I Signed Up For This

"I Signed Up For This: accepting the call (and the chaos) of motherhood"

It struck me a year or two back that I was getting into a habit of making big deals out of the things that my life was entirely comprised of.

There was lots of sighing and moaning and groaning, to the point where I was beginning to get on my own nerves.

Which is saying a lot, because when it comes to myself…I’m kind of a fan.

And once the annoyance set in, I began to notice a stark difference between myself and those ladies I look up to the most…

ladies who had worked hard their entire lives and didn’t make a big fuss about it….

ladies who weren’t forever groaning about all the stuff they either had done or needed to get done…

ladies who didn’t constantly talk about “me time”…

ladies who didn’t see homemaking and/or motherhood as a giant sacrifice, but a natural progression of life…

I’ll never forget the day in our church kitchen when I was bemoaning the fact that we had made it through “another week of Vacation Bible School”.

By the way, our VBS lasts for 3 hours a day.

5 days.

Oh, and a delicious daily meal is provided for us by our good-cookin’ kitchen committee.

The older ladies around me shared knowing glances before one spoke up. “Girl, this is nothing!” she said. “We used to do VBS for two weeks, and then go home with our kids to do the canning”.

My mouth dropped to the floor.

“You did?!” I gasped, horrified at the very idea.

And here I thought it was hard getting the kids in the car and down the hill to where our hot supper was waiting for us every night…

It was an eye-opener, for sure.

And I knew it was time for a change.

From that day forward, I adopted a homemade mantra of sorts, and I repeat it to myself all the time

I SIGNED UP FOR THIS.

Everything that I was whining about was something I had plunged into with my eyes wide…okay, mostly-wide…open.

I chose to pursue motherhood. I chose to forego a career and become a stay-at-home wife and mom. I chose to homeschool….

So why in the world was I acting surprised everytime my kids ate and the kitchen table was covered with food and sticky fingerprints? Why did I sigh every time we decided to go somewhere and I had to pack diaper bags and load carseats? When was I going to stop talking about how many (or how few) hours of sleep I had received the night before? How long was I planning on exclaiming over how many times a day I had to sweep the kitchen floor?

It is no secret that I was painfully naïve when I said my “I do’s” to Mr. Gore. My picture of marriage and motherhood was anything but realistic, and I somehow really and truly believed that we would be wealthy and have househelp and a guest cottage out back; whether that was going to take place before or after I took on the nannying job for $10/hour, I don’t know, but I was reaching for that rainbow.

But 7 years of marriage and a bunch of kids later, it was time to grow up and move on. Accept my duties and find joy in them. Train myself to love hard work. Say buh-bye to the guest cottage.

And guess what? I’m getting there!

But if I’m being honest, I still struggle, and old habits die hard; for this reason, and in hopes of helping anyone who shares a boat with me, I thought it would be helpful to make a list of the things I signed up for and should therefore no longer complain about.

Even though I didn’t really know I was signing up for them when I did.

But that’s neither here nor there.

Let us begin.

1. Children are messy.

Dirty shoes. Stained clothes. Sticky fingers. Matted hair. Crumbs everywhere. Toybox explosions. Bathtub debris. Poop. Spills. Unidentifiable grossness. Paper scraps. The upstairs stuff is downstairs and the downstairs stuff is upstairs.

I signed up for this and I will deal with it. No more sighing. No more being surprised by it.

(And no more sitting down).

2. Children are expensive.

When our first child was born, we couldn’t believe that a two-night stay at the hospital cost more than both of our cars combined. And that was just the beginning.

Diapers. Clothing. Food. Education. Recreation. Birthday parties. Holidays. Dentists. Doctors. Etc, etc, etc. Most of us simply aren’t going to live like kings and queens during these years, so I’ve decided to buckle down and stop whining about all the things I “can’t afford” (which is another post, entirely).

Why? Because I signed up for this.

3. Children must be taught…everything.

Manners. Hygiene. Theology. Rules. How many quarters are in a dollar. What’s a president? What’s America? 

I’ve decided to stop being shocked that they are impolite when I’m the one who forgot to equip them beforehand. And I’m not going to sigh when they ask me again what “tomorrow” means.

