The Junk Drawer of Motherhood

I like to keep a tidy house. I have two little people and a dog running around, so it’s hardly ever all REEEEALLY clean at the same time, but I do my best to keep it at least “picked up” by the end of every day. I’m a stay at home mom, so it’s a part of my self appointed job description.

But. No matter how hard I try, I can’t eliminate the need for a junk drawer (or two). Because legos. And crayons. And, if I’m being honest, my own stray earrings. They all need a home, and the junk drawer provides it until it becomes so full that it can no longer function.

It gets jammed holding all of the things that don’t seem to have a place anywhere else. One day as I was struggling to cram in a roll of scotch tape, I realized how well my kitchen junk drawer served as a metaphor for the HARD and hidden parts of motherhood (just go with me here….).

The thing about a junk drawer is that even when it’s packed and stuck- no matter how messy and disorganized it is on the inside, if I can close it, it looks like every other drawer.

Sometimes, in this stage of life, I feel like I need more junk drawers. For the stuff, yes, because there is just SO. Much. Stuff. But also for all the junky parts of motherhood that I don’t let anyone see. I can cram and cram and cram all of the challenges and trials of parenting into an invisible junk drawer full of the hardest parts of motherhood until it is so full it doesn’t even function, and it will still look like I’ve got it all together.

I want to give my family a relaxing and clean home, so: shopkins, legos, and broken crayons? Junk drawer.

I know how blessed I am to have two perfect healthy children, so: the exhaustion and challenges of parenting? I’ll cram that down into the junk drawer of motherhood.

I am thankful that I am able to breastfeed my baby, so: the feelings of being touched out and unprecedented hanger? Junk drawer.

I get to stay at home with my children, so: financial stress and a super tight budget? Junk drawer.

I have a hard working, talented and faithful husband, so: problems in my marriage? Junk. Drawer.

I KNOW they grow up so fast, so: wishing away the long days and even longer nights? Junk drawer.

You can put me in a line up with all of the other mothers who have a handle on life, and I’ll blend right in. Just like my kitchen junk drawer.

That’s one option.

Or there’s this: I can come clean. Actual clean. There may be no hope for eliminating the junk drawer(s) in my home because, let’s face it, the batteries and scotch tape have to go SOMEWHERE. But this whole surface level charade of motherhood perfection? It needs to go.

The biggest mistake I have made is trying to do it all perfectly, all by myself. We aren’t made for that. We were designed to thrive in honest community with others. Our greatest fault is hiding the hard stuff. We may be able to pull it off for a while, but over time, we feel stuck… we feel heavy and weighed down… unable to function.
My kitchen junk drawer is just like the other drawers. It was designed not just to close, but to be open…and so were we. My challenge for myself is to be more vulnerable…more open and honest. To share the junky parts of motherhood. I want to be a friend who is real. Because for every mama that is open with her struggles, another mama may feel less alone.

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