truly understood was that by taking on this job it would change me.
I’m still ‘me’, but I’m also not.
Motherhood strips back layer after layer and exposes you for who you really are.
Most of the time that doesn’t look so pretty, but it really is a blessing.
Once you’ve seen your true state you can start working on it and fully depending on Christ to do so.
I never knew that while molding the character of my child, Christ would be molding mine.
I’m Not a Martyr
When I hear the statement, “You’ve got your hands full.”, I understand it comes from a place of caring.
But, this is what I want people to know.
I’m not a martyr.
What I’m doing is hard. Yes, it is enjoyable and rewarding, but it is also very challenging.
I’m in the trenches with 3 children 3 and under.
Life is busy in every sense of the word.
Someone wants my attention almost every moment of the day and I literally have to schedule in time for myself.
Time to just think.
But, you know what?
I love it.
I love how busy our little family is and how full our home feels.
When you see me wrangling my 2-year old, calling out to my 3-year old, while balancing my 2-month old on my hip, don’t pity me.
It isn’t easy, but motherhood never has been.
As someone once said:
If motherhood was supposed to be easy, it wouldn’t start with labor.
I think this generation has bought into the lie that parenting is 100x more difficult than it used to be.
In fact, it isn’t. Or, it doesn’t have to be.
So much of what makes it challenging is all the choices and life decisions that we make.
There is much to be said for simplicity.
So, just to clarify…yes, I’ve got my hands full. It is normal, it’s hard, it’s rewarding, it’s challenging…and I love it.
Until next time!