Because teaching them and answering them is my job, and it is one I willingly signed up for.

4. Children don’t sleep.

Okay. So really, I didn’t sign up for this because I had NO IDEA that this was a thing. When I was a kid, I slept like a log, one you could carry from the living room to the bed without ever waking up. But apparently, other less obliging children exist out there (say, like, on the second floor of my house), and no matter how late they go to bed at night, they still wake up at dawn’s early light. And sometimes before then to come and tap you on the shoulder and ask where their green-dinosaur-is-but-not-the-green-and-brown-one-just-the-green-one.

But even though I didn’t necessarily know about this when I asked for children, I know now, and I sign up for it. I guess.

5. Carseats.

It’s the law. And I’m a law-abiding citizen. And if I sign up for America, I’ve got to sign up for carseats, as well. No more moaning and groaning when I have to move those ridiculously heavy pieces of furniture from one car to the other.

6. Children are slow.

It is a well-known fact that if you’re going to go somewhere with kids in tow, you have to start getting ready 2 hours ahead of time. That game where I wake up an hour before go-time and then act all surprised and flustered when it is time to leave and no one can find their shoes and the dry shampoo in my hair is showing?…

no more. I signed up for this gig and I run it like a boss.

(Except for when I don’t. But I’m going to try).

7. Children have to have grown-ups for parents.

For years I tried to figure out how we could have people over like we used to and talk and laugh uninterrupted until 2 a.m. every weekend. I wanted to go to every antique show in the state, every movie that looked entertaining, every conference, every church activity…

but guess what? I have little kids. And little kids have bedtimes. And even before bedtime, they need you to wipe them and stuff. These aren’t the party-like-it’s-Y2K years. These are the you’ve-got-babies-and-you-need-to-raise-them-years.

I signed up for those.

8. Children get sick a lot.

When I used to hear a sniffle or a cough in the church nursery, I would go into panic mode and do everything I could to get my kid out of the door before they caught something; likewise, when one of my children would come down with a fever on a Sunday night, I would berate myself for not seeing the signs, putting everyone in the church nursery at risk.

But then I started noticing something: there was no pattern to this stuff. Sometimes my kids do get sick when their friends are sick…but sometimes they don’t. You never know. I will do my best to be wise, but I will also be brave and kind, knowing that kid vomit, diarrhea, full-body rashes and sore throats are just another’s day work.

Work that I chose to do when I signed up for this job.

9. Children have their own personalities.

There is a fine line between shepherding and controlling, and I’ve been very guilty of attempting to do the latter. But it doesn’t matter how much I love that yellow-and-white checked button-up shirt that hangs in my son’s closet. He doesn’t. And just because the rest of the family loves “Andy Griffith” doesn’t mean our youngest daughter ever will (she used to plant her face on the ground and start bawling every time she heard the theme song).

I will learn to listen. I will let them be people. I will give them room to breathe. I will nurture their weirdness, even if it doesn’t match up to mine.

10. Children are unpredictable.

I can make all manner of plans, whether it is to go on a day-long shopping excursion, deep-clean the house, make a big meal, plant some flowers, or simply watch a TV show after they are tucked in at night; but neither the needs nor the foibles of children are scheduled, and while I must teach them that the world does not revolve around them, I can’t do so while acting like it revolves around me.

Someone has to be the grown-up in these situations. Challenge accepted.

11. “Me-time” is not a right.

Yes. It would be wonderful to take a bath without a toddler coming in and dropping toys into the water. It would be dreamy to leisurely sip my way through two entire cups of coffee without having to reheat it in the microwave. It would be nice to have Friday’s off. Or a guaranteed lunch break. Or a daily siesta.

But guess what? The only job description to being a stay-at-home mom is this: crapshoot. There is rarely a “daily” anything. But I’ve learned one thing…

there will be grace for each moment, even when I feel like I want to beat my head against the wall. And sometimes that grace will include a surprise (or even scheduled!) gift of me-time. I will take it when I can get it, but I won’t act like an entitled brat if I don’t get it.

