If parenting is anything it’s death to self. Death to eating a meal in peace and quiet. Death to eating a meal without little fingers in it or a little person on your lap. Death to any privacy; death to any alone time. Death to traveling, vacationing, sleeping in, trips to the coffee shop to just sit and read. Death to shopping in peace and quiet; actually, death to shopping in general. Death to ever looking nice as most days I barely get my hair done, am wearing either pee or spit up or both. And really, pregnancy should be some kind of clue of what’s to come. Pregnancy is the introduction as it takes over the body, the emotions, and the real tiredness begins. And if pregnancy isn’t a wake up call, then childbirth should be, especially if your labors and births are as long and difficult as mine have been. And please keep a sense of humor and take me half seriously . . . I’m trying to find humor here. Death to self is not a bad thing by any means; it’s just painful.
My alarm went off at 6:30 this morning, followed by a little voice saying “Mom . . . . . . Mom! . . . . . Mommy!!!” And then I heard another little voice whimpering in the other room. All I could think was Lord, I’m so tired. After praying a little while, and hearing shouts of “Mom” with increased frequency and increased volume (Ryder won’t get out of his bed until we tell him he can.), I finally rolled out of bed and went to get my kids. I got Ryder out of bed, gave him a hug, and then told him that I needed to use the bathroom so I had to put him down. He responded by throwing a fit, and so our morning began. After making it to the kitchen, getting into the fridge, and choosing a plum for himself, he threw another fit when I went to cut his plum for breakfast, so he went into time out. I took that time to get Ezzy out of bed, get his bottle made, finish making Ryde’s breakfast, and then get Ryde out of time out. The boys then ate peacefully. I got Ezzy changed and dressed, then went to dress Ryde, which resulted in more fits as he refuses to wear pants. He then got in trouble for kicking me, and by about the 5th fit, we were late and I was stressed. I put Kim on for Ryder while I ironed my clothes and made our lunches. My breakfast consisted of licking the spoon that I used for making tuna. Ryder asked to watch “Train” while I took a 2 minute shower. I hurried through my make-up, forgot to put on my mascara, brushed my teeth, grabbed diapers and bags for both boys, and then took Ryder to the car. He refused to get in the car, so I picked him up, kicking and screaming, while he proceeded to hit me, and got him buckled in. I then went back in, got Zoya set up for the day, grabbed Ez out of the crib and put him in his seat, grabbed my keys, and got in the car. Only I forgot Ezzy’s diaper bag . . . . we finally made it over to Hav’s at 9am. I’m supposed to be at work at 9am. Ryde threw another fit when I got him out of the car, so Hav pealed him off my legs and took him screaming into the house. I arrived at work 15 minutes late with a major battle going on in my heart and head as I hate mornings like this. And they happen quite often.
This morning I made two decisions. A.) I can’t handle having any more children. This working mom with two kids thing doesn’t work for me; there is no way we coudl add a third to the current equation. B.) I have to do the working mom life. So death to any desire to have more kids. So long, farewell to any hope of having a girl.
And as I prayed and poured my stress out to the Lord, I just asked Him to help me have a good attitude. I can do this with the right heart, but I cannot do it with any ounce of my own self. I cannot worry if Ryder is going to be scarred because his mom works and has to leave him in the mornings. I can’t worry if I responded to him correctly by just ignoring him while he hits and kicks me. I can’t worry if I yelled at him while he threw a fit. I can’t worry about tomorrow; I can’t think about what I want or what’s going to happen. I have to just focus on today and know that all I can do is what I can do. Does that make any sense?
Recently, I bought and read a book called “Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches”. I had mixed feelings about the book, but I got some good things out of it. The book is written by a stay at home mom of 4 girls and 1 boy, so a lot of what she says applies to girls and stay at home moms. But some of the rest applied to my situation. In her advice, she basically says that it’s up to us to keep an organized, “fun” household, which means getting up extra early, creating the right environment to avoid tantrums, to not hurry your children, etc. And I understood her advice; however, I just have not figured out how to do it. The whims and attitudes of a 2 year old change by the minute; there’s no way that I can ward off every tantrum. There are things I can do to help, yes. And it’s a question of reacting with patience and love, which I’m getting better at. But the rest is an enigma to me. I struggled to feel like her advice applied to my life, yet I also admitted that I could do a better job. There are a lot of moms out there with just as busy lives as mine, and they manage to get out the door with their mascara and earrings on and without losing their peace. Right??? Or is it all an illusion? Or have they just learned more than I have and are more experienced?
So my heart breaks when I know Ryder wants to be with mom and have a fun morning, unrushed, with no where to go, no timeframe of getting there. My heart breaks when I’m stressed and react to him reacting to me. Part of me feels that I’m too hard on him. All he wants is to have fun and have his mom with him. He doesn’t realize that his mom has a whole list of have-to’s that don’t fit in his agenda. He doesn’t realize that his mom has a daily struggle to have a good attitude about life right now. But she does know that we will get through it. I just pray that the sensitive soul of my young man will just know that his mom loves him and she’s trying her best. She’s trying to not kick the death of self but embrace it and allow love to pour from it. She is trying. She just has good days and bad days . . . . just like he does.