Functional Wife, Functional Mother

As part of my theme of returning this year, I am taking this incredibly vulnerable (for me) post from my private blog today as an example of grace and change, and God’s work in my life, though not on my timetable. It was and is and continues to be a process of hope and trust and choosing to keep going, even when I can’t see or understand why. Read through the comments, as well, as they are telling. 

Back in July, 1996, I was a 25 year old wife, married 4 1/2 years, and a mom of 3 little ones aged 3,2,1.  Every area of life was full and overwhelming. That was all I knew. I had to keep going and going and going because there were no other options. It was a lonely time full of disappointment, disillusion, despair, and depression (which would not be acknowledged and dealt with for 12 more years after I had 5 additional kids).

I know it was all grace that kept me functioning when I didn’t think I could. It was mercy that Steve and I not only loved each other but LIKED each other enough to keep trying to push through and make sense of the senseless. It was writing that moved the clutter inside from my head to paper and it was Jesus who heard my cries and never let  me go.

I wrote Functional Wife, Functional Mother during this time. It’s one of those mantras that would get stuck in my head, and I had to get it out. That’s how I felt. Like I was barely functioning. At 25.

Thank God for His redeeming love. He has made and continues to make all things new, but it has been a long, at times, lonely process. Here I am over 17 years later to testify that things do get better. Just not always on our time table!

From deep within the bin of my 25 year old heart….

Functional wife, functional mother.

When I’m not doing one thing, I’m doing another.

I’m feeling let down, I’m starting to smother

As functional wife, functional mother.

I get out of bed, there’s a baby to hold.

I look in the mirror, my face looks so old.

I go down the stairs, there’s a pile of clothes to fold.

And the bread in the cupboard is starting to grow mold.

And I’m a

Functional wife, functional mother.

When I’m not doing one thing, I’m doing another.

I’m feeling let down, I’m starting to smother

As functional wife, functional mother.

My husband comes home, he kisses my cheek.

We’re both so tired, it’s been a long week.

What’s in our hearts, we can’t even speak.

What would we find, if we dared to peek?

He’d find a

Functional wife, functional mother.

When I’m not doing one thing, I’m doing another.

I’m feeling let down, I’m starting to smother

As functional wife, functional mother.

Please do not say it will all go away,

and that what I am feeling is not here to stay.

I’ve heard it before, I still feel the same way.

It may soon get better but for today

I’m just a

Functional wife, functional mother.

When I’m not doing one thing, I’m doing another.

I’m feeling let down, I’m starting to smother

As functional wife, functional mother.

4 thoughts on “Functional Wife, Functional Mother

  1. Heather

    Julie, this reminds me of a time I remember around that time, when we both (I think) had 2 kids, and you and Steve had us over for dinner. You made lasagna, I think home-made bread, and salad. The meal was terrific, but I went away sad for you. You seemed so very tired, and refused any attempts of help to clean up from the meal. We spoke very little, and I think we all felt awkward.
    I’m so glad we are friends after all these years, and that we didn’t just drift away and that we both didn’t stay in survival mode! So much to be thankful for! I am thankful for you! For your honesty, for your willingness to share! For our redeeming Savior!

    Reply
  2. Julie

    Thank you for sharing this painfully honest part of my (our) story. I, too, am incredibly grateful for God’s redeeming love. I treasure our friendship throughout all of its seasons. What a gift. Thank you for being a part of my safe circle to process hard, but necessary, places. I can testify to God’s incredible mysterious faithfulness!

    Reply
  3. Kirsten

    This would have been about the time I met you. I had no idea. I was a bit younger than you, less experienced, single, childless. I wouldn’t have understood. I would have been surprised to know this then. You always had a smile on your face. You came to exercise class. I didn’t realize how tired you were.

    Now I am in my early 40s. A wife. A mother. A homeschooler. One who has also battled depression. I get it. I hope that, even though I had no idea back then, it helped you to come to class and have a physical workout. I know it helps me to do so.

    Thank you for your transparency. You are a beautiful person. I always knew that, even when I didn’t know the rest.

    Reply
    1. mommypancis Post author

      I love these words and your perspective. Yes, Jazzercise was a saving grace in my life during that season. You and Missy and Jennifer and Brenda were positive, real, encouraging, and offered great workouts! Honestly, it wasn’t until looking back that I realized how much of survival mode I was in, sadly. I don’t even know if I knew any better at the time or could have articulated or felt freedom to be struggling. It wasn’t “ok” to not be “ok” in my world back then. I am grateful to have found help and healing on my journey, and that is why I blog about the mess. I want others to know wherever they are that they are not alone. I am so grateful that you were and are a part of my story. Blessings!

      Reply

Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.