A Constant Chinese Fire Drill

On of the hardest things about being a mom of young children is the perpetual state of chaos that exists in your home. Each day is like a Chinese fire drill in the living room with the toys being the objects of replacement. Unless you are witness to this organization, good luck ever finding that kitchen utensil you gave your child in exasperation as you attempted to make dinner.

Baskets seemed like a viable alternative to the increasing mountain of parts and pieces that my daughter identifies as treasures. However, the baskets fill to a point of overwhelming capacity and then no one wants to deal with the contents. There’s nothing quite like tip toeing your way to bed through the dark house only to kick into the one missed toy that had to be motion activated and in the quiet of the night you cringe as you hear, “I’m a pink teapot hear me whistle…”.

Less stuff would make my life easier, but it’s hard to keep up with the voracious imagination of a toddler without a rotating number of toys and objects that can be touched, pitched, disassembled and worn around the wrist as a new fashion accessory. There is hope. One day my mess maker will also be able to put away the things and help restore sanity to the living room. This will be done at the cost of a once mute child, but what’s the fun without new adventures in life? I vividly remember my 6 year old brother’s new found ability to read and repeat every road sign as we ran errands with mom. As much as I look forward to the ability to reason with my toddler, I know there will be days I wish that she came with an off button. Especially when she starts repeating the speed limit to me.

As someone who thrives in a clean, organized atmosphere, having a child has stretched my ability to stop caring so much about the temporary and start living in the long term. This means that some Saturdays are spent completely cleaning and reorganizing the house instead of hanging with friends, but when you are stuck in bed with a snoring toddler on you because she needed someone to cuddle with, you know that making memories is more important than perfection.

Being More

I know that raising a child from a newborn is only a small part of life as a parent but the year long struggle of interrupted sleep, constant feeding and complete lack of privacy or personal independence, it’s exhausting.

As parents, the comment that children are a gift from God and a bundle of joy is dependent on the timing that said comment is uttered. Actually, children are a test of patience, perseverance and logic that continues indefinitely and begins when you leave the hospital. Sure they are cute, wrinkly but they are also helpless and demanding.

Keeping a small human alive and well is not so much difficult as draining. Parenthood pushes you to the brink of what you can handle, but surprisingly you can handle more than you think. You may not be coherent some days, but you will survive and adapt. Each season in life teaches us something. Maybe parenthood is also about pushing yourself to do more and be more than you ever thought possible. Don’t underestimate what God can do through you.