~

Oh, my. I suspect that this list could go on for days, but the heart of it is this: I don’t want to spend my life frowning over the inevitable.

Motherhood is HARD, yes, but it doesn’t have to be dreary and droopy. Chin up, buttercup. Shoulders back. Turn that frown upside down. Swallow those sorrowful sighs. Choose joy, because even on the hardest days, it is still exactly that: a choice. Laugh at today and all the days to come!

And on those occasions when we are at our gloomiest and least grateful, we can always remember this: we’re not going home to do the canning after TWO WEEKS of Vacation Bible School…

~

Find this list a little too realistic? Read a fun (and  more optimistic) follow-up to this post here: I Signed Up For This, Too

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74 thoughts on “I Signed Up For This

  1. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, WHERE were YOU WHEN I WAS A YOUNG MOTHER? Oh, ya, that’s right, you were in elementary school.
    Hashtag green dinosaur, hashtag, toys in my tub…LOL

  2. I love this OH SO MUCH. It NEEDS to be said! My husband talk about this very topic a lot – and it’s so easy to get into that habit of crying about how hard mothering is. Well-said. Best blog I’ve read in forever. <3

  3. Yes and AMEN!!!! Thank you so much Mrs. Gore. This was such an uplifting post! Also I am “stealing” your phrase as my 2014 mantra for this next season of my life and my family’s life. ❤️

  4. Love all of this and I needed it when I was a young(er) momma, with little ones (who are now big ones, except for my littlest baby). The only one I don’t necessarily agree with is that children are expensive. They can be, depending on how much you want to spend or give, but yard sales and hand me downs and being frugal and trying to be creative can mean not as much expense as some people might think. Being a good steward of all God’s gifts helps a lot! Children are such a blessing! I realize it more and more as mine get older for sure, I wish I had been more grateful when they were tightly nestled under my wings. ;)

  5. I love reading your blog, though I don’t normally get the chance to comment. But I had to say thank you for this post. I’m in the trenches with you and so appreciate how you highlight areas of my life that need change, not in a condemning, holier-than-thou way, but in a way that speaks truth mixed with humor and grace. Keep writing! You’re a blessing to me and many others!

  6. “while I must teach them that the world does not revolve around them, I can’t do so while acting like it revolves around me” I love this! I am going to think about it as I get on with what I signed up for here.

  7. Boy, oh boy. God knew I needed to hear this. Just tonight I was having my own little meltdown of things that weren’t going right (like the refrigerator stopped working) while the baby wouldn’t stop whining and the three year old wouldn’t stay in his bed. I was definitely having a moment of pure anxiety and selfishness. Thank you Lord for speaking to me through Mrs. Gore right when I needed it. I DID sign up for this. Thank you, Mrs. Gore, for being such an inspiration. I am printing this blog entry and hanging it as a daily reminder that I did sign up for this and I do love being a wife and mother and I needed to stop stressing and enjoy this life that God has blessed me with. Thank you!

  8. Leslie, just wanted you to know that at least 20 ladies, besides myself, were blessed this evening by “I Signed Up For This” tonight. Thanks for sharing your heart and humor with us :)

    Lauri Titsworth :)

  9. Yes and Amen. Nothing diminishes our own joy like complaining. Though I certainly do it. Good encouragement! Perhaps I shall mirror this post with what a mama of teens needs to remember she signed up for on my blog! :-)

  10. It’s amazing how God works. I needed to hear this and here it is! I am seriously going to read this post over and over again… Like when my almost 3 year old daughter makes me want to pull my hair out and hide in my closet for several hours. 😏
    Thank you Mrs. Gore!! You are so very awesome! ❤

  11. Thank you for this reminder I have had a four day flu bond week with four little boys. It took over a course of two days to just finish reading your post while I was in the ‘bathroom’. I love how God uses our own struggles to encourage others..and hey the flu is on its way out and dr/maid/cook/cuddle bunny is part of our job title

