“Mama, can you hold me with both hands?”
I was holding Evelyn and Delaney at the same time. It was late, and Evie really should have been in bed.
“What do you mean?”
With no hint of whining, “Can you put Laney down and hold me with both hands?”
At that moment, my heart broke a little. I mean, I could give her both my hands that moment. And I did. But I thought of all the other times she’s been wanting both my arms around her and had to settle for one arm, someone else, or worse- no one at all.
If I’m being honest, juggling a lot of kids isn’t easy. And in the dark of night, I’m haunted by the fact that I can’t give each of my kids as much of myself as I would like to… especially with a set of infant twins in our home.
Being spread thin and not having or being enough of you to go around is a terrible feeling.
I don’t say this as a plea for childcare or house keeping services. That’s just not the answer. Nothing- nothing is a great substitute for mom. My kids need me. And the question I must answer is this: “Will I take up the call and be the mom I need to be for my kids?”
You see, my kids need me. Not my mom or grandma or sister or best friend. God gave them to me to raise. He gave me what I need to help them be all they can be for His glory. It isn’t wimpy work. It’s messy and exhausting. But it is also beautiful and important and fulfilling.
I have Pinterest boards brimming with ideas to make me the mom I want to be. They involve modge podge and twine and teaching them to read by age two. There are obedience charts and math manipulatives and sewing projects. So. Many. Sewing. Projects.
Do my kids need all that? Nope. They need food and clothes and shelter and love and education and Jesus. I will provide opportunities within my power, but I cannot do it all.
I can choose to host a pity party for myself, and I have. But at the end of each of these one-person soirées, I still have the looming question: “Will I take up the call and be the mom I need to be for my kids?”
So my hands are very full. Each day seems to end before I get started. And I can’t do it all. God knows that. I know that. And it would be so easy to tell that little chubby face that I don’t have time to hold her with both hands. I’m too tired. It’s way past her bedtime. Her sister will wake up.
But at that moment, she needed to know I love her. She didn’t need a chalk lettered lunchbox note or an art project. She needed a moment alone with mom holding her. Not her aunt or grandma or big sister.
Evie fell asleep three minutes later. As I continued to hold her, I realized that she not only needed me to hold her, but I needed to hold her too…