I’ve heard it said that moms are the glue that holds the family together.
If that’s true, right now my adhesive has worn thin and we are being held together by duct tape. Here’s the thing about duct tape. While it may not always be pretty, its reliable, strong and pretty much fixed everything.
As a mom, I’m not sure if there is anything worse than feeling like you’re not enough for your family or that you’re falling short or somehow letting them down.
Most of my blogs are written after the storm has come and things have settled because it’s easier to write about it once the damage has been cleared out and cleaned up.
I’m writing this one in the midst of the storm. I feel like it’s more honest and raw right now… and I want to express my gratitude for my family while encouraging you other momma’s who may be going through a storm of your own.
Quick Backstory on me:
I had foot surgery over three weeks ago (my second one in the last nine months) and right now I can’t put a lick of weight on my foot. For a mom that prefers a “tidy” house, who likes to be out and about, who doesn’t like to sit still for too long and loves her freedom to be out and about… well let’s just say sitting on the couch and in a recliner the last three weeks hasn’t been easy. And not just on me.
As a mom, I feel like I’m supposed to be caring for my family. I’m supposed to be taking care of them, holding this family together, running a tight ship.
I’m supposed to be the glue that holds this family together.
Right now I’m not. And girl, that’s hard!
For the last few days that’s really bothered me. So much so, that I’ve been in tears. And then I decided to look at the good that’s coming out of this!
Tonight I realized that I’m not letting them down… my being down has given them the opportunity to learn to rise up to be strong men and supporters of the woman in their life. And my husband and boys have risen and are shining brightly!
Don’t get it twisted though. My house is still a disaster (well it’s not clean to my standard).
Listen- the counters are covered with crumbs, napkins and who knows what else. The sink is full of pots and pans. I’ve got about an inch of dust on my tv stand. The laundry is stacked so high I’m not sure which piles are clean and which ones are dirty. There are dog toys everywhere.
Yet my heart is overjoyed.
I’m not going to focus on the messes. We aren’t perfect. This is a tough time for all of us.
I want to focus on what they are doing RIGHT!
Every night, this family is fed. Not by me. Tonight by 17 year old made me my dinner. It might be fast food, PB&J or it might be frozen meals, but we’re all fed. Clean clothes are on their backs (not sure how clean– I mean a shirt can be worn twice before it’s really considered dirty right?).
Basically what I want to tell you, the Momma who feels broken down and unable to care for your family…
You may not be stuck in a cast on the couch.
You may have a different circumstance– emotionally, physically, financially that has you feeling stuck right now.
You’re still the glue.. it’s just that right now there needs to be a bit more adhesive used to keep the family together because of the extra stress on the family. No matter how worn down it might feel, each one of your family members have something they can do to help contribute to the family.
ENCOURAGE THEM RISE TO THE OCCASION!
You might have to ask. There’s no shame in the asking game! How do they need to know you need help if you don’t ask? It’s ok! You may have to teach them a little more about compassion… that’s a GREAT lesson to be taught!
Don’t beat yourself up about your situation and what you can’t do- appreciate those in your life and what they can do!
Let them, ahem, encourage them to contribute and let their silver duct tape shine!
At the end of the day here’s what you’re all learning:
- The family is still held together— even if it looks (or feels) beaten, battered and the duct tape is frayed. It’s STILL held together. And every family member has something to contribute.
- Your family is getting an opportunity of a lifetime to grow in service. Some may have scotch tape, some duct tape and some gorilla glue but it’s not about what they’ve got to hold the family together, it’s the fact that they’re using what they’ve got.
So tonight, I sit here in the dark. Wanting to take back every critical moment the few times when I let them know that they didn’t have the towels folded correctly, or the floors swept the way I wanted.
Please Jesus forgive me for my spoiled self… and my hubby and boys, please forgive me as well!
Lemme tell ya… I’ve learned to appreciate the dishes in the sink because that means my family ate and I didn’t have to worry about cooking the meal.
Trust me- in the beginning, I looked at the messes and was fretting about it. I have gotten emotional and let them have it (not in a good way… remember, mama’s unglued right now! lol). I’m not proud of a few moments of my behavior… but I’m proud of their responses to it.
I refuse to focus on the negatives because of my temporary situation, instead I’m choosing to see the beauty in my husband and kids and how they have risen to the occasion.
Yup, my household might be held together with duct tape, but they are doing there thang keeping us rolling and going. I’ve never been so proud to wear duct tape in my life (and I come from a family of carpenters).
To to all you mommas out there who have come unglued, who feel like you’ve lost her adhesion, remember, when you’re stuck together with super glue (a strong foundation of faith), things may not be done the way you’d do it, but it’s done with love by the ones who love you most and want the best for you!
Momma, keep plugging away… you’ll be back to your old super glue self soon enough. Until then, watch your loved ones grow and shine <3
A PUBLIC THANK YOU
Even though we’re only almost four weeks into this difficult path, I want to thank my guys for all they’ve done so far. A bit of encouragement to help get us (really them) through the rest of this challenging journey.
To my husband Steve (Sem as I call him) you are truly one in a lifetime. While you may feel like you have no patience, you have the patience of a saint. The love and patience your father had! You’ve also kept me laughing… Babe as long as we have Jesus and laughter we’re set. And sweetie when this cast comes off… I’m gonna… well, this is a family blog so I’ll leave that alone. But I’m grateful for a man who has taught his sons to step up and do what they can to help the woman in their life.
Micah– my sweet, head butting, too-much-like-me-son. You’ve been my taxi driver, my chef, personal shopper and my go-to for whatever. You’ve graciously cared for me (and sometimes begrudgingly but that’s only cause you need to hang out with the dudes and I get it). You’ve even given up bro time to hang out with your mama. So thank you a million times over.
And Eli. Your gentle meek heart who is always concerned about me– and I know this because you’ll stop in the middle of fortnite to come check on me if I yell for you– you’re gentle way of looking out for me warms my heart every time. It only took a few times for you to learn not to tell me to wait!
These guys have literally helped me to the bathroom, taken me outside for walks, sat with me on the front porch and on the deck, gotten me ice cream, cared for the dog and done countless things that are so minuscule they can’t be listed individually and yet they’re still so meaningful.
To my oldest son, daughter-in-law, sisters and the rest of the family members– thank you for your meals, for coming over, cleaning and even just sitting with me. It means the world!
My dear sisters…While I might be the glue, you help fill this bottle back up!
Momma’s, keep walking… or crawling, crutching, wheeling… whatever it takes to keep moving through this season of life. The other side will be so worth it! <3
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