  12. I gained a few things from this post, and I think there is a lot to be said about growing in the grace and pursuit of joy instead of our natural state of complaining over things we dislike. Which, as you’ve stated clearly, is a long list, and much longer than what you wrote! My one criticism, however, is that it left me feeling like I have complete power over my own attitudes and actions. That although I am responsible for these 100%, God hasn’t left me to think I’ve got to adopt a “chin-up buttercup” mentality above it. If I’m deep in the trenches daily, I need someone bigger than I, much more gracious, much more powerful than I to pick me up and grant me the godly attitudes we desire to have as mothers. I understand we can resolve to change, and that can be a form of repentance indeed, but our attitude changes don’t just change bc we tell them to. That disregards the work of Jesus, what he accomplished on the cross (killing our terrible “tudes”), and granting us unmerited hope and life in him. I can have these attitudes in this life bc of him. Not because I keep my chin up or stand up straight.

    • Hi Mama of 4! You caught me at a really good time, so I had the chance to respond to this, and I’m glad, because I think it is important.
      If you read my other stuff, especially in the Christian living section, you will find that I agree with you 100% in the theology department. Without the grace of God, there is NO way I would ever have the fortitude to do anything very praiseworthy, and certainly not for an extended period of time.
      There are too many days to count when I need to draw deeply from the well of grace and some days that are even worse when I pray for grace and help and have to wait for days before I see any growth in my heart. Those are special seasons of sanctification that are very much different than what I was trying to get across when I wrote this post.
      What I was addressing here were just those surface attitudes that so many of us young homemakers and mothers develop as a matter of habit, that really can be cured just by a simple choice.
      I hope that clears things up, and I pray that God will continue to pour His grace on you, on the slightly difficult days, on the really difficult days, and on those impossibly difficult days! :) God bless!

    • Just read this this week in the book, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.. The nine fruits of the Spirit in Gal. 5 are attitudes. The Holy spirit supplies those fruits.So good to have Him!

  13. I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this today – thank you so much for sharing your heart! Your post was convicting and encouraging all at the same time – very hard to accomplish, btw! ;) I am a homeschooling mom with three boys, and I shared your article with some of my homeschooling mom friends as well. I know that they’ll be inspired just like me! I am so happy that I found your blog!

  14. I enjoyed this post very much but as a newly married who is 9 mos prego w her first (accidentally-we wanted to wait a few years ), all I see everywhere are pep talks to moms on how to survive and try to enjoy the next 20 years of child rearing… I read about How difficult it is and while I really appreciate being given a realistic (and many times amusing)) view of what motherhood actually is, I wonder why on earth anyone has kids? It sounds like a horrible tedious stressful exprnsive drain on relationships, time, creativity and money

    • Hello! I’m on my way to bed, but couldn’t call it a night without responding to you. I would be remiss if I let you go on your way without a little bit of encouragement! If you read any of my other posts, you will find that 90% of what I share here is about the joy and fun and beauty of motherhood and parenting. While some days are hard, and some are REALLY hard, most are…well, wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. To the very depths of my soul, I believe that children are a blessing, and that you are in for the most fulfilling years of your life. If you want a pick-me-up after this post that shows the other side of parenting, try reading this one: http://mrsgoresdiary.com/2013/03/06/a-letter-to-my-children-to-read-in-the-year-2030/
      I hope that helps, and…congratulations!

      • Besides all of the really terrific ways that having and raising children are an incredible blessing, there’s another potential blessing: way down on the far, far end of it, there’s grandchildren, who are such a tremendous, incredible, wonderful, gift from God that you can’t even anticipate how much fun they are! :)

    • Dear Petals, It will be horrible if you think it is horrible and beautiful if you think it is beautiful. I think the idea presented in this blog is: “Choose beautiful.” Because, as crazy as it all is, it really is beautiful.

      • It’s sweet and beautiful. You’ll fall head over heels in love with your newborn and enjoy every stage. Everything in life has challenges. We can make those challenge worse with unreal expectations or listening to others badgering our parenting.

