NYC. They say if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. I always used to chuckle at that phrase because I would think, if you can manage to pay mortgage-like rent to live in a lunchbox and handle the hustle and bustle of it all, sure, you may just make it. But as a mom, that phrase has taken on a whole new meaning.
I've come to realize that being a mom in a big city has its own challenges but also adventures. With anything else, perspective changes everything. When you have to carry a 20lb toddler in one arm, grocery bags in the other, with a stroller slung around your shoulder...up four flights of steps, you better hope and pray for right perspective!
Now don't get me wrong, this isn't me singing my own rendition of "Nobody Knows the Troubles I've Seen;" far from it. I love my city, even more, I love my neighborhood. I'm glad my husband and I get to raise our kids here. The adventure is finding the sanity in the midst of it all.
The fact of the matter is that there are elements of the good, the bad and the ugly in many of the things we encounter. And sometimes, when it comes to life in the city, we experience all three of those in one day. How in the world can I gain right perspective when I'm knee deep in exhaustion and frustration?
Take my day yesterday for example. I was on my way back home with my two kids after picking my son up from school. We were speed walking as to not get caught in the rain and had to make a quick stop at the grocery store. Five minutes in, I hear Josiah whimpering with a "I'm-not-feeling-so-good" look on his face. I approach him to find out what's wrong, and then it happens: throw up. Throw up on me, on him and all over the floor. Sigh. He's crying from embarrassment, my daughter Hayden is grabbing everything she can reach from the shelves, and I'm just looking around for some help.
The store employees graciously clean up the mess, I pay for our stuff and we're outta there. On the way home, my groceries fall out of my bags about six times and just when I'm about to celebrate at the entrance of my building, I realize I still need to carry Hayden, the groceries and motivate a sick boy up four flights of stairs. Alright.
Let me say this, it's not like this every day. Thank goodness it isn't. But honestly, whether you're a mom or not, single or married, go to Starbucks or la bodega, sometimes we get to a point where we say, "no more!" So what then?
I've come to the point where I've stopped longing to be "out of the woods" of a certain season or treating every tough time as a hopeless tragedy. For me, it means to truly "be still, and know that He is God," and take each moment as it comes. I've needed to stop looking for a "better this," or a "more peaceful that," all for the sake of my own convenience and at times own glory. The beauty of all this is that if our trust lies in Jesus, we won't have to worry or wonder what lies ahead in this life. In Him, we have the assurance to live out each day knowing that that in itself is a gift.
Perspective changes things. I'm thankful that in the midst of the good, the bad and the ugly, Jesus gives me the strength to embrace things as they come. It helps make this concrete jungle a place of adventure. A place that I'm excited to explore, sippy cups, strollers and all.
Written by Anna Perez. Anna is a New Jersey native that currently lives in Uptown New York City. She is a wife, mother, writer for micasauptown.com, and Pintrest extraordinaire.