Becoming the "mom" on trips

I used to go on weekend getaways and just show up.  Large family gatherings and vacations meant getting away from my day to day responsibilities.  Even after I was married, it was really easy to pick up and leave town.  Okay, maybe I needed to bring a few extra snacks for the car, but other than my own packing, traveling was simple.  Blow-up mattress, cheese stick here and there, cell phone and charger...simple.

After I had a child, I wasn't expecting to realize that the trip doesn't "just happen".  Let me describe what I used to experience...

Brad and I would arrive at our condo / house / multi-family unit for the getaway.  Food and snacks of all awesome varieties would be waiting for us in the kitchen.  Dinner was wonderful and just magically appeared (and the dishes disappeared).  We would stay up late to talk, play games, and watch movies.  The next morning (after sleeping in) we would smell freshly brewed coffee and enjoy a homemade breakfast, compliments of a behind-the-scenes chef.  When we were done with the getaway, we would just thought really to how the place cleaned itself.

It never really occurred to me that the MOMS did all of this work. 

And then I joined the mom club.  A trip was planned and suddenly the getaway went more like this....

The week before is spent planning meals, activities, and packing lists with the other moms in attendance.  Lewis and I make multiple trips to the grocery store, and the two days before are spent making assembled meals and snacks, packing all of the necessities, and getting everything ready for the trip.  When we arrive, I help unload and organize all of the food, making sure that the snacks are out for everyone to eat.  I help cook meals and clean the kitchen afterwards.  Usually, after Lewis has finally gone down to bed, I'm feeling a little too tired for a game or a movie and barely stay awake for more conversation.  I wake up to hear Lewis babbling in the morning (our sweet boy saw the sun because there weren't any blackout shades).  If the coffee isn't going, that's my first stop.  Oh yes, there is breakfast to make.  Then lunch.  Then dinner.  When all of this is over, and it's time to leave, there are beds to strip, sheets to wash, sinks to clean, and things to organize.  The next few days after the getaway are spent..recuperating. 

THIS is the new reality of "getaways".  (I admit, they are more work than the regular job I have during the week.) 

All this to say...

There have been many instances since becoming a mom that have put me in grateful AWE of my own mother, grandmother, mother-in-law...etc. etc.  My new reality for trips and getaways is just one more thing that makes me realize how much WORK the women in my life did (and still do) for me.  They lay down their lives constantly.  Everyone's needs come before their own.  They give up the relaxation and the ease so that they can serve, prepare, and provide for everyone else on the trip.  They make it happen.  Without them there would be no fun snacks, yummy meals, cleaned kitchens, and shiny sinks.

If you are still in the phase of life where a getaway is as simple as showing up and having fun, THANK YOUR MOTHER.  Look for opportunities to serve by coming up alongside her in the preparations and work (something I never really thought twice about).

If you have become "the mom", BE GRATEFUL that you are getting the opportunity to serve your family like Jesus...without much recognition, glory, or ease.  What a witness and a gift.  God sees all of your work, because it's unto Him.

I'm realizing (albeit slowly) that these changes in my life are blessings.  At first it feels like the ease and fun are going away, but they are replaced with fulfillment and sanctification.  Deep down I don't want to just live for fun, deep down I want to live to serve God.  Situations that bring this into reality exhaust me, but also fill my soul with the joy of doing what God created me to do.

Happy Labor Day.  :-)

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