My Beautiful Mess

Sunday, May 11, 2014

This last year I had a bit of a mid-life crisis. I want to write about it because someday Rori may feel the same way and I want her to know that I felt this way at one time and it's ok. Mark Twain said, "Comparison is the death of joy." I know this. I KNOW this, but I can't help it.

One day, I called my mom crying. I felt like my adulthood has been a disappointment to her. I have friends that have beautiful homes, successful careers, or serving the Church in wonderful ways. I feel like I am not enough. I can't keep up with the house work, I went to college and don't use my degree in any way that makes money, I am constantly exhausted, I go from varying stages of out of shape to in shape back to out of shape again, and as far as this raising three kids thing--I don't have a clue what I am doing!

I felt so lost and broken, so not enough, so much a disappointment, and so alone in these thoughts. In so many ways, my life is exactly what I wished for. I wanted to be a mom, I wanted to get to stay home with my babies and raise them. However, I felt like I was failing at that. Things like Facebook and Pinterest show me how all the mommies have their stuff together. Smiling faces, perfect pictures, beautiful homes, and people who are good at doing stuff, people who have talents and are using them in their every day lives. They are all so confident and I felt like they were all rubbing my nose in it. I told myself, "look how organized they are, look how well they are doing this mom thing, look how creative they are, look how talented, how gifted, etc." "Look at yourself, your house is disorganized, you are never going to be able to afford to move, you haven't showered in two days (it actually may be three days), you start things and never finish them, your kids don't like reading, they don't appreciate you, your job doesn't matter, you need some new clothes, and oh yeah, your love handles are getting a little squishy." Most pictures of me, taken during the winter, have me in my winter uniform. That's an Old Navy hoodie with a superhero t-shirt under it. I actually own two Old Navy hoodies. They are exactly the same, except I wrote a number 1 and a number 2 inside of them so that I remember which one needs to be washed. My fashion status has plummeted.

Shortly after these feelings were swirling in my head, my dear friend Leslie, whom God has already used in my life more times than I can count, took me to an early screening of Mom's Night Out. I felt like it should've been called "Mom's Night Out, a movie about Jaime" I imagine very few people would see it with that title though. Basically, the main character says that she is feeling exactly the way I told my mom that I was feeling. An ex-con tattoo artist ends up asking her who she's not enough for. It turns out, she feels she's not enough for herself. He tells her that God made her to just be. To be who He made her to be and not someone else. She learns that while she is a mess, she's a beautiful mess, His masterpiece. 

And this is true. I may be flailing about though this motherhood thing, though this wife thing, through this whole grown-up thing. But I am who I am. I am who God made me to be. I am the wife to Bill, mom to Rori, Liam, and Brendan and that is enough. It's who God wants me to be right now. I wouldn't change that for a bigger house, a wildly successful career, a housekeeper, THREE Old Navy hoodies, or anything else imaginable. 

So, my dear Rori, if you ever feel this way as a Mama, know that you are exactly who God made you to be. Don't miss out on the beautiful moments of today because you are focusing on the messy ones. Being a mom is hard and messy and scary and challenging, it's also beautiful, and amazing, and so very very worth it. I am enough, you are enough, and until you realize that, you can't experience the great JOY that is in the life God has given you.