Today's post is from contributor Noelle Rhodes.
Years ago, I remember my mother laughing at a commercial of a father dancing through the aisles of Staples (office supply store), as he filled his cart with school supplies for his children. The father had a huge smile across his face as he galloped through the store. The music that played in the background was It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. The commercial aired near the end of August - approaching the coming school year. My mother was laughing so hard, I think I spotted tears escaping her wearied from the summer breakeyes. Back then, I was the offended child wondering how my mother could be so coldhearted. Didn’t she enjoy me being off from schoolall summer long?
Now, I stand as the sympathetic parent secretly wishing that year-round schooling was available.
Listen, I love my kids. But let’s be honest, summer isnota break for me, the mom. It may be a break from school for my kids. For me, though, it’s nonstop trying to entertain my two incredibly active children all day long...all summer long. Have you met my kids? Well, if you have, you understand why summer can wear me out. For all you homeschool moms out there, I take my hat off to you. Seriously. Whatever you are putting in your coffee to keep you going, please tell me.
Silas and Olive are not the “I am just going to sit here in the corner and a read a book quietly to myself”kind of children. They are the “we’re going to take every single blanket that exists in this home and create a transportation system that will glide us down these carpet stairs as dangerously as possible” kind of children. They’re the kind of children who, when we are going to do an art project in the dining room, I am tempted to cover my entire walls and floors with garbage bags.
Their ability to “splatter” and “spill” is uncanny. Some would call it a “super power.”
Si and Ollie are the kind of children who like to know what’s happening next...all the time...and they are incredibly inquisitive about the upcoming activity...all the time.
“Ma, when are we going to eat lunch?”
“Ma, what are we going to eat for lunch?”
“Ma, are we going swimming?”
“Ma, when we are going swimming?”
“Ma, are we swimming after we eat lunch?”
“Ma, can we watch a movie?”
“Can we watch a movie and have an ice lollie right now, Ma?”
I should celebrate their curiosity, but most of the time I am worn down by all the questions. Sometimes when we are in the car driving to the next activity, I’ll turn up the music and announce to the kids...
“Mama needs a little thinking time right now. So, no talking. Just listen to the music.”
To which Olive immediately requests, “Ma, put Laurie Has A Sheep On Her Head song on.”
“No.”I can’t bear to listen to it again.
“No, I can’t. It hurts my brain.”
“Just turn your ears off, Ma.”Olive suggests.
If onlyIcouldturn my ears off...
Who are we kidding? Summer has lied to mothers. It has given an illusion of a“break”... but it’snota break for moms.
It’s a mother’s busy season! So, if you are a mom who is feeling wearied and worn out by the summer break...don’t feel guilty. If most of us moms were honest, we all feel it too. Here’s a verse for all of us to cling to as we get through the summer...
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And He knowseverything,inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.
Isaiah 40:28-31 (MSG)
We may not be able to count on summer to give mothers the much-deserved break we have earned, but we can count on God to be the source of strength we are promised. Hey now, that’s something to get excited about. God is the strength mothers need for summer break! Seriously.
As Silas asks me for about the one-millionth time,“Go swimming, Ma?”...I can see so clearly in my memory my mother laughing at the Staples commercial years back. I now understand her tears of joy. Oh, I do....
How are you staying sane this summer? Let us know HERE.
Noelle Rhodes is married to her best friend, Troy, and 'mama' to two of the most hilarious human beings to exist: Silas and Olive Pearl. She and her family reside in Belfast, Northern Ireland, as missionaries. When she is not wrangling her children or beating her husband in a game of Scrabble, you would probably find her doing laundry. Noelle blogs at Coffee with Noelle.