I've been spending some time, thinking about some of the things we go through as parents of little ones. They can be so trying... One of the hardest parts for me is just the constant responsibility of caring for them, I know that sounds bad, but getting them fed and dressed and bathed and changing the diapers is tiring. I have a hard time pushing past myself and on somedays am so anxious and frustrated that I can't do anything that I want to do, because I have to take care of these children. It seems like dinner times are the worst, I'm prepping dinner, frazzled and frustrated because eric is supposed to be home now, desperately hoping eric will walk through the door any minute to help with the children. And that's when one of them walks up to me and asks for chocolate milk, I snap at them and tell them, "NO, Dinner is cooking, wait for dinner." If they proceed to complain, I yell at them, "NO, dinner is cooking, just be patient!!" Not even realizing the irony in that. Maybe if I displayed more patience while waiting for dad to get home, they might learn how to be patient from my example, fancy that! I recently had a breakthrough in this area, and it's inspired me to try harder...
It was just one of those days, I woke up with a sore throat, I wanted desperately to stay in bed and not have to get up when eric left for work. But, I pulled myself up and started doing the things I have to do at the beginning of the day (Feed any kids that are hungry, change diapers, make sure anthony uses the bathroom) slightly praising myself for already doing better than yesterday, but as I was changing Becca's diaper, I noticed she had spots on her stomach and back, she had been having fevers for a couple of days.
This was a problem, I knew I would have to take her to the doctor. I started worrying, not about my daughter, but about how I would have to go to a new doctor and I don't know if I'll like him, I won't be able to just sit and rest all day, like I had planned, I'm going to have to get all the kids dressed and out the door, and I just didn't want to. But as I looked at my baby girl, I knew I had to suck it up, I have to take care of her more than myself. So I went into Mother Mode. I made an appointment, got everyone ready, ate lunch and headed out the door.
I arrived at the doctor in heels (hoping to make myself look older) with no stroller, because I was too lazy to run back up and open the garage to put it in the car. I held Becca, who was doing a good job complaining about being sick and looking very pitiful. Trying to fill out forms with one hand, the other two children buzzing around at my feet, and Becca trying to steal my pen. I finally get in the dr, that goes smoothly, but he tells me we should draw blood from Becca just in case she has the measles (She didn't, she had roseola, and is fine now).
So with all three kids I walk out the door to go get her blood drawn, while on the way to the car, Anthony falls and scrapes up his wrist and knees. He burst into tears and starts crying out for his dad, full of drama. I stopped, comforted him and led him to the car. Meanwhile, Alissa has been limping and complaining because her toe hurts, she had hurt it a few nights before and wasn't happy that she had to wear shoes. So, we finally get to the lab, and I get Becca all settled to get her blood drawn, the other kids just sitting by and watching, (not the greatest idea but I didn't have much choice). It took about 5 minutes of Becca screaming bloody murder, for them to get the blood. Alissa in the background, "I don't want to watch this, it's too scary, I don't like it". Anthony just running around trying to make people laugh (That's his coping mechanism).
With this done, we walk out the door, Becca screaming all the way to the car. I get her in her seat, still screaming. I get Anthony buckled and he starts screaming about his wrist and knees hurting, crying for daddy. Alissa is barely holding it together. I close the door and take a breath. All I can think is I must drive through and get a snack, this is how I know I'm barely holding it together. This is my coping mechanism, soda and a snack from a fast food place. However, we are short on money and I knew I shouldn't. I talked myself out of it, got home, gave the older kids a Popsicle and the let them watch a movie while I made dinner.
Talk about a long day, I was so ready to call it a night. I started making dinner, and decided that I should make cookies because I was really craving something sweet. Of course, the kids wanted to help and Becca wanted to be held. I held it together, got dinner in the oven. Cookies were put on hold, I figured I would just do one ingredient at a time. That's when I got the text, Eric was stuck in traffic, That's ok I thought, dinner won't be ready for a while anyways, no big deal. Dinner finishes and Eric walks through the door. From the moment I see him, I can tell he doesn't feel good. I hand him the baby while I dish up and eat and he tries to hold it together. Before I finish he hands her back to me and runs to the bathroom. I take her, finish eating and feeding her. He comes back and lays on the couch.
This is where my breakthrough happened. Thoughts were running through my head... I was hoping he'd rescue me, I don't feel that great either, why can't he just suck it up, etc... But I stop myself and start thinking, I went into mother mode today, I didn't feel that bad, I can push through, finish the day strong and be the good wife, that lets him rest. So, I get up off my butt and start making cookies with the kids, I run to the store to get milk for Becca and eggs for cookies. I took the older kids and made sure that Becca was happily playing in her room before I left, so Eric could have some quiet. We get home and finished the cookies, while Becca fell asleep with Eric on the couch. And at the end of the day, the best part of the day was the last part, that I spent with the kids, making cookies and going to the store. I cherished the time I spent with them. I would've missed out on a special time with them, if I would've let my attitude get the best of me. I'm so thankful to have learned this lesson.
Parenting is hard, that is true. But as Christians, we are to persevere through hard times, die to ourselves, serve and love others. If we do this in ministry to other's, shouldn't we more-so with our own children? And through it, We will be blessed. When we see our children do the same for each other, or in the special times we get to enjoy with them. I will choose to live life with an attitude of service to my family instead of in service to myself. I pray that God will give me strength to persevere, and a reminder to change my attitude when I forget.