October Mom Life [Southlake Texas Fine Art Photographer]
It happens to us moms every year, around this time. It sneaks up on us and consumes us as if we didn't know it was going to happen. School starts back up, we get back into the grind, then before we know it, it's already October. We find ourselves already bogged down by homework assignments, volunteer roles, commitments, fall festivals, Halloween costumes, sports, extra curricular activities, family obligations, the list goes on and on. For someone like me, who forgets all too often that the word "no" exists, it's right about now that my head feels like it's going to spin right off. This past week I was nearing that breaking point and then decided I needed to squeeze in a "really quick trip" to the pumpkin patch. I realized this was the last week to go, looked at my calendar and saw a sea of obligations and concluded this was the only day and time we could work it in. My husband asked me if I was crazy (and I have to admit my reasons for taking the kids were purely selfish). I looked at him and said, I fully understand how tired and busy I am, but I fear if I don't go, if I don't take our annual pumpkin patch picture, I'll look back and regret it. I'll feel like a horrible mother for skipping a year." In the reasonable, logical part of my brain I knew the world would not stop spinning, my kids probably wouldn't have even noticed (until mid November at least). But in the back of my mom guilt filled mind I constantly think "you never know if there will even be a next year (thank you, Facebook for showing me so many scary articles and videos that I live in a constant state of panic that something will happen to one of us)." He looked at me like I was nuts, but also understood when dealing with a fragile October mom about to snap, you don't poke the beast.
I worked out a plan with the two kids in the car on the way, if they just let me take their picture the minute we got there, they could be in charge the rest of the visit. They obliged. They sat on a hay stack, I took my pictures, and then they were free.
My son had been waiting patiently all month to tackle the corn maze. This was the first year I told him he was fully in charge, and Alivia and I would follow him blindly, only offering help if he asked for it. And then it happened. My a-ha moment. As I watched my sweet little 6 year old twist and turn down each row, it hit me like a wave. He was so calm, so happy. He went in circles, he hit dead ends, he back tracked only to take the same path more than one time. The more lost he became, it never changed his mood, or his attitude. He simply said, "whoops that didn't work," and tried again. Since we got there later in the day, the sun was setting and around some turns it was darker then when we started. Again, he didn't care, he didn't waiver, he just giggled and fearlessly said "let's try this way!" Always with a smile, always ever so excited. I know to him it was just a fun corn maze, but to me, it was God's way of reminding me to find the JOY in these moments. My "mom life" is daunting at times, but we aren't alone! Everyone is stuck in a maze of their own, filled with wrong turns, dead ends, confusing circles and unmarked paths just trying to navigate their way through it.
It's so easy to get lost in the shuffle and see these moments as stressors, as I'm sure many of your friends do too! It hit me like a ton of bricks how I had been making these moments about me, and my to-do list, my busy schedule. When I saw how good I felt just sitting back and focusing on his joy in this moment, it was an amazing reminder that God asks us to live this way each day. Live for
, pray for
, make a choice to do something good for
. Fill your days with compassion and love for others just as He would do. Knowing that this season is crazy for everyone, have you reached out to any of your friends to offer your support? Not via social media, true communication among friends. Support can look like anything. It's a high five, a hug, an offer to pick up their kid from school, a prayer, a meal, a hug or a shoulder to lean on.
Us mommas gotta stick together, and who DOESN'T love a little support from their friends? Are there any other stressed out October mama's out there? If so, give yourself a big pat on the back, pour yourself a glass of wine (or vodka) and celebrate not being alone in this crazy ride of motherhood. You made it through October, just in time for November activities! Gobble gobble. ;)