A Letter to the Tired Moms (that’s all of us)

I saw you today.

When you came over to visit.

I saw the sweeping glance that took in my house- a quick, but thorough inventory of all that yours is not.  (I’ve been guilty of doing this too.)

The floors clear of any clutter.  Not a speck of unfolded laundry to be found on the couch. I caught the longing in your gaze as you took stock of all the objects you’d love to have on display.

You can’t have that stuff right now and you’re usually okay with that.

But I know.

I know there’s times you wish you could buy them.  All the pretty things from Target that you’ve had to pass by.

I understand.

I’ve been that mama too. Diapers cost money, not to mention all of that formula and food.

But you see, you have a home of fragile things more precious than anything you can find in a store- they’re small, they’re fast and their fingerprints adorn your windows.  Yes, I saw you look longingly at my smudge free panes of glass.

And I get it, more than you might know.

I’ve wiped away the tears of frustration from my very own cheeks.  I’ve been you mama.

Every day of the week.

That never ending battle; that overwhelming feeling of drowning when it seems everyone else is swimming on by free of any problems or cares.  That pure desperation to be more; to do more, but just so very very tired from the constant demands.

Demands for your attention, your time, and your strength and your patience.

You’re exhausted sweet mama.

Please don’t waste precious time trying to clean up that mess when you really need to rest.  It can wait a few more days.  What can’t wait are those precious little ones God has entrusted in your care. They need you more than that mile long to do list.

My little ones are no longer little, they’re growing up and soon yours will too.  And I know you won’t believe me, you just won’t think this next part is true, but one day you’re going to miss that mess of toys, the mountainous pile that seems to have taken over your living room. A pile that defies explanation- how did that all fit in the toy box???

There’s going to be a day that you’ll have everything just as you want it.  You’ll be able to keep your home clutter free for more than five minutes.  No longer will you spend hours picking it all up at night, only to find it all right back where you should have just left it the very next morning.

It’s okay to want to scream at it all.  I have and you probably have too.

Oh friend, how I have been you.

Please, sweet friend of mine, don’t compare your home to mine or anyone else’s.  Please, sweet mama, don’t gauge your worth by the edited images on Pinterest, Instagram or even HGTV.

You’re only seeing  glimpses, there’s a bigger picture and it’s not perfect. Even here in my home, the first floor might look good, but the rest is truly a big mess. Now you know why there’s no laundry on my couch…it’s piled high on my dresser, defying gravity as we speak. And that’s okay.

Life isn’t perfect; it’s messy and loud. Life can be so very tiring, but it can be glorious too.

You’re not a failure if there’s dishes in your sink.  You’re not lazy because you feel too tired to even think about folding that pile of laundry.  I call it Mount Washmore by the way, and I’ve been known to wash the same load three times just to avoid throwing it in the dryer….

Your worth is not measured by how much money you have in the bank or the size of your house.  Or whether you can sit on your couch without pushing a weeks worth of clothes onto the floor; right on top of that fort built out of blocks.

You’re right where God wants you and I’ve been there too. I still am, to tell you the truth.

You’re amazing, sweet mama, don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

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Photographical proof, courtesy of our old house, that things aren’t always where they’re supposed to be.  Child included.

P.S

Just wait until they’re teens, when cleaning their room is like shopping at IKEA.  You’ll go in there for their laundry and come out with five cups, two plates and a half eaten pizza.

 

 

A Child’s Christmas Comes Early

 

It’s been almost a week since we were stealing our children’s candy, gorging on chocolate, and watching Ghostbusters over and over and over again. The costumes are safely tucked away, our pumpkin luminaries are once more shoved into a box in our garage, and the only cobwebs hanging around are the real ones because my ceilings are really high in the front room, and I’m not that tall. (Don’t worry, I’ll get to them.) All of this can only mean one thing. October has gone, and November has stepped up.

Pumpkins, fall colors, garlands of pine cones, and apple cinnamon scents wafting from the wax warmer lanterns. Pictures of turkeys everywhere.  These are the things that used to take place of pride after the skeletons and ghosts were safely packed away. It’s what many have in their homes right now.

They don’t have an 11 year old named Grace Dulinsky.

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From day one, her downy crown of brown hair and bright blue eyes earned her the nickname Mini-Me.   As she grew, her personality began to shine through, only driving home the fact that she is indeed a miniature version of me.  And so much more.

She’s a force to be reckoned with.

Not quite the middle child nor the baby of the family, she’s an introverted enigma wrapped in a fuzzy blanket of whimsy and fun.  Out of our four kids, she most definitely has inherited the Style Gene. Her ability to style isn’t limited to just her spot on fashion sense either.  She loves all things home decor.  Especially holidays.

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We gave her the lead on halloween decorating this year, and I’ve decided not to stop there.  I’m passing the torch, so to speak. It’s been coming for a few years now.  It started small.  Letting them choose the decorations one year.  Allowing them to decorate the tree. I let go of trying to control it all.  Of trying to create the perfect holiday, only to end up an emotional wreck wrapped in tinsel.

An amazing thing happens when I step back.  Magical things.  They rise to the occasion.  They shine and their joy is infectious. And I stop controlling and start celebrating.

 

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So, Christmas decorating has started, just barely a week after Halloween has ended.  Some will think we’re crazy.  I no longer care.

Life is precious, ladies and gentlemen, and I for one don’t want to waste a second of it.

My children will grow up and have their own homes and families. They won’t be begging me to help them go through the decorations. They won’t be here to snuggle by the fire and watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas.  One day, I’ll find myself with the perfect tree, arrayed in a color coordinated display of splendor.  I’ll miss the misshapen ornaments made out of salt dough, and the random stuffed animals shoved between the branches.  And I’ll miss the sweet, pure excitement that is a child’s Christmas. 

Christmas has come early to Casa Dulinsky, and I am embracing the chaos.  Even if I can’t see my desk.

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Whether you choose to decorate early or closer to the season, or not at all, just remember- life is to be embraced, every single day.  The joy of Christmas, the miracle of our Savior’s birth, can be celebrated every day.  So spread the love, and share the cheer.  Christmas is near.

Happy Holidays my friends.  Let the gaiety begin!