“… and leave all this to yesterday. What more could your love do for me? When will love be through with me?” (Moulin Rouge | Will Jennings / Joe Sample)
Goodness. There are times we walk through this life and feel like we’ve lost ourselves. Walking the road of a mother has brought me to this place more than I ever thought imaginable. This week has been a constant week of doctor appointments and parent fulfillment tasks (hello 6 year old Birthday celebrations!). There are times I step back and look at my kids and am blown away by their amazingness and how blessed I am that I am apart of them and they are apart of me. Like… they are really really apart of me. And in that same way I feel blessed is the same way I feel exhausted, tired and burned out.
I am currently taking a marking course and so much of being a small business entrepreneur is about creating a business plan that you won’t get burned out on. Learning to make your daily career a job you LOVE and enjoy, even in the worst of times. I understand being burned out by photographing weddings and families. I’ve felt it in the past. BUT… that is when you evaluate why and correct the path you’ve found yourself on.
When it comes to motherhood it’s a completely different situation. My number one priority is my family. Desperately always trying to make Husband #1 and Children #2. I am a working mother because I am passionate about what I do. Often times that passion gets overrun by the priorities of needing to help feed priority #1 + #2. More specifically in our case, me photographing full time helps pay for medical bills of child #2. (If you didn’t know, that is where ALL my profit goes to. Still have 5 brain surgeries we are paying off. Think of your family session or wedding as a way to help those in need. Kidding. Kind of not.)
But back to feeling lost and burned out. Today specifically I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. Dealing with appointments and tests that need to take place at a hospital an hour away, a couple cavities to fill on baby teeth, running to and from schools, fulfilling the kid’s daily needs, trying to keep business afloat, all while somehow cleaning up and maintaining the house… it often times feel too much for me juggle. And I know I am not the only mother who feels this. Yesterday I was walking out of a photo gig when Emery’s preschool called. Them calling while she is in school is never a good thing. She was acting odd and I needed to get to her asap. I managed to get to the school in 25 minutes on a 40 minute route (I often times wonder what my conversation would be to a police officer who would pull me over for speeding and driving like a Chicagoan in these kind of situations). Still not sure what yesterday’s event was, but she is good now. And safe. And happy.
The moment you first find out you are pregnant is an amazing moment. Mixed with all the amazingness that is possible, there is (at least in my case there was) an equal amount of intense reality for that instantly new mother: you are no longer yourself. You don’t own your body anymore. You don’t own your time. You don’t own your energy. You don’t own your emotions.
I can only speak for my life and all that I’ve either dabbled in and/or accomplished – motherhood is by far the toughest, constant, and intense job I’ve every known. And to be honest, often times you don’t see the “fulfilling” or rewarding part as often as you feel exhausted and burned out from it. But it’s because this job doesn’t end at bedtime. And it doesn’t end in a year, or 5, or 10, or 20. Let’s be serious… or 40. Along the way, however, you do get these little glimpses of fulfillment and pure and unadulterated bliss from this job you are constantly working at. And in those moments it is like the heavens have opened up and sent down a beautiful dazzling golden beam onto your child and the choir beings to sing all around you. Sometimes it’s witnessing how your kid reacts and includes other kids on the playground. Sometimes it’s watching your daughter lift up her plate once done with dinner to “clean up” after herself. Sometimes it’s when your kid prays and thanks God for their sibling that helps them with stuff. Sometimes it’s the fact that they will eat obscure foods you place in front of them. In those moments I think to myself, “my kid rocks. And they rock because I’ve been working my butt off.” And then I feel convicted… because I know I could always work it off more.
Lately I have realized how quickly I loose myself when I have this HUGE list of todo’s and agendas – especially when it is extremely mixed and extremely tight between Business and Family. I focus on that list. I bleed for that list. And… I become so broken in the midst of that list. Fallen on the floor and exhausted at trying to even complete anything on that list. With what feels like bloody knuckles you keep at it, but you don’t have the push or oomph to complete with diligence. Why? What changed? When did I get burned out? What on this path needs to change? Often times there isn’t a clear physical answer. Clarify that… most times in this walk of burned out motherhood there isn’t a physical thing that can be changed.
The wind must of been a bit different today as I could see planes leaving DIA heading north at a very low altitude. They looked huge and so close over the vacant plains to the East. Every time I saw one my body ached and yearned so deeply. I would hear Nichole Kidman begin to sing “someday I’ll fly away and leave all this to yesterday,” as I stood there desperately wishing I was on that plane… going somewhere… anywhere… to some new adventure. But then there is more to the song…
“What more could your love do for me? When will love be through with me?”
Love is never through with us. The life each of us leads isn’t easy. But we aren’t alone. It is so easy for me to get lost of the shuffle of need-to-dos and fulfilling the musts that I loose A LOT of my vision. God has me. God has Emery. And Liam. And Brian. He has us. And seriously… what more could His love do for me? Sometimes we think the cards we’ve been dealt in life are rough and not fair… each of us feel this way at some point. But His love… it makes all those ugly, horrible, sadden, spoiled, heart-wrenching, lost and broken cards feel hopeful – as if those cards could make this life more fulfilling than if they never were dealt in the first place. As if no matter what we are dealing with… His love overshadows them. Overwhelms us in hope, joy and light. And that love will never be through with us. With me. With this love there is no end. No pause. No less of. No working at to receive.
I still wish I could fly away and leave all this stuff to yesterday… but if that isn’t happening right now… I know it will be okay. And it is all because of this crazy thing called love.