I know raising a family is hard and I know how worn out you get. Things grow old and children grow up.
Trust me when I say the time will pass more quickly than you can ever imagine possible.
I wrote the following many years ago, although the older I get the more it seems like yesterday. It was written as a birthday wish but it seems fitting for this time of year. Possibly some of you will be able to relate.
I am so very tired. I don't think there is one drop of anything left in me for anyone. Mary, down the street, has the flu and her whiny, runny-nosed four-year-old and belligerent three-year-old have spent the entire day badgering our whiny, runny-nosed four-year-old and our belligerent three-year old. My head pounds. I burnt the stew I was making for Mary's family's dinner and I burnt my hand in my efforts to salvage it.
Mr. Roger's sweetness drones from the television in the adjoining room---nauseating sweetness combined with seemingly unlimited patience that somehow keeps the kids occupied and blissfully quiet for a few minutes.
A familiar tune comes to my ears. Dave is walking up the driveway whistling his signature greeting. Opening the back door he quickly takes in the disarray, crosses the room in two quick strides, kisses me gently on the forehead and while holding me close, kindly asks me about my day. He pretends not to notice the sudden welling of tears that make my eyes sparkle.
He loves me and he tells me so. My birthday is next week, on Saturday, and he asks me what I would like. We don't have much money but what I want at this time, more than anything in the world, doesn't cost a dime. Dare I tell him? Dare I? Yes. He loves me and he will understand.
"What I want," I begin hesitantly and in a slightly choked up voice, "is to have you take the kids somewhere for the whole day so I can have the entire Saturday to myself."
He looks sad. Have I hurt him? He doesn't understand.
He holds me even closer and starts to speak. He stops. He has to clear his throat. Maybe he does understand but if he does, what can be so hard for him? It won't cost anything; well, maybe a little if he takes them to a show or for a burger. But it won't cost much and he enjoys spending time with the kids. He is very thoughtful and good at taking them on occasional outings when I am busy.
Yes, he is very thoughtful and therein lay his dilemma.
"I can't give you that for your birthday. A birthday is a very special occasion, especially for kids. How would they feel if they knew that what you wanted was a day, all by yourself, without them? I understand, but they could not."
Yes, he is very thoughtful and very wise.
Many years and many birthdays have passed. The kids are grown now and would fully understand the desire of a tired young mother to have a day to herself; would understand that it was not a reflection of her love for them but rather a chance to renew and refuel, that she could continue to give.
I no longer need a Saturday alone. I have many of them. Now I have an over abundance of self to give and no children nearby to give to.
I hear a familiar whistle coming up the drive. He is so kind and so thoughtful and so wise. He opens the door, views the quiet and spotless surroundings, crosses the floor in two strides, tenderly takes me in his arms and kisses my forehead. My eyes are sparkling and he pretends not to notice the sudden welling of tears.
Thank you to our daughter and five sons for the opportunity to be a mother ----- YOUR mother.
Thanks to our four daughters-in-law who are great wives/mothers to our sons and grandchildren.
Special love to my mother and mother-in-law, now deceased, for their kindness, love, care, and understanding.
May our Heavenly Father's choicest blessings and comfort continue to be with all of us, whoever and wherever we are throughout the world, as we undertake this most important of all roles---Motherhood.
a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.