Yes, you read that correctly.

Motherhood is an inconvenience.

What? Haven’t you felt this way before? Ever?

After I was married, the idea of starting a family was a dream of sweet, smiling babies and teddy bears. I envisioned being a stay-at-home Mom having dinner on the table every evening when my husband got home from work, the kids smiling and playing nicely upon his return and the house so clean it sparkled.

Boy was I wrong. Even in the 10 years since my oldest was born, I still sometimes have a false expectation of what motherhood is.

I catch myself grunting and groaning (to myself) about the inconveniences of motherhood when I’m tired or simply having a bad day.My plans revolve around my kids. Whether it’s a scheduled event or spontaneous sickness, my days are dedicated to respond to their stuff.

Ugh. When do I get me time? There are no ladies nights out, let alone a daily shower. I hardly get any date nights with my husband; our nights consist of determining who has the most patience to put a colicky baby to sleep. Dinner on the table every night is a far off dream and a sparkling house is some kind of bad joke no one told me about.  My 5 month old still wakes up every few hours and hardly naps. All I want to do is have a clean kitchen table for once, but the older two boys can’t seem to master cleaning up after themselves, even with constant reminders. I would absolutely love be able to spend an evening with our friends more than once every 6 months — or 6 years — but that is for later in life, I guess. Oh well. 

Now that I have that all out of my system.. whew.

It sounds like I’m feeling sorry for myself, doesn’t it?

Well, I am.

Or…I was.

Then I recalled something.

I met a Mom who’s baby passed away before she had a chance to be born. She was their first child. I can’t imagine the deep pain and roller coaster of emotions that she and her husband must have experienced.

I met a mother who’s child suffers from cerebral palsy. He’s wheelchair bound and will likely be a full needs child for life. His sweet Mom always makes sure he has the best experiences in life, irregardless of his disability.

I met a mother who’s daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer. This little girl had to learn to do everything all over again at the age of 7. Her Mama is a warrior and an inspiration to many, and so is her daughter.

I met a Mother who lost her children in a custody fight with their Father. She battles an addiction not many will understand. Not seeing them everyday must be so hard. I don’t want to think of what that could be like. It makes my heart ache not only for her but her kids.

I met a mother who wanted more kids. They already had 2 of their own, and also went through more than 7 miscarriages.  It was so hard to watch them come to terms with the fact that God had something more in store for them, and it wasn’t having any more biological children.

And I also know a  Mommy who struggles with an auto-immune disease. She is in constant pain doing even the simplest things at home. Her body is rejecting itself and it won’t get better. She never complains, even though her days of excruciating pain are far worse than she makes it out to be.

I saw a news story of a Mom who’s 7 month old suffocated in his blanket overnight. She won’t ever get to tuck him in again, or kiss him, or hold him. I sobbed reading her Facebook statement days later. Our babies are only a few months apart. I just can’t..

I met a Mom who’s husband died overseas while serving in Iraq, and is now raising their kids alone. Those kids won’t know their Daddy. She’s doing the best she can to not only grieve but give these babies the best life she can without him there.

We lost 2 friends this March in a tragic car accident. These three kids had a Mom and Dad at bedtime, and before breakfast they were gone. This one really makes you think about making the time we spend with our kids count.

Hug them, kiss them, hold them, cherish them. Let’s allow our inconveniences to transform into opportunities.

How about we embrace the challenges as proof that we are alive and well? Let’s begin to believe that we’ve been uniquely equipped to mother our children. That the love that they need can only be modeled by us in just the way they need it. Let’s take our time and our own desires and trade them in for theirs. If we can do that, we then become honored to get up in the middle of the night to tend to our crying baby. We look at the messy dinner table we’re cleaning for the millionth time as an opportunity to serve our family, not an inconvenience, knowing full well we will clean it again in just a few hours.

The truth is, although motherhood may seem like an inconvenience at times, we need to be reminded of how short life is here and how truly blessed we are to have been given the title of Mom.

And me…Well these Mama’s have something to complain about, but they don’t. My attitude needed a readjustment and God stepped in, put His hand on my shoulder, and said “Wait a minute. Let me show you what it could be like.” He stepped in and made me understand the mountains I have cannot compare to some that these other Mama’s have and I need to pray for them, instead of feeling sorry for me. I need to recognize God is showing me grace; giving me way more than I deserve. I have a beautiful family that He’s hand-picked to be mine.  I’m so humbled by the ways He moves in my home, in my kids, and in my marriage. I’m forever fortunate that He gives me new mercies every morning; a compassion I so desperately need in those moments I’m feeling sorry for myself or beat down as a Mom.

I’m truly looking forward to the promise of a new day showered in grace and the opportunity to be the Mama my kids need.

Because motherhood is the best inconvenience I’ll ever know.

Lamentations 3:22-23