    • Marriage can be the same way. So why get married? the reason us moms seem to complain so much, at least for me. its a 24/7 job. my husband has the ability to leave his job and come home. Me on the other hand its a special treat to be able to run to the store ALONE. :) its the daily grind that wears one down. and that’s why as mothers of children especially little ones we do need to constantly building one another up. because what would happen if you continue to grind something daily? eventually there won’t be anything left. the thing about children AND marriage is they care life changing events used to. REFINE our character. and it seems that my children mirror and magnify my character flaws. now granted they also show off my good character points but its SO easy to notice and focus on ALL the flaws. Which is why I am so thankful for each older person that compliments me when they feel like my children have been well behaved. because more often than not I think its the other way. I’m sorry this is kind of. random but I’m a bit of a scatter brain lately. Pregnant with our 5th and due in just a few short weeks. :) I hope this helps you some as to why moms may have the attitudes that we we sometimes have. have a great night and I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly and is enjoyable. :) Shalom

    • petalseventfirm – in reply to your question on why people have kids, the reasons to do so far outweigh the reasons not to but are much harder to put into words. Like anything worth doing, motherhood is incredibly challenging but the rewards are also incredible. You will learn so much about yourself and about God’s grace and it will only take one little smile or hug or kind word from your beautiful child to make you forget all the hard stuff.

  15. Thank you for writing this post! It is something that God worked on in my life (and continues to do so) a few years ago. I wanted to fuss and complain about the blessings (4 children the age of 4 and under) He gave me instead of just doing what needed to be done and reaping if I fainted not. He showed me it was possible in His strength. I would faint in my strength, but that wasn’t the strength I was to use in the first place. Since, then he has continued to gently lead and teach and correct, but I can truthfully say I am far more at peace with the task he has given and far more in love with my children (now 7 :) ) than I was then. I am thankful for this job and so very glad to have signed up for this.

  16. ” The only job description to being a stay-at-home mom is this: crapshoot. There is rarely a “daily” anything. ” This is the best line, in a very well written article!

  17. Cure for food and sticky fingerprints on the table… tablecloths. Fabric, not vinyl. You’d have to wipe vinyl. With cloth, you just throw them in the washer.

  18. This was absolutely amazing. I can not begin to describe to you how much I needed this today! Felt very convicted and yet very inspired to do better! Thank you for your post!

  19. “I will nurture their weirdness, even if it doesn’t match up to mine.”

    I love this sooo much!! This was refreshing to read at a moment when I feel so odd clipping coupons, wondering when I can sneak in to get a shower, hoping the littlest one won’t wake up with the older two making noise, and imagining how well our grocery trip will go this evening . . .

    Love! love!

  20. Yes we did sign up for this and with God as our CEO our job is not that bad. As a grandmother now there are many days when I wish I could go back to the trenches and spent it with my girls. I remember the tea parties and playing with dolls. Putting together puzzles and playing board games. I don’t choice to remember the lack of sleep or the 6 weeks we spent home in the winter with chicken pox. My grandsons come over and put down their electronics and we play monopoly. My granddaughter love to come over and bake. Her mom will ask her what she plans to do at my house today and she will reply ” duh, bake cupcakes”. Now that I have “me time” I wish for the busy time of having kids around. God will greatly bless your time with your little people. They will learn good things from example.
    In Christ, Lori

  21. haha, this is the absolute true. Except, there is one daily (actually twice daily) in my SAHM routine: coffee. My empire would crumble without it.

  22. thank you so much. I need to hear this today. especially the part about not getting sleep. for some reason I keep telling myself “once they sleep through the night…i’ll exercise everyday, the house will always be clean, etc” and im not sure it will come, and THATS OK. Because it has to be. Thank you, so encouraging!

  23. This was wonderful! I’m a mom of four no-longer-little kids of 11, 12, 14, 16. When they were all little and underfoot, I wish I had read this! I did the “exasperated Mom” thing entirely too often. I was surprised, exasperated and in despair sometimes over the inevitable. But, I grew in grace and knowledge because of Him. Oh, there are still things to be exasperated about (just this morning, in fact :)), but I matured and they are less needy. A fact which both makes me rejoice and cry. All that to say, thank you for your words to mothers of littles. Praising God that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” He’s not finished with us yet!

