Courtesy of Christie Elkins
It is there, and it creeps up like a silent killer. Maybe it is the wet underwear that you found floating in the hallway bathroom or the cat food that has been flung out on the floor like tiny marbles waiting to trip up a passerby or the loud thumping and yelling and tantruming as if we live in some sort of primal age where roaring and beating your chest are the only ways to get someone's attention.
And all of that madness and anger? It wasn’t the kids. It was me. The mother. The one who left a pair of Superman undies in a bathroom we rarely use for days, fed the cat without my glasses after someone else forgot, and the loud, obnoxious, downright scary human being I can be when I have just had more than I can handle.
That’s the kind of thing that happens when you allow Satan to steal your motherhood.
No, it’s not the mistakes. It’s not the forgetfulness. It is what happens on the inside that no one else sees. And he knows just how to get to you.
He admires you, you know. But only when you yell at your kids, complain about tasks that need to be done regardless of how many people are in your home. He loves it when you wish you were the mom with the skinny jeans and tall boots and shiny hair with the perfectly groomed kids at the mall play area. You look at her and think you are subpar. Satan loves that.
Satan also loves it when you get scared because someone posted a random video online of how their 4-year-old can read, so you freak out because your 4-year-old is more interested in roaming outdoors and playing with bobby pins and giving them names, so you panic because books are the last thing on her mind. Satan is clapping now.
Satan also adores you when you get on the phone and ignore your kids, when you hide your true feelings and dreams and frustrations with your husband with a weak “I’m fine” and when you feel like this fun birthday party at the park for your children isn’t “the best” compared to someone else’s insanely expensive Pinterest celebration.
Satan wants you to fail and to feel alone and to feel inadequate to what Someone Else has called you to do.
Because I might as well have left the front door unlocked and allowed a thief to come right in my home yesterday. I mean, why not? I let Satan in. After all the fussing and nagging and utter bone-tired exhaustion, I crawled into bed with my 3-year-old for a moment. Just to apologize.
“I am so sorry today was so rough.”
“I didn’t think it was rough. I thought it was fun!”
“Really? Which part was fun?”
“The part where we played on the couch like we were on a boat. Where we ‘fished’ with your belt as a fishing line and used the couch pillows for life boats.”
Tears started rolling down my cheeks.
“Please pray for me. That I can be a better mommy.”
“Oh, I did! Earlier today. When it was sunny. Right before we played the boat game.”
Today I’m locking the door tight to whatever evil enters my heart and home.
Today I am going to remember the One who gives life and knows I am a mess and loves me anyway.
I washed the undies. The cat took care of the food. That 4-year-old is now 6 and can read like a champ. But she still names random things. And it’s cool that my hair is “shiny” because it is unwashed, and I can’t wear tall boots because they make me taller than the guy that loves me to the moon and back.
Roll those cars down a ramp, read one more princess story, forget how “busy” you think you are and what the world thinks you should accomplish in a 24-hour period and, for heaven’s sake, log off of Pinterest.
Take your kids and an old, worn blanket, reheat that coffee and hold them tight and just rest at the feet of Jesus for a moment.
Today? It is going to be OK. Take back your motherhood. It is a gift. Listen to the life-giver, not the liar.
Christie is a mother of three, cop’s wife, and Junior Mint lover. She blogs at Letters From the Nest and is a columnist for her hometown newspaper, The LaFollette Press. Christie and her family reside in the Appalachian mountains of East Tennessee, where sweet tea is served at every meal and hospitality is second nature. This post has been published here with her permission.
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