I have become kid-chaos. Who I am is a person rushing out the door grabbing folders and backpacks, reminding everyone what day it is. I am the one who does laundry at night. I am a chauffeur, a cheerleader, a shoe finder, and a homework deadline drill sergeant. My waking hours are defined by so much of what’s needed for survival.
A lot of other parents express a similar sentiment. A friend shared that she and her husband recently started commuting together. While it hadn’t left her as much time for calling her family or friends throughout the week, it’s become the most consistent uninterrupted time she and her husband have without their kids. “We actually like each other,” she joked. Beneath the chuckle is the struggle so many caregivers discover. We allow ourselves to be so consumed by the ones we serve, that we lose ourselves completely.
I’ve noticed certain friends, especially those I’ve known for a lot longer than I’ve had my kids, have a way of reminding me of who I was in the “before.” They remind me not just of funny (or embarrassing memories), but of aspects of my identity that have been sidelined. They remind me that I am more than the morning, afternoon, and evening chaos. They remind me that I have ideas and thoughts that matter to the world, even if some days it feels like no one around me listens to what I have to say. “You STILL aren’t wearing shoes?”
What if I stopped allowing myself to be lost in the chaos? I imagine Mary as consumed with Jesus as I am with my own kids. Except instead of losing herself, she found herself even more.
What if I allowed my life to be as overwhelmed by Christ as my kids have overwhelmed it? In doing so, perhaps I can be even more myself in the midst of the everyday chaos.