  24. This was wonderful. As I read, I was completely surprised at how honest you were at your own failings. It was humbling. I don’t have children yet due to some recurring health problems of mine, but I like reading wonderful stories like this to remind me to keep myself grounded in the reality of raising kids, and not all lofty and dreamlike at the notion of having laughing babies, giggling toddlers, smiling pre-schoolers, etc. etc. Here is my favorite part of your piece:
    “I can make all manner of plans, whether it is to go on a day-long shopping excursion, deep-clean the house, make a big meal, plant some flowers, or simply watch a TV show after they are tucked in at night; but neither the needs nor the foibles of children are scheduled, and while I must teach them that the world does not revolve around them, I can’t do so while acting like it revolves around me.”
    Thank you for all this. Keep up the good work and keep gunning for the selfless, sacrificial behavior all us mothers or wanna-be-mothers want to have.

  25. liked this. I disagree with not taking me time though. I act like an “entitled brat” when I don’t get it which is usually a sign that I NEED it. Because even though I signed up to be a mom, I also signed up to be a PERSON who also needs love and care.

  26. I enjoyed your post very much. Those days are long past for me. Thank you for the trip down memory lane and more importantly reminding me how much I miss those days.
    Crazy busy as they were, they were the very best days.

  27. Your blog post has me in tears because I was drowning in sorrow about my strong-willed youngest son this week. He’s five years old and he can manipulate me and push my buttons and make me miserable with one single word: “No.”

    Thank you for the reminder. <3

  28. This was seriously an answer to prayers. We just had our second baby girl and it’s been tough adjusting to life with two kids. I’ve caught myself feeling a bit picked on and entitled and not as thankful as I should be. Thank you so much for reminding me what is important!

  29. There’s a lot of truth in your post- I’m a first-time reader of your blog, but if you’ll indulge my need to fix things (moms usually are that type), here are a few tips that might assist you in your daily mothering (my oldest is in college and my youngest is 6, so thankfully I am past the worst of the mess). 1. I have found that a shower curtain- the cheap plastic liner kind is a lifesaver in the mess department- it can go under a highchair, booster seat, potty chair. It can taken outside to shake off crumbs, be thrown in the washing machine on cold, or even thrown away if it’s too gross. 2. In keeping kids from being so expensive- thrift stores, yard sales, and hand-me-downs are your friend. 5. If you can afford it and have the space, get car seats for both cars. It will save your back. 6. Yes, kids are slow- this tip is the most important and has saved my sanity- do as much prep for tomorrow tonight. Lay out clothes (including socks & shoes- my kids were infamous for losing their shoes or not having dress socks/tights), pack the diaper bag, prep for breakfast, find your keys, etc. before bed my kids are required to lay their clothes out, have their shoes by the front door, pack their backpack for school (including having me sign any papers), brush their teeth, and let me know if they are packing their lunch. Seriously, “bedtime routine” will save you loads of time and frustration. 11. Me time is more important than you think, but it doesn’t need to be a huge block of time. A few minutes away from your kids can mean the difference a patient mother and a screaming banshee.

  30. So very well said… I struggle with all of this, too, and my kiddos are 17 and 13. Why am I continually shocked when they act like teenagers? When they’re defiant, when they refuse to do what needs to be done, when they don’t want to do chores, when they moan and groan?

    I will add one caveat- for some of us, “me time” is essential. It’s something that has to be taken when you can get it, and it’s never going to be ideal. I haven’t soaked in a tub in… I can’t remember how long. lol
    But sometimes you just need to take a moment… even if it’s just a literal minute, and take a deep breath and hear God saying “You’ve got this, Mama.”

    I live with PTSD. Without those moments… I begin to break down.
    We are fallible human beings. It’s important to recognize that, too, and to recognize all the things we do right.

    Good luck and God bless, mamas. You’re doing God’s work. Rejoice! He’s blessed us with these responsibilities, and with these amazing little bundles of joy… and bigger bundles of joy… And yeah, there’s angst and drama and hormones mixed into my bigger bundles, which can make it hard to see the joy sometimes…

    So thanks for helping me remember to look for it. :)

  31. LOVED this post! Super funny and a nice kick in the pants, as well. :-)

    This is the first time I’ve been to your blog, and I will definitely be back. Have a great weekend!

