Here’s To the Hard Days

It’s one of those magical times when both kids are asleep and there’s actually quiet in the house. Pure bliss.

So I’m sitting down to write. Because I can.

Life is simply never what you expect, is it?

I think that’s what I’ve learned the most in the last seven years. Those expectations I had for what life was going to be like? They are far from reality these days. Sometimes that’s great. Sometimes it’s hard.


February is always a tough month for me. For whatever reason, dates resonate deeply with me, and February is the month my mom died. The 25th, to be exact, and I spend the whole month with the approaching date in the back of my mind. I feel quieter. More contemplative. Nostalgic. That’s a typical February for me now.

I didn’t expect her to be absent when I got married. When I started raising my kids. I never expected that.

She’s not here, but life is good, and that’s strange.

Having come so close to losing my own life, to facing the reality that I may not be here to raise my own babies, well, that’s made me a million times more grateful for the time I’ve been given. For the two miracles under my care.

The threes are rough. Forget the terrible twos, the threes have them beat by a longshot. Every day is a bit of a struggle right now, and last week I told Jon that I was ready to drive south for a while, all by myself, because I didn’t think I could survive another day at home with the whining and the arguing and the hysterical fits over the fact that I called her boots “shoes” instead of “boots”. True story.

But the truth is that it’s a blessing that I get to be here at all. It’s a blessing that I get to be her mom, get to help her figure out how to manage those emotions and make good choices and learn how much she is deeply loved and cherished. Every day, every moment that I get with her is a blessing, no matter how hard. It’s a blessing simply because I am here.

And then there’s the boy. Oh, if you could spend a day with him! I know he won’t always be so compliant, but for now, the kid is happy all day long. He smiles non-stop, or else he sleeps. There’s quite a bit of pooping thrown in there too, but that’s to be expected, I suppose.

He reminds me that the days are long but the years are short. Because it wasn’t very long ago that Emily was his age. And I think I wished a lot of those days away, thinking things would be better tomorrow, and missing the joy in today. I think I shorted her there, because I didn’t know.

But I know now, and she is only three, and I’m not going to screw the rest of this up. Well, I probably am, but not by wishing the days away.

Motherhood is hard. Today I changed three poopy diapers before 7am and needed a second shower by noon. Last week, Emily yelled, “I cannot stand you!!!” in my face because I told her it was time to get dressed. It’s hard. Every day is hard.

But I’m finding, too, that every day is sacred. There are only so many days that I get to spend with these miracles. And I don’t know which day will be my last, so I have this renewed passion to make sure each one counts.

I expect to be here for a while, and I expect them to be here for a while, but life doesn’t always turn out the way you expect. 

I’ve got them today. So today I will scoop them up in my arms and kiss their sweet faces. I will let her “cook” with me, even though it takes twice as long and gets three times as messy. I will hold him while he sleeps because I can, and my to-do list can wait. I will remind myself that this is a season, and it’s one I’ll wish back someday, no matter how impossible that seems today.

Right now, this season has me re-prioritizing. Stripping my responsibilities and my schedule down to the bare minimum so that I can do this mommy thing well. I only get one shot at it, and other things can wait. Time is short.

My life may not look as expected, but I’m grateful for that now. Grateful to the One who gave me what I needed instead of what I wanted, and who restored the years of brokenness by bringing years of redemption.

Here’s to the hard days. May we see the beauty in the struggle, and be grateful for the time we’ve been given.

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  1. Beth Smart says

    I love you and I adore these pictures! I do have one question for you: How did you crawl inside of my head and heart and so wonderfully put to words what I have thought and felt?

    Embracing it ALL! I love you…and you KNOW there are people down south that would LOVE to see you!!! :-)

  2. Cori says

    I have a daughter who will be 3 in 2 weeks and a son who will be 8 months in 8 days. I can relate to so much of what you shared. It is hard! I find myself struggling to find joy in all the silly arguments and stress of parenting. It takes constantly reminding myself that I will be wishing for these days before too long when they are all grown up and I just want my babies back!

  3. Denise Reed-Greiner says

    Sweet Kayse, Oh how I love to read your blog. I hear your heart. It brings me great joy to see the pictures of your little ones and to see you face in their sweet expressions. Be encouraged today. You are doing so many things right and though I know it never gets better, never completely goes away. . . the missing our mamas, I can only imagine your mom’s sweet smile as she watches over you and sees all that you have grown into and are becoming in Him. I know she is proud. I know that I was just your first grade teacher but every time I see your posts, my heart is brimming with pride and sheer joy! Keep up the good work!

  4. says

    So well said. You touched my heart with this article. I think all mom’s everywhere feel this at some point in their lives. February is hard for us in Canada as it comes with lots of snow and very cold days, making it hard to get out of the house. It’s so true how time flies and I needed to be reminded of just how precious these young days are. Every moment is fleeting, thanks be to God for this wonderful life he has given all of us!

  5. Christina says

    Going from one child to two was horribly hard for me. I loved my son more than words can express but I felt as if I had ruined my daughters life. I had very little patience for her spunky preschool self. She is now 15 and a few more kids later I wonder at times about that year her first brother was born. Did I scar her? Nah, I did my best at the time and kept getting better at the whole motherhood thing. If I can encourage you, breathe and get outside and even put on pretty things to remind yourself that you are a woman not just something everyone needs something from it may make the day a little easier to smile thru. As you said the days are loooong but the years they fly by. You got this!

  6. says

    Oh Kayse this post resonated with me because I have a very strong-willed three year old who has brought me to the end of myself. His behavior has been HORRID and finally we broke down and put him in preschool because someone offered to pay for him to go. I have spent the last week in relief that I am going to get so much time AWAY from him and of course, that makes me feel a little bit like worst. mother. ever.

    Three is so so hard! Hang in there! You aren’t alone!
    Aprille @beautifulinhistime.com recently posted..I prayed for his wifeMy Profile


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