Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Weary Mama

I think it all started on Mother's Day-- it poured rain all day, we ran from church to lunch to my aunt's to visit with my grandparents, all without any zzzz's on my children's part. The kiddos were already sleep deprived from the rest of the weekend, and Chad was sleep deprived too from a missions retreat, so I spent the day doing my normal mom-thing-- packing bags, dressing people, feeding people, shushing people, removing fussy people from the crowds, meeting needs etc.... meanwhile my husband sat off to the side of every situation in a sleepy haze. By the time the day came to a close, I was somewhere between pouty and just plain mad. It was the classic "expectations not met" scenario-- I had the flowers, the card, and the gift certificate to Renew Day Spa, but I was craving a break-- just some relief or down time. As I've stated a MILLION times, I absolutely adore being a mom, but it's so 24/7 and these people just always need pieces of me, and quite frankly, even more so now that I'm a stay-at-home mom, I just need a break from time to time. And for some reason, I just assumed Mother's Day would be that day. It wasn't really a logical expectation considering the days plans and also the fact that babies don't really compute the whole "it's mom's day off" deal, but I "expected" it none-the-less and was severely disappointed.

When we woke up on Monday, we were at the beginning of the week again-- we hadn't seen much of Chad over the weekend and now it was time for him to be gone all week again-- arghh! I should've read the moods, I should've seen the signs, I should've stayed home-- but instead, I got my people together and cleaned and beds made, I put Jack down for his morning nap as I made lists, paid bills, planned the week, and got a strategy together for some errands. Jack's 1st birthday party is just around the corner and I had some stuff to do to prepare, so with my list, some coupons, and my cute boys, we set out after the morning nap. First we went to Michael's and things were a little harry. Jack was screeching and Max wanted to walk by himself but not obey-- I felt my blood pressure rising, so we headed to the register only to end up with a new cashier who literally took 10 minutes to ring up my $20 worth of things. I wanted to just throw money at him and leave. As we got to the van, Max got a spanking for not obeying in the parking lot (aka scaring the _______ out of his mother) and we hopped in and I just breathed for a minute-- in and out in and out. Certainly I could regain composure long enough to make it into Trader Joe's across the street for a few things and then we'd head home and skip the rest of the errands.

I did a little self talk (this seems to be happening more and more lately... is it a sign of insanity?) and asked the Lord for extra patience and grace with these small beautiful boys, since they were tired, and we were all cranky. Again, I had my list and all the organization for a successful trip. I got my cart and strapped Jack in, Max got a small cart to push along behind me and off we went. Max immediately began running into my heels with his little cart, because he was watching himself push that thing, rather than where he was going. As I reminded myself about the extra grace, I implored with him to watch where he was going and he seemed to understand-- for a second-- until he ran into me again. We parked in front of the dairy section for a minute- Max picked his yogurt and put it in his little cart and I picked a greek yogurt for me and put it beside Jack. I then turned to grab milk when I heard a big splat-- I looked back to see the tub of greek yogurt on the floor-- all over the floor... and up the cart... and up the back of my legs. I didn't say anything, I just walked over to the sample lady and asked for some toweling and cleaned up the mess. It was at that moment that Jack started crying hysterically. I have NO idea why. I hadn't responded or let my frustration show-- I was befuddled to say the least. I picked him up quick and cuddled him up, shushing and loving him, telling him it was ok-- but he just screamed and screamed.

I faced him outward on my hip, turned on the next aisle for the last thing on my list and asked Max to follow me. And he freaked. Once again, there is no explanation, but he just lost it, ramming his cart into me, growling these guttural growls at me-- ones I've only heard on episodes of The Baby Story when women are in labor. He was crying and thrashing about, and Jack was still hysterical and I had no idea how we were going to get out of the store. I bent down to Max's level and told him to stop, I even spanked him IN the store, which I've never done before, about 2 feet from a stranger, which I've never done before, but to no avail. Poor stranger. And I looked up and all I could see where young, clean, childless people, all judging with their judgey eyes, holding their organic food. We made it to the cash register closest to the door and I told Max to go stand outside the door and wait for me-- but he just clung to my leg and screamed while Jack clung to my side and screamed and that cashier said "at least they'll take good naps later." He was like 20. I just smiled as him, feeling the hot tears come to my eyes. We paid and we walked to the car. Somehow we made it-- both boys buckled in, the few things I managed to buy in the car, and the mama slumped down in her seat. What just happened in there? My kids have never acted like this before. And there wasn't really an explanation. I think we all just had a simultaneous meltdown-- an emotional and mental breakdown.

I have never before wanted to just leave my children and run away. I have never before wished that there was a drive thru for stiff drinks-- I don't even like stiff drinks! I have never before wanted it all to just disappear but in that moment I was so mad, and frustrated, and embarrassed and at the end of myself, that I just sat in my van and cried as we drove home. I couldn't even call Chad because how could my words or the explanation of the situation express what was going on in my inside-- I just needed a mommy-time out. I needed to be off duty. But that just doesn't happen in these parts. At least not without some major pre-planning and preparing.

I can't really say that yesterday was much better on my inside, but my boys were sweet as sugar, and I managed to make it to the gym alone, and by bed time, I was coming around. I curled up in a quilt and turned on HGTV and it was an episode of celebrity houses or something like that-- not my favorite show, but I watched it for a few minutes because I didn't have the energy to change it or to think about what I wanted to change it to. They showed Melissa Rycroft's house and I noticed in a couple of the camera views that she had bibles all over her house. I seriously had no idea who she was/ is, but she was a young mom, cute as can be, and maybe a christian so I googled her. I learned about her time on The Bachelor (I had stopped watching by her season) and Dancing with the Stars (I had also stopped watching that show before she was on it) and I noticed that she has a new reality show about her and her husband called "Melissa and Tye" on CMT that started on April 20th. I googled the show, and found full length versions and began watching. Immediately I was laughing and relating-- except with the whole famous/ move across the country part. But by the second episode she was having to be a single parent 4 days a week while her husband worked in Dallas. And oohhhh, how she was weary! As she talked, I got choked up with her. I was feeling her feelings-- how awesome it is to be a mom, but how it can just take everything out of you sometimes.

At the end of that episode, her husband read a verse from James to her: "Blessed it the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him." James 1:12 Then he said a quote his Dad used to to day: "If He'll lead you to it, He'll lead you through it."

I just studied this passage recently and never once did it occur to me that my dream come true mommy gig could be a trial-- but when I heard this, it clicked-- it is in the normalcy of life and it's many blessings that we get to the end of ourselves more often than not-- certainly some trials are much bigger-- life threatening, scary, needs for provision-- but most of the time, it's just life. And just another way God was working to get to the end of me, so I would start relying on Him. So as great as this mommy job is, sometimes it's a matter of persevering in the midst of the trial, regardless of how tiny and insignificant it is. And I can't help but think about how I could use those moments, more than others, to live out Christ's love in front of my boys. I'm one weary mama, leaning into the Lord, and more thankful than ever for these small people and their "trials".

(Note: That show is AWESOME, you should SO watch it!! Catch up online the set your DVR

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