Have you ever heard the phrase, “In the trenches of motherhood?” Like whoa, that sounds so deep. That sounds real and kinda sounds like a really exhausting and hard place.
I hadn’t heard of that statement until recently actually. Everyone seemed to use it where I was and there was like some invisible line of which moms were on the side of the trenches and which side had some what overcome the trenches. To be honest, I am still not quite sure where the line lies.
But I am sure that I am in the trenches.
So many of us are. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you are too. You clicked this link out of desperation, exhaustion or wanting to feel like you’re not the only one in this hard phase. You’re looking for a mama who is like you — unable to pee alone and desperate for hot coffee.
The trenches are hard, but with each day I see a glimmer of hope of what motherhood will be like one day without children climbing all over me, throwing mindless tantrums and listening like a rock. There won’t be food thrown on the floor at every meal and there won’t be toys strewn all over the house even if I just picked up 10 minutes prior to. I’ll get a solid night of sleep without getting kicked in the back or woken up with cries. And there won’t be little humans incapable of expressing themselves like a normal person.
The trenches are real, they are deep and they can be so very hard to navigate.
But then I think about how much I love this time. Sure date night is hard to come by and going out to dinner with children is a sport of its own, but man, the trenches are so good.
I have little people who need me all day long. There’s sweet baby cries with little outstretched arms just waiting for me to pick up, because to that baby I am everything. And the second that baby is in my arms he’s nuzzled right in the curve of my neck where I can kiss that sweet little head and take in the sweetest smell ever.
My children’s innocence warms my heart because they don’t know about fear, evil and hatred. They only know love. Their minds run rampant with imaginations and the questions while sometimes tedious and overwhelming are also loving. My kisses are enough for the booboos and my hugs are enough for scary monsters under the bed. There’s kisses in abundance and hugs galore, and “I love you mom” for no reason other than just because they genuinely adore me. I can yell one minute and still get the warmest and sweetest hugs; something I doubt will be quite as popular in the teenage years.
I am shown grace and more grace over and over because despite my flaws, I am their “mommy.”
So yes, I am in the trenches. Yes, it can be SO hard. I mean, have you ever tried peeing alone during motherhood — it just doesn’t happen (at least not in the trenches). But what if the trenches are the years we look back on and miss? What if they are the years that mold us into the mother we were meant to be and teach us the most about love, grace, forgiveness and patience? What if they make us rely more on Jesus and what if they make us stronger? What if they break us down to our core and teach us about life?
I have a good feeling they will.
You see, the trenches are a phase we all have to go through. And yes, we want to get through it because we want to see our children grow up and become the people they are destined to be. We want to sleep again, we want to have girl’s night again and we want to teach real life lessons to our children and mend their broken hearts, celebrate their triumphant victories and help them get back up when they fall down.
But until then, until then I will remind myself that the trenches are a gift.
They are a beautiful journey no matter how hard, and that one day I will long for them and remember it with such peace, joy and happiness. The hard will go away and the memories of being their everything, their “Mama” and their whole world, will be the piece that I hold onto so I can forever keep those little innocent and precious babies with me.
Enjoy the trenches mama. It’s a sacred place to be.
Photo by Cayle Gray with Gray Photography