The past month or two has been rough around here. I think it’s just plain exhaustion — lack of sleep makes everything harder. It has nothing to do with the baby … she’s a great sleeper. It’s the older two who are wearing me out, just doing the normal rambunctious boy-type things that 5-year-olds and 2-year-olds do when they are housed under one roof.
Oh, like what?
Like the older one putting the little one on his shoulders and trying to go down the slide in the backyard. Or dumping an $85 bottle of prescription lotion on the floor. Or working in tandem to accomplish a task that is impossible to accomplish alone, like reaching the neighbor’s cat who is sitting on top of the 8-foot fence outside. Like fighting over things and breaking things and beating each other’s heads against the floor.
I know at least the early-morning and midnight wakings are just a phase, and luckily I have a love affair with strong coffee. But the lack of rest has made my patience wear thin and I’ve been forced to face the fact that I yell and act crazy a LOT. After spending days on end feeling like I was doing a crap job as a stay-at-home mom because shouldn’t I be loving every moment and crafting the hell out of something in preparation for Thanksgiving? I resolved to do better. Every night I tucked them in bed determined to do better because they deserved better even though they damn near set the house on fire today. Tomorrow, I wouldn’t get as frustrated. Tomorrow, I would have more patience.
And then tomorrow came and I HAD NO PATIENCE because I was awakened at 4:00 a.m. by Asher who insisted that me, him, his blanket, his kitty cat and his monkey needed to hang out. He drags that crap all over the house with him. All of this.
I was (am) too exhausted to know what to do to make anything better. If I can’t even get my kid to sleep until the sun comes up, how am I supposed to solve any other real-life problems?! That’s what I yelled at Husband when he asked me where his such-and-such was. I don’t know where it is. I cannot solve one more problem.
And so, one day last week after I got Maverick ready for bed, we knelt down to pray like we do every night because it’s the one thing I know I do right after a long day of things I’ve done wrong. We’d had a rough afternoon and I was just relieved that the day was almost over. He surprised me by saying the sweetest prayer, asking God to help him learn to listen so he could do a better job of obeying his Mommy and Daddy. When he was done, I also said a prayer and asked for help to be a good mother. He looked up at me and said “That was so silly, mommy! You’re already a good mommy! Oh my goodness, that is SO SILLY.” And he laughed like it was hilarious and gave me a big hug I will never forget.
Sometimes I go through these cycles of struggle-struggle-struggle, feel like a failure-feel like a failure-feel like a failure, and then something happens and I am humbly reminded that my children are so full of grace. I don’t think the most important thing is me being the most fantastic mom that ever mothered. That’s not going to happen — let’s be honest. The most important thing is for them to know that they are worthy of an apology. I want my children to understand that everyone messes up.
Including their very own mother.