Sunday, March 13, 2016

just be their mom

My to-do list was looming. I can't even remember what all was on it, but I don't want to dismiss whatever it was because it must have been important and in need of my attention.

The juggling act of motherhood was in full swing.

I was rocking my three-day-old yoga pants while refilling sippy cups, tackling breakfast dishes from two hours ago, and picking Cheerios off the bottom of my feet.

The newborn needed holding and the toddler needed a playmate.  My half-hearted attempt to comfort the baby while building a tower with the two-year-old was not well received, and the neediness quickly reached new heights.

I grabbed the Moby Wrap (as if I'd ever be able to get that mile of fabric wrapped around myself correctly), scattered crayons on the kitchen table, and glanced at my to do list, searching for an item that required minimal focused attention and could possibly be completed in under twenty seconds.

"Mommy, color with me."

I leaned over the table, drew a quick rainbow and gave a fake oooo and ahhh over Charlotte's artwork.

At this point, I'd tangled wrapped Andrew onto my chest (seriously, can people really wrap a child to their body without the assistance of at least seven friends?!?!) and was hoping the massive knot I'd created would secure him to my body.  I discretely set down my crayon and moved to the counter to write the check for our homeowners association dues which was just hours away from a late fee.

Yes. Check written. Cross one item off the list.

When the crayons got boring and the Moby Wrap too loose to be considered safe, I moved us all onto the floor, a play-mat on my left, puzzles on my right, and a basket of clean laundry in front of me.

I frantically folded a few items while talking in an overly pleasant voice to compensate for my lack of enthusiasm and help keep everyone (mostly myself) from sinking further into complete melt down mode.  Within half a minute, the puzzle Charlotte had completed independently a dozen times before was suddenly too hard, and Andrew's face was red from screaming.

The neediness had reached its peak, but for whatever reason, my heels were dug so far into my to-do list, I couldn't stop and just be mom.

I don't claim to have audible heard the voice of the Lord at any time in my life, but there certainly have been a handful of times when the Holy Spirit has spoken so clearly and so aptly to my heart, I undoubtedly know truth and wisdom were just revealed to me.

This was one of those moments.

Right there, on the carpet that hadn't seen a vacuum in weeks, surrounded by laundry, blocks, puzzle pieces, baby rattles, and two crying children, God knew I needed some truth.

Joy, stop.  Stop what you're doing and just be their mom.

Just be their mom.

There really will be time to complete those to-do list items, but right now my children needed me.  And not just half of me as I try to do a dozen other things at the same time. They needed my undivided attention - to sit, play, and be all in on this mom thing.

And truth be told, when I just give in, when I allow myself to be all in on this mom thing, motherhood becomes immensely more enjoyable.

Since that day, so many mornings have started with this prayer.

Lord, if I do nothing else today but be their mom, remind me that I've done enough.  If not one item on my list gets crossed off, remind me it was still a day well spent.  
 Help me today to just be their mom. 


  1. This made me cry because of how familiar it is and how clearly the Lord encourages. Thanks friend! Can't wait to see you in May!

    1. Thanks for reading, Megan! I needed your help with that silly wrap! :)

  2. Replies
    1. I wish I could be doing this mama thing closer to you!!!!

  3. As someone who views you as a role model and values everything you do, thank you proving that life isn't always easy, but it is truly worth those small moments where you only have to be one thing to two tiny humans, to who you are the world. Way to be a Rockstar momma Joy.

    1. Thanks girl! Maybe you can tell more people this story rather than the flicking one.... :)