This morning as I lay in bed next to Juliette (finally sleeping, after being awake until 3am), I was hopping around blogs on the internet. I happened to land on a blog called "A Beautiful Mess." I didn't stay on it long, don't remember what it was about or who wrote it. But the title has left an impression in my mind.
At first I thought "yeah, mess is right." Being a mom of 4 kids in a small house means the mess is always there. There is the pile of shoes and boots at the door, and the accumulating laundry, and the six toothbrushes and three toothpastes and the cup and the soap all teetering on the bathroom sink. The clutter and mess bugs me and frustrates me, but I've learned to just keep on plugging at it, coming to terms with the fact that tidying the mess is just another part of my day while my children are young.
But what struck me deeper was the beautiful mess of motherhood within me. Yesterday, as I was writing, I had tears streaming down my face as my fingers jabbed at the keyboard, capturing some of my deepest hurts, angers and frustrations I feel as a mom. This work I am doing is harder than I ever thought, harder than I've ever witnessed in others. (That's not to say motherhood isn't equally hard for others, it's just we are challenged by our own special set of circumstances.) I have lately felt the urge to pack it all in and head back to work. My occasional breaks (like playing in the community band once a week, or bible study on Thursday mornings) are no longer filling my empty tank; I return home and feel the same weight I did when I left. I am such a mess these days.
A beautiful mess.
Because somehow, every morning, I find myself waking up next to Juliette's peaceful eyes, shut fast. She has cried and screamed at me all day, and then slept beside me all night. And yet I am blessed, endowed with, gifted, that one moment, every single morning, in which all of that frustration melts away. The suns rays peak over the horizon and spill onto my cotton white pillow, bathing us girls in light and my heart overflows with love. And as each sleepy-eyed boy stumbles from his bedroom I gather them up, stroke their hair, breathe their skin, and forgive the selfish, childish behaviours and demands they made on me the day before. These days devolve into a mess fairly quickly, as my sleep-deprived, over-touched, maxed-out self is stripped of energy within an hour of waking. But I look at my streaky mascara in the mirror and tell myself: this is my beautiful mess. I am a beautiful mess.