In a weird way, I get sad every winter.
I think it’s because fall is just so beautiful with all of the colors, leaves, and smells. But then, slowly, all of that beauty fades.
The leaves fall. The colors dull. It becomes cold and dreary.
It almost makes me scared of winter. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice peaceful snow. I love the holidays, a white Christmas. But the transition from fall into winter is almost like a warning, like we have to prepare for what’s coming.
Isn’t it crazy how our life is a lot like the seasons? How we are always in a “season” in our life, whether it be college, newlyweds, raising babies, chasing careers, or retired grandparents?
You never know what’s coming. It could be rain or shine, but it’s always changing.
In my life right now, one specific season comes to mind. It’s a crazy season, like all four mixed together. It has the storms, the beauty, the changes, and the new growth.
And sometimes, the season of motherhood is unexpectedly stormy.
It could be described as an early summer day in Nebraska.
It could start out at as a nice, calm morning. Everything looks perfect. But then it quickly turns to dry, hot, and windy. The frustrating type of heat and wind, when you really can’t do anything to change it but you just live with it. The wind blows in a vicious thunderstorm, and yes, it brings all the works. Thunder, lightning, hail, heavy rain, powerful winds. Heck, might as well throw in a tornado.
When the damage is done, the storm moves on. The stars shine again and the crickets get back to chirping.
That really does sound like motherhood, huh?
You could be having one of the worst parenting days ever, and then out of the blue, something happens that is so touching and brings you so much love, you cry tears of joy.
Because, friends, kids bring all the seasons, but sometimes, it’s the storms that we aren’t ready for.
I think the stormy season catches us off-guard because we had this perfect vision in our heads. A vision of neatly dressed children with no sticky faces, always listening and never misbehaving. A beautifully decorated house that is always neat and tidy, a Pinterest-worthy dinner easily put together at all times, no stress, no mess, all picture perfect.
But the storms will hit. Even when we aren’t prepared. Pinterest perfect life of not. It could be anything, and different for all of us. But no matter what, each and every one of us will be in a storm at one point or another.
It could be the storm of a 6-year-old who has grown up too fast and gained the infamous school-age attitude, that makes you wonder what in the world you’re doing wrong in the parenting department. You start to question your ability to keep that attitude under control at times, and then you start to carry around the guilt of not showing enough love as a mom.
The storm of the strong-willed 3-year-old child who screams and cries at you in public because she can’t run wild like her favorite horse. You get all the looks with this one. The raised eyebrows, the sympathetic smiles, the pierced lips. Maybe even a “If that was my child…” comment.
The storm of your 7-month-old baby who just pushed both bottom teeth through at the same time and cries every time you sit her down because she has separation anxiety. She only sleeps on you, and you fall behind on your own sleep. You fall behind on housework, on blogging, on friendships, on life. You are exhausted. You feel the guilt, and you blame yourself.
Sometimes these storms are a lot to handle.
You have to hold on with everything you have, cling to your support system, pray for strength, and hope for the best.
Some of the storms are ferocious. You will wonder if you will ever make it through some storms. Some will just blow over. And some come with warning, but lucky you, they won’t even happen.
And let’s remember this: Some storms leave more damage than others.
Sometimes you will just get rained on. But the mom down the road, she got hail. She got hit hard. So while you’re singing praise for the rain, she is crying about the damage.
Remember this, moms: We all go through the storms differently. The storms will affect us all on different levels. Be there for that mom who got hit hard.
Don’t look at her storm and assume, don’t judge, don’t criticize. And sometimes, we can’t even see the storm a mom is going through and help each other in the stormy season.
Here’s some good news though: The storms always pass.
The seasons change. Leaves fall. Snow begins. The flowers bloom.
And back to that feeling I get every year when the leaves fall and winter begins to peak around the corner.
I have that same sad/dreadful/remorseful/homesick feeling about my babies growing up as well. Time is going too fast, way too fast. So fast I feel like I can’t even grab ahold of time to hang on to these moments a little longer. In the midst of my storms, I cling to what is left of them.
I am constantly reminding myself that going through these storms brings me to better moments.
Eventually I will cry for these days to come back, rain or shine.
If I dread the storms of motherhood, I won’t be able to fully capture each moment and put it in my heart to hold on to. I’ve accepted the fact that I will go through many tough times in the season of motherhood. I will get mad. I’ll be frustrated with my kids. And I will cry. But I will also laugh. I will smile with pride while looking at my kids. I will be filled with joy.
I’ve told myself I have to look at all of this as a learning experience, as normal life, as the season of raising babies. I have to let the joy be more than the negatives.
So while the season of raising babies may seem like it has so many storms, like it will never end, like you can’t make it through, like you’re failing…
Just remember: Flowers grow because of rain.
Embrace the storms. Praise them for the learning and loving that comes from them. Thank God for getting you through.