As I listen to a parenting podcast, the ever present inspirational quote, “Thrive in the chaos, momma” plays in my headphones. As those words enter my mind, the perfectly timed scratchy, wetness of a toilet brush grazes against my leg. I look under the table and my 14-month-old smiles, wielding the brush in hand.
Internally screams, “How do I thrive in this?”
This aged advice or motherhood folklore, which passes generation to generation, does not get better with time.
Where is this elusive Thirty, Flirting, and Thriving that Jennifer Garner promised 12-year-old me? The toddler chaos cycles, and I am certainly not thriving. Is this the only metric of success in my journey of motherhood?
Then sets in the all too familiar motherhood guilt.
Guilt consumes me immediately as I see the words above typed on the screen. I am beyond grateful I am a mother. I love my children so much; my love is all-consuming.
I simultaneously yearn for areas in my life that feel paused as I raise littles. I yearn to feel well-rested, productive, and organized. And I certainly yearn for calm, quiet mornings. When will we allow mothers to know that gratitude and yearning can coexist?
Kendra Adachi’s, “The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done” introduced me to the concept of Living in Your Season.
Kendra reminds us, “It won’t always be this way, but it is this way now. Living in your season means letting your frustrations breathe but not be in charge.”
Deep breaths, mommas.
Kendra writes, “You don’t have to run away from a season of life that seems to require more than you have to give. Staying engaged with the sadness but not letting it dictate your decisions is a practice in being a genius about what matters.”
By acknowledging the frustrations you hold, you remind yourself that you are not infinite and are human.
You can love your home and the people in it whole-heartedly while recognizing the difficulty of the season. Hard seasons require honest reflection. Your willingness to name your emotions rather than silencing yourself because it counters society’s parenting narrative is a remarkable sign of strength and self advocacy.
So, can we rewrite the motherhood folklore passed on to the next generation? Can we compassionately remind each other that seasons are, in fact, simultaneously difficult and liveable? Because the hard seasons, while difficult, are so worth living.
I’m learning how to live in this season, and I encourage you to also.