Sometimes I hate parenting. Maybe parenting is too specific. Sometimes I hate this phase in my life as a stay-at-home mom.

I hate mopping the floor to have someone pee on it or spill milk five minutes later. I hate the mound of laundry that is alway taunting me, even if I just put away three loads. I hate the mess that I find upstairs right after I made the downstairs look perfect and vice versa.

It’s not that I hate mopping or doing laundry or straightening up or cleaning bathrooms (actually, I do hate cleaning bathrooms)–it’s the feeling that everything I’ve just done is for nothing.

Many days I look at the blue numbers on the stove as they near seven, and I just wish my husband worked a little closer, could come home a little earlier to help tame the three wild animals that come out when I’m making dinner. I wish there were someone here to help discipline when I feel mentally worn out by the end of the day. I hate feeling like I’m ineffective and out-witted by three little people whose combined years of education don’t even equal a third of mine.

And, yet, there are these moments….

The other day I stood in the laundry room taking clothes out of the dryer and getting together a new load for the wash, and I had this intense longing, yearning. With each shirt I folded, I couldn’t shake the feeling that our family wasn’t complete, and the desire for another child burned within me. The feeling grew stronger as I dwelled on my longing until I stopped myself: “What the–?” I thought. Here I was holding poopy underpants in my hand while desiring for another child in my heart.

I immediately recognized the irony but knew how it was possible. Even though I hate some of the feelings accompanied with this job, I love having three kids surround me on the couch as I read a story. I love watching my two-year-old shake her hips during our dance parties. And I love my kids on days when they are good and days when they are rotten simply because they are mine.

Parenting isn’t always logical. How I can love a job that I simultaneously hate doesn’t make sense, but that’s how a paradox works. And I find this one quite beautiful.

In what paradox do you find yourself? Linking up with Mama Kat for her Writers Workshop.

Mama’s Losin’ It

15 thoughts on “Paradox

  1. I have definitely felt exactly the same way! Except I refuse to mop… and the hubs hates dirty floors so I know if I refuse he will do it. I am mean like that πŸ˜‰


  2. Yep! That's the perfect word – Paradox. I can think about how much the 2 year old tantrum and overtired baby make me crazy and in the next sentence say things like, "if we have another baby we should name her Annie." And then my husband thinks I'm crazy.


  3. Parenting is the greatest paradox there is.. I'm sure you won't want to have it anyway different they you have it now being with the kids at home..I know I wouldn't trade being home with the kids for an office job.


  4. Right there with you. My mom just cannot understand my desire for a third one (I'm an only child) but that's just it: we are not yet complete. Mess and all, I know there is room for one more in our house. Parenting is the most wonderfully frustratingl experience of my life πŸ™‚


  5. You coined this perfectly…for every bad, there are 2-3 good that overrule and make us thankful for our tiny little terrorists! Not so much love/hate…it's more the good, the bad, and the ugly and when you add it all up it equals a perfect parenting existence πŸ™‚


  6. Interesting what Branson said. I refuse to clean bathrooms…so that is my husband's job πŸ™‚

    And Jennifer: "It’s not that I hate mopping or doing laundry or straightening up or cleaning bathrooms (actually, I do hate cleaning bathrooms)–it’s the feeling that everything I’ve just done is for nothing."

    I seem to recall a previous journal wherein you stated that doing such chores over and over and over and over and over was your ministry! Ministry! Hahaha, I know I know. The stress of doing things over and over and have them destroyed two seconds later gets old real fast.

    And yes, I feel the incompleteness (word?) of our family.


    1. I must have been high on cleaning products when I wrote that post. πŸ˜‰ In all seriousness, I do think God has to remind me that this time is a season of life, and, as much as I hate it sometimes, the way I'm serving Him isby serving my family–through clean toilet bowls and all!


  7. It is interesting that in our fallen world, nothing is ever done to the point of completion until we pass. I read and see a person of wisdom beyond your years. Careful how long your eyes are closed while you blink… They'll be gone that fast…


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