This was a totally unplanned giveaway, but Mother's Day came and went and I was unexpectedly inspired, humbled and in tears before noon. And I felt led to do something, now. So here's the story:
Sunday (Mother's Day): my husband wakes super early to set up at church. He returns and begins mowing, because A) our HOA doesnt play around, and B) we were living in a jungle because no mowing had been happening because of the ridiculous schedule of a son playing two sports. Never again.
My husband knew he probably wouldn't finish the yard before church, but I wanted to take the kids anyways. I was bummed to go without him, but no biggie. So he's totally out of pocket all morning. It's fine though....moms handle 2+ kids all the time. Just remember, I'm definitely not the one who makes being a mom look easy. Never will be.
Breakfast was great though...very relaxed, kids both ate (because dad had gotten donuts) and we had plenty of time to get ready. But then I remembered I wanted a picture before church with my two kiddos. Which meant mom needed to get ready. Which meant, I had to tame this mess of hair. Not an easy feat with a baby that always wants to be held, and I definitely hadn't budgeted time for it. Nevertheless, in we all trek to our bathroom so I could curl my hair. I asked Ian to play with Adalyn. That lasted about 1.5 minutes, after which she toddles over wanting to be held. I turn music on for her on my phone, which did little to appease her, nor drown out her pitiful arms-up-in-the-air whimpers. So finally, I resort to opening all the carefully child-proofed cabinets, therefore giving her free reign to her favorite activity of unpacking and destroying all my cabinets and drawers.
But, I got my hair done. So I send Ian to get dressed. He comes back in an outfit two sizes too small. He changes, and comes back in a shirt that last I saw was in his closet beneath the cemetery of pillow pets. Third time he comes back with a clean shirt that fits. Perfect. 2/3 of us are ready.
Oh wait. I need at least a little makeup. I've gotten so used to either going without, or putting it on in the car, that I forget I probably need some on now if I want to take this nice, once-a-year picture with my children. So I sit on the floor next to our bed and put my makeup on, knowing that Adalyn will sit with me. Because dumping out my makeup bag is another one of her favorite pastimes. After getting all that cleaned up, we go to get her dressed. She's finally clothed. We're all clothed. I've only griped once.
10 minutes until we need to leave. I'm feeling harried but still ok at this point. As I walk back to our bedroom to get Ian, I hear the distinctive noise of something getting knocked over. It was nothing breakable, a plastic glass...but it was a full glass, and now there was water everywhere all over our bedroom floor and all over the wires and outlets behind my night stand. That's fun trying to clean while holding a toddler. A tiny toddler, but nonetheless. I lose it a little bit because I have yet to understand the inability of boys to control their arms and legs and movements for crying out loud.
(Is this normal?? Its like constant bull-in-a-china shop over here.)
Moving on. 5 minutes until we need to leave. I'm starting to wonder if the picture will happen. As I go to get my tripod and camera I notice that my son still looks like he rolled out of bed. Back to the bathroom to brush his hair. Still holding the baby, and I'm sweating in my nice clothes and makeup that I rarely wear.
Finally, we make it outside around the time we should be leaving. But whatever. I went to all this trouble, we're taking the picture. I set the tripod up, put the camera on self-timer because who has time to set up the remote function, and press the shutter. I run, sit down next to my kids, and the camera snaps three in a row.
All three were fine. Both kids are looking, both kids are smiling. More on this later.
We arrive at church on time, but I didnt think about the fact that I would be taking both kiddos to their Sunday School class by myself. So we haul ourselves up the stairs to Ian's class first. He's only five min. late. Since we walked alllll the way down this hallway I figured I would take a shortcut down a different set of stairs, but I end up in the wing of the building where the older kiddos meet. Not the baby hallway. At this point I've given up on the goal to make it to the service before worship was over. I just want to find Addie' class now, which by the way, she has never been to before. This would be her first Sunday in the toddler class, which brings up a whole new set of anxieties.
Flustered and about to burst into tears, I tell the kind people setting up in the big kids hallway that I am lost. They don't normally let people walk through because of all the equipment, but I think they could probably tell I was about to burst into tears. Finally I get to Addie's class, drop her off relatively uneventfully, and walk back to the sanctuary through empty hallways because church started 20 min ago.
So, I tell you this story because as I sat down in the very back, the pastor started talking about Mother's Day of course, and I was struck by how stinkin' exhausting and trying it was just to make it to church by myself with two kids. I've spent many days alone with my two kiddos while dad was working, etc., don't get me wrong. But during a week where I'm already emotional, the strain of a busy and somewhat chaotic morning about did me in.
How silly. How superficial. How minor.
But what it did was give me a teeny-tiny glimpse into what every morning must be like as a single parent, as a widow, as a military wife. And when I got home and uploaded the pictures on my computer I was disappointed really, that we finally got a picture of the three of us, and I don't look particularly happy. I look a bit stressed, and my smile looks a bit forced, and I am SO mad at myself. I let the strain of the morning ruin a picture with my precious children.
How fortunate I am to even have photos of us. And I wonder if the moms I mention above get to have that. Do they get to take a single moment of downtime to get photos of themselves in the frame, with their kiddos?
It's hard talking about the feelings of a group of the population in which I don't belong. I don't want to presume to know how it feels to raise kiddos alone, or to have a deceased spouse, or to be in wait for your husband to return from duty. But I imagine there is a special kind of strength involved, and I am more than inspired.
So, the point of all this is: I want to give away a Motherhood Mini to a local mom who is doing the parenting and raising-of-tiny-humans thing with only one set of hands. Would you share this? Would you visit my social media pages and tag people who you think would be interested? Giveaway will run through Friday, and session details will be determined after that. Feel free to email or message me with any questions.
For those of you that are still with me, thanks as always for reading :)