  32. As a newly married woman, Lord willing, children are in our future (though as a nanny, some days I swear that future better be far ;). While surfing the blogosphere, more often than I’d like I have stumbled upon numerous articles how “pregnancy destroys your body…& your life….& possibly marriage…& definitely house”, etc.
    While not naive to the fact that raising children IS hard (insert intense nanny experience of 7+ years here), the thought of raising MY own children can terrify me sometimes, especially after reading above mentioned articles. Your post was such a realistic, yet optimistic way of viewing motherhood- such an encouraging breath of fresh air. Thank you, THANK you, thank YOU.

  33. Wow this resonates with me. I am 7.5 years into marriage and have 2 little kids. I’m not a stay-at-home mom (sadly), but still identify with every word of this post. I think I will book mark it and read it every day until my children to go college…and maybe still then.
    I literally had the green dinosaur conversation just last week. At the crack of dawn. And the last time I thought I was getting “me time” I ended up with bath crayons in the tub with me. It’s easy to forget that my children and my home are blessings and a delight. Thank you for reminding me.

  34. I am just now seeing this from the Salt & Light link -up. You have so compiled in a nice list things I remind myself everyday and things I want to scream as I see others post insane complains about their children. Being a mother is a blessing and it requires us to embrace ALL parts of it and not just the good times. I will be featuring this post next Monday during the next Salt & Light link -up. Thank you so much for sharing and being an inspiration.

  35. Amen!!! And Amen again! Seriously, this is amazing. Sometimes we need to put on our big girl panties and own up to our choices. Even when those choices require less sleep, frog kisses (from kids, not frogs, thankfully), poop and pee and other gross boy/kid stuff, and endurance. I’ve learned that last one, endurance, painstakingly. God has shown me that patience is sometimes just bearing through, gaining endurance like a runner. Thanks!

  36. Okay, so I have to digest this for a little bit…because on one hand I really like what your saying in this blog and it was an encouragement to me to be more…content? and maybe accepting would be a better word. However, here’s the thing that bugs me just a bit and forgive me for misunderstanding you if you did not mean to insinuate this. I feel it’s been healing…healthy for me to share my…frustrations with motherhood, pain, feelings of inadequacy, etc. Especially with other young moms, and even more importantly with my Jesus. Sometimes I need a shoulder to cry on and only then can we than can encourage one another. If we just always act like everything is a’okay especially when we are not so okay, we are not going to get any healing or help. One of the young mom’s that has been a great encouragement to me over the years and I have agreed when we get older and past this hard time in our lives we don’t want to forget how difficult some times were, so that we can encourage other mom’s going through some of the same struggles to hold on tight to Jesus, who is our strength. Even though I signed up for this…some days are tough. Even though it’s the biggest blessing of my life, it’s also the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. I love being a mom but sometimes I need sometime to be alone with my Lord. Even Jesus stepped away from the crowds at times. When I take those “me times” it makes me a better mom. I am pregnant with child number 5 and sick as a dog :-) like normal. This lasts all 9 months for me, so I pray daily for his strength, and yes, I like some times to myself. I hope you get the gist of what I’m saying here. Not trying to be critical, just know that sometimes I need…a shoulder to cry on, and grace for the day…even if it’s something I signed up for.

    • Hi Donna!
      I totally get what you’re saying (and I feel for you!). If you scroll through the comments, I respond to a similar thought, and the jist of it is this: I have had too many days to count like you describe where I really NEED help and I need to talk to someone…if you read very many of my posts here, you will find that transparency and honesty are very important to me. If I’m struggling, I talk about it. And it is not in my nature to cry without an audience – just ask my poor husband, haha!
      But what I’m addressing here was habitual complaining that I was personally guilty of, concerning surface-level frustrations. I was just making so much racket about my daily job, and I needed to make a change.
      And concerning “me time”…I’m a huge fan. I think it is important, and needed, but I was guilty of acting like a child when I didn’t get it.
      So I guess what I’m saying is, every word of this post comes back to ME and what a brat I can be. :)

      But I’m so glad you shared your thoughts, because I want you to know that we are rooting for you. You are dealing with deeper issues right now that can’t be helped by simply saying “I Signed Up For This”. You need extra (and supernatural) grace, extra help, extra sympathy. I know, because I am just coming out of one of those seasons! Pregnancy with little kids running around is inexplicably hard, and I will say a prayer for you right now. :) God bless!

