They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result. I beg to differ; I think this instead defines the sole way we mommas justify not burying ourselves under the covers and attempting to hide from our families every morning. If I lie really still, maybe they won’t find me…
You see, this parenting gig is not for the faint of heart. If you parent those lovely, delightful children who always greet each day with a cheery smile, pop seamlessly into their clothes and always remember their backpacks, you’re going to want to just log off now. Go use your extra time to sort world peace. Or clean your ceiling fans. Again.
The rest of us are here in the trenches. Battling stubborn zippers, daughters who take 100 years to get dressed, and forgotten items for Show-n-Share. Doing quick sniff tests for body odor, we longingly glance towards the shower, while juggling a mound of laundry and racing off to an appointment. Or meeting. Or volunteer day at a school. A school that one of our children may or may not actually attend, but at this point, we aren’t really sure because details like this tend to get lost in the whirlwind. Also, it doesn’t really matter: let’s help all the children! We can brush our teeth tomorrow, right?
In the midst there are tantrums, mentally-imbalanced dogs barking at squirrels, and the precious ritual of Mommy beating the smoke alarm with a broom handle because the darn thing wails every time she cooks dinner. You get it, it’s a tad on the crazy side.
And then we go to bed, and then we get up, and then we do it all over again.
Does this make us insane? No, it makes us human.
I was talking to a friend who rocks a fantastically packed schedule of needed appointments for her children every single day. Time to breathe is sparse, I know. As she described the ins and outs of her schedule, she said the heart-capturing words, “And then tomorrow we’ll get up and do the best we can all over again. Because that’s what it really is, isn’t it?”
When we hear about the horrid terrorist events, the magnitude of pain and fear that could fill us is too much. Too much to know and too carry. When people we love leave, when lives change in an instant, when the reality of all that is not good becomes real…this, this is why we keep on doing the best we can with what we have.
This is why we get up in the morning and make sure that the eggs don’t dare touch the breakfast biscuit on our son’s plate.
Why we try every day to positively approach the clothes-selection scenario without totally losing our crap.
Why we volunteer for the chance to help our kiddos.
Why we work hard to balance budgets, school messy dishes, and remember to take garbage out.
Why we don’t ship our dog off to a institution for psychotic canines.
Why we pray that maybe tonight will be the night we can saute veggies without the smoke alarm screaming at us.
Why we kiss our spouse at night, cuddle with kids over bedtime stories, and give thanks to God at night for surviving another day.
Why we still hope that tomorrow might be a bit smoother, easier, or brighter. Why we continue to believe that if we keep doing our best, it will work out.
This isn’t insanity, it’s hope.
You see when we know that really, today is all we’re promised, we’re going to do our darnedest to give it our all for the people we love. We try and we hope.
In the midst of day-to-days that have lost their luster on a repeat cycle and effort that feels decidedly unshiny, we’re still going to hope for all the good. We’re going to get up, carry on, and do our best with what we’ve got.
We’re going to HOPE ON, friends.
For some perspective on the sanity and grace required to get through a day of mothering, check this very real discussion on VProud.tv!