I take great pride in being able to run my household smoothly, and I’ve done so with great satisfaction for a year or so, even directly after coming home from the hospital with our little number four. When you have so many so young, it is practically imperative to stay organized and keep up with the daily chores, because getting behind can really make or break the success of the days ahead. Well today broke me! I’m weeks behind on so many things regarding our home, I am to the point of slipping into the dark shadowy place in my closet to hid from it all just to ease the strain on my mind. Can you relate?
Since baby has been born we’ve had countless guests in town visiting. We didn’t make it home (our hometown that is) for Thanksgiving because baby boy was still so little. In the eight weeks he’s been out of the hospital and gracing us with his presence here on the home front, we’ve housed guests for 5 weekends. Don’t think for a second any of that was a burden. My house was still organized and running smoothly during those times, everyone who stayed was incredibly helpful with anything and everything we asked for or needed, however the very hour our last guest left town, my husband went straight into work to catch up there.
Since that Sunday, I have been asked to feed all four of my kids breakfast, lunch, and dinner six nights all by my lonesome. I’ve been left here to get all four bathed and ready for bed. I underwent a huge amount of stress getting everyone ready for school two of those mornings with everyone dressed, shoes on, teeth brushed, coats zipped, lunches packed, water bottles in the bags, and buckled safely in the car before 8:00am. Today broke me! I just about went berserk!
I won’t go into all the details of this morning specifically, but I put the one-year old’s socks and shoes on numerous times. I put the two-year old’s coat on multiple times. The three (almost four) year old was off in la la land through the entire getting ready event. For some reason I left the house with two lunches packed but not the third. The baby was screaming because in the midst of shoes and jackets, I realized I never finished feeding him. The list goes on and on, but the big kicker was my frustration at how the house looked when we left after I had stayed up passed midnight deep cleaning the main living space.
I almost shed a tear from being overly tired and upset I was going to be behind and would have to spend yet another weekend catching up on the house. I’m disappointed in myself too because I must admit, my temper was short with the kids as they were doing their every morning routine. I snapped at my big girl who was day dreaming as I was helping her into her pants. I put the little gal in baby jail, aka her crib, after she brought me all the shampoo/ conditioner/ face wash bottles from my bathroom. Oh, I feel like a loser for the way I treated my darling children this morning. The worst part of all of that is I actually did an astounding job compared to what I would have done last year at this time.
Through it all, I was talking with God, I was cursing my husband’s job too, but mostly I was asking the Lord for patience. I needed my breathing to slow down, and I needed to stop kicking myself for not asking anyone for help sooner. I make mistakes, and I would say a dozen or more were made this morning, but without those mistakes I wouldn’t be able to reflect on the things that went well and what needed to be changed for the next time. My growth comes from times such as these.
I want to be able to give all of myself to my family through selfless acts. Doing deeds like cleaning, carpooling, shopping, putting on shoes five times in three minutes, is what fills my heart with the joy God promises. To be there for them, I have take time for myself and try to be okay with the wreck left behind. Clutter and messes really do make me panic inside, I don’t function well seeing all the work I have to get done in front of me, but overworking my body to get it all done isn’t helping me at this point, because I’m the only one capable of doing it all. So, I rest and recoup today despite how I feel inside. I struggle today to lie quietly, say my prayers, or perhaps read a book. Then when my kids get home I will lock us all in the toy room, so I can be the mom they want me to be.
Parenting is the best and worst job simultaneously. We are molding their personalities, and praying we’re doing things well enough for them to live happily, independently, and Godly. Thank God, our children are more forgiving than we are. Thank God, their little innocence helps them remember I love them unconditionally. Thank God for the opportunity to correct my wrongs and hopefully be rid of my worst traits before they can turn it into a core memory. My goal is for them to think fondly on their childhood and hopefully remember how gentle mom could be, even if she occasionally lost her senses.
Dear Charlotte, Luke, Nora, and Seth
I want you to always remember I tried my hardest to be all the things you could look up to in any one person.