  37. Just loved this post. Somebody shared it on my news feed on FB and it is what I needed to read today. I also signed up for this and I wouldn’t trade one minute of being a mom for anything in this world!!! Blessings!

  38. Thank you for this and your follow up post. These thoughts have been wonderfully encouraging to me and really helped me get my attitude in check. Thank you for speaking the truth in love. God does not want us to complain but to practice joy and self-control. We need one another to spur each other on.

  39. You are right! Expect the unexpected . . . good and the not so much. By the way many moms did the canning with no indoor plumbing!! Seriously! On another note, our children copy our attitudes and our words! If you want positive motivated children, be a wonderful example to them!

  40. Love love love this! So true, and exactly the kick I needed! I am going to borrow that mantra and see if I can do a mind over matter trick of becoming it – I signed up for this! And I do love my kiddos, I just have to stop looking at the work as a problem.

    I’m so glad this link was added to the Salt & Light link up, because I so needed to read this one, and I am not sure I would have found it otherwise.

    Marissa

    http://raysofgraceandjoy.blogspot.com/2014/01/salt-light-3.html

  41. Pingback: Salt & Light Link Up #4 « Becoming A Godly Wife

  42. I don’t normally comment on blogs, but I loved this!
    Especially: “I don’t want to spend my life frowning over the inevitable.”
    Thank you for this wonderful perspective!

  43. I’m not a stay at home mom, but I totally get what you are saying. I did sign up for this, the way we conceived our daughter, the way we raise her and the trials that come with an almost 2 year old. Thanks for the reminder that it IS something I signed up for and we worked to get it. AND for the most part I love every moment. Thanks for that reminder :)

  44. I LOVE this!! I have 5 kids under the age of 6, and we home school, and sometimes when I feel frustrated by all the work I’ll ask myself,”What did you think motherhood was when you had all these children?!” I definitely relate to this, and really needed the reminder. :)

  45. So, I remember, having boys, having to teach two of my sons not to spit on the sidewalk or people or themselves. Then, one day, my friend in her VERY expensive shoes was talking to me at the park, on the sidewalk. My third son (very small) toddled up to her and spit right on her shoes. I just remember the horror and then saying, “I guess I should have taught that one too. I forget he needs the same lessons the other’s have been given!” Oh dear. Then a lot of days I DO frown and fuss and my husband looks at me and says, “Oh, so we’re not done raising them yet?” Good reminders. Thank you.

  46. THANK YOU for this post! I love it! I was just discussing with my husband a few days ago about the trend among some mommy bloggers. It seems like there are a lot of posts where moms just complain about being a mom. They make it sound like we should all be miserable 24/7, it’s the “price we pay” for having kids. No it is NOT easy, but generations of women have done it before us without groaning and mumbling every step of the way. Again, THANK YOU! Great post!!

    http://www.simplyblessedgirl.blogspot.com

  47. been there, and you just have to keep telling yourself “this too will pass” and then you will wish you had those days back…when they are grown and gone you will think “where did the time go?”

  48. I hopped over from Nursery of the Nation. I had to chuckle at this… knowing that I sigh and complain when these things happen to me. I didn’t realize it so many years ago, but I signed up for this, too. I’m bookmarking this to refer back to occasionally. No, frequently! Thanks for the encouragement. =)

  49. #10 just punched me in the gut! wow. Guess I needed to read that! and I now need to share this with every young mama I know! (cause obviously the older mama’s all ready have everything under control, dont they? :)

  50. I LOVE this! So eloquent and dead on. Everything about being a housewife and homeschooling mom is hard. I knew that beforehand so Idk why I ever complain. Like you say, I signed up for this. This post summarizes everything I think about my life, but was never able to say. Well done :)

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