Motherhood, Perspective, Pregnancy

Real Life Mother’s Day

Real Life

The third trimester has hit me with a vengeance. Other than hormonal changes and generally pregnancy woes, I had been feeling pretty good, until last weekend when I was hit with the need to pee every 30 minutes. And my hips. They hurt. Every time I stand, I have to hold onto something for a second to help support my weight. Bending over has really become tiring. I need a chiropractor and fast. (The Chiropractor has worked miracles for me during my last three pregnancies.)

Saturday we spent the morning cleaning the garage. I should have taken before and after shots. It’s amazing the way junk piles up in there. After a couple hours of this, I was exhausted, my feet were swollen and hurting, my hips were angry. And they stayed that way for the rest of the day. I took a two hour nap. I awoke thinking that it was morning, that’s how hard I slept. I could nap like this everyday right now.

I’m officially to the really tough part of pregnancy. The part where I want to do so many things but my body will not let me. The part where my mind can barely hold a conversation. My dad asked me to do a simple math problem on the phone earlier and I just had to say, “I don’t know, you do the math, I have three people who are all trying to talk to me at the minute.” Add pregnancy brain to that and I’m just about worthless. Bear with me friends and family, my conversational skills are going to be pretty rotten for the next 7 weeks!

While I am honored to carry this baby, this part of pregnancy is just difficult. It’s hard for me to slow down plus the other kids don’t really allow it. I remember this feeling, especially from my last pregnancy. The first two pregnancies weren’t nearly as tough . . . age? other kids? tired body? all of the above? After Elle was born, I felt instantaneous relief. I had a ton of weight to lose, new stretch marks, difficulty breastfeeding and a sore va-jay-jay, but it was all better than being pregnant! Plus I had a little one to love on and I am crazy about newborns. I got to sleep on my back! And pee at normal intervals! And bend over! And the fake contractions that I had been experiencing for months were gone! Only 7 weeks to go, I can’t believe it.

Bearing babies, bringing them into the world and caring for them is beautiful and messy.

I saw a friend Thursday night at the Charleston Waterkeeper Waterball. She said a lot of encouraging things about my blog and also asked me how I was feeling. I try to answer this question in a positive way, “Feeling great/pretty good/hanging in there . . .” that sort of thing. I really want to say, “AAAAHHHH, this is the PITS!!!!” I responded, “Feeling just fine. I know I probably complain all the time on my blog.” She said, “No you don’t, you never complain!” So, G, this ones for you! Ha!

A quick thought about Mother’s Day

Ask for what you really want and don’t feel guilty about it. We want time away from our kids but then feel guilty about it. We want time with our kids but then it ends up feeling like a regular day, not a day that’s special for moms.

I want to sleep in, not do any cooking, have a clean kitchen without having to clean it myself and to spend the day at the beach with my family. What about you?

For a little comic relief . . .

I have to share this poem that I shared last year on Mother’s Day because it is just amazing. Why Mother’s Day is for the Birds by Ann Voskamp

Because I ain’t no Hallmark mother —

and none of us are, if we’re really truth-telling here.

If we’re honest– and what else is there really — there were burnt dinners and yelling mornings and neck strained words over lost shoes and scattered Legos and unfinished homework and there were crumpled tears behind bathroom doors.

Not to mention the frozen pizzas and no clean underwear and the wild words no one would want the cameras rolling for.

And the realization — that a mother’s labor and delivery never ends and you never stop having to remember to breathe.

I became a mother on the eve of Mother’s Day. The Saturday before the Sunday — at the oblivious age of twenty-one. And just seven days after I’d dropped my own fragile mama off at a locked psych ward. That Mother’s day eve baby, he turns 18 this year, day after Mother’s Day. And there’s no point kidding anyone — we’re all a bit crazy.

The deal is — Motherhood isn’t sainthood and we’re all a bunch of sinners here and don’t let anyone tell you any different — pushing something out of your womb doesn’t make you a better woman. Real Womanhood isn’t a function of becoming a great mother, but of being loved by your Great Father. Someone write that on a card with a bouquet of flowers. We all need that.

We all need that for the days that we hated our mothers — or hated being a mother.

When no room was big enough to find peace and no clock could tick fast enough to just get the day over with, and the truth is, facades only end up suffocating us all and it’s only telling the truth that lets you breathe

and there really were days that felt pretty bad and looked pretty ugly.

And maybe that’s what it really was — maybe the days were pretty and ugly. Pretty…Ugly.

The ugly beautiful of reality and love and humanity and what it means to become real.

That was what was happening: the stacks of dishes and everests of laundry and the tantrums of toddlers and teenagers and tired mamas and all the scuffed up walls down the hall and through the heart, they were all wearing down the plastic of pride, wearing us down to the real wood of grace and the Cross. It really is okay.

To lose it and be found, to be rubbed the wrong way to be come the rightest way, to let all the hard times rub you down to real.

That’s just the pretty ugly of us — we’re not the Hallmark mother, just the Velveteen Mothers. The Velveteen Mothers who know when there’s a volleys of words and weary silences afterward and everything looks impossibly wrecked —

The angular, hard edges of perfection are being sanded down by all our scrapes and falls, till we’re round and soft and can get close enough to each other to just hold each other.

Only when you’re broken are you tender enough to wrap yourself around anyone.

Only the broken people can really embrace.

That’s us — could we just really hold onto each other?

Find each other and hold onto each other and offer the hug of the broken who know the relief that homemaking is about making a home, not perfection, that motherhood is a hallowed space because children aren’t commonplace, that anyone who fosters dreams and labor prayers is a mother to the child in us all.

We’ll be the holding-on-broken who know that it’s not that we won’t blow it but it’s what we’ll do with it afterwards, whose priorities aren’t things that get us noticed, but priorities are all Things Unseen, who keep praying to only speak words that make souls stronger and keep getting up when we fall down because this is always how things just fall together.

Just let them sell their truckloads of perfect Mother’s Day Cards.

There’s far more Velveteen Mothers who are broken into real and worn into beauty.

Who have busted the Balloon of Better Homes, Gardens and Women and live the Gospel of Grace and we’re done with perfection because we’re the Everyday Prodigals who are wasteful in love and extravagant in grace and recklessly spending our attention on the mercies of the Prodigal God.

God wants Prodigal Parents — not perfect parents.

Lavish in love, extravagant in truth, big spenders of grace.

There will be cake this weekend. And we will eat it too.

And there will be tears and there will be laughter — because what messes our life up most — is the expectation of what our life is supposed to look like — and there will be a mess of dishes in the sink and a ring of grime in the bathtub and the clock will just keep on ticking and we’ll grab onto someone right in the kitchen and just hold on and let go.

It won’t be perfect — but we’ll be prodigals.

Because you can count on it: Mother’s Day is for the birds —

us who are flying on the wings of His grace and a prayer.


To the little people who made me a mother, to my mother and to all the mom’s out there who have been a part of my life, I LOVE YOU! I hope all the mama’s out there have a great day and do something that makes you feel good!

This beautiful lady gave me the best childhood ever, one that I am hoping to create for my own children. She taught me how to be loving, empathetic, strong and thoughtful. She gave me the space to be a kid. She gave me my brother. Every day, she loves my family unconditionally and without keeping score. I aspire to be the mother she is to me.

As I’m finishing this post up, Fleet has come in saying that he has cleaned a room better than I can clean it. He is speaking my language. I better go check this out . . .


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