Wednesday, July 9, 2008

 Mommy running on empty = aggravation

This is one tired mama. This is a mommy who should know better. Who should know that days on end of cooking, cleaning, trying, parenting, disciplining, paying bills, disciplining, correcting, diapering, feeding, disciplining, and disciplining (yeah, there's been alot of that lately) simply can not be done with out fuel for the job. How often I fall into the same trap. Thinking I can do it, trying too hard, and ending up an exhausted mess of frustration. Five is not a bad age here at our house. I am enjoying K's eagerness to learn, his sweet spirit, his desire to help. My heart is tender to his attempts to figure out where he fits into things as a boy with cerebral palsy. He is noticing more differences in himself in comparison to other kids. He wants to run with them. So often I can see the furrowed brow of frustration give way to that burst of sunshine smile that he has. His acceptance and adaptability are truly admirable qualities. This is not a difficult age for me to deal with as a mommy. Trying to help him find his place and assist him to live his life to the highest potential however does take physical and emotional energy. Physically because carrying him around, lifting him to be able to play at the playground, etc can take a toll. He is now over a third of my weight and of course we are hoping he continues to steadily put on weight. My chiropractor has good job security. The emotional energy expelled comes from the fact that my heart is just so wrapped up in this child. :) Three - well I think you know how I feel about three. I've mentioned it a time or two. Certainly the toughest age I have encountered thus far (Lets put a hold on those comments warning me of what is to come) :). In the worn out state I've been in I fear I have been no match for the stubborn and blatant disobedience I am encountering in my Jay. Oh how I love him. Oh how ready I am for a break. A break is not on the list of things that are coming soon to my life. Thank God for each little moment of grace he gives me so that I can handle the job He has given me. Oh Mr. Jay. My so full of life, ready to love with out limits, and ready to stand his ground like his life depends on it boy. Those janitor's genes. I'm telling you - tough stuff. Eighteen months -cuteness personified and learning how far he can go. Need I say more? Well, it's me and I love words, so I will. He knows how to work those baby blues. His two new favorite words are "NO" and "MINE". I have to turn away when he says them so he won't see me laugh. He says them with all of the regal authority of - well, an eighteen month old. It's like he thinks when he says those words he has this commanding voice and all should just bow at the sheer majesty of it. Sorry babe, you've got the cutest little voice ever, but authoritative? Just not happenin' yet kido. I see so much of Jay coming out in Noe. He is emulating the very things I would wish to subtract completely from the equation. He is loving some new found independence, but seems to have very little concept of boundaries yet. For several days in a row now I have been putting alot of energy into these guys with out using common sense to fill myself up with the needed fuel required to do the job. I do this way too often. Putting it into words is now providing a bit of accountability. :) I have allowed myself to get to the end of my rope. By last night my patience was about paper thin. It just wasn't good for any body. As I was putting Noe to bed last night He gave me that sleepy little smile-past-the-thumb-in-his-mouth look. Something about that simple and sweet sight woke me up to what I had done. Become exhausted. Allowed the difficult moments of mommy-ing to steal the joy of the simple ones. Run out of energy without seeking more to fill me up. I had become quite overwhelmed. Ever look at a couch full of laundry, turn to see the sink full of dishes as a little one is looking at you screaming NO, and just want to run? We pray with each boy before tucking them in at night and my prayer with Noe was a heart felt supplication that he would have my best - not my 'leftovers'. After the guys were all in bed I was tempted to completely zone out in front of the TV or computer. I knew I had an important choice to make. Zoning out would perhaps be relaxing but would not fulfill the deep need which was becoming so evident. So many times I have ignored the promptings to follow through with that which would equip me to be so much more capable to do, and enjoy, my daily responsibilities. I'm pleased to say that last night I made the choice I needed to (Probably wouldn't be blogging about it if I hadn't. I'd be to tired and grumpy and likely wouldn't want to own up to it). I just let the quiet penetrate my weariness. I had a very needed conversation with God. He knew where I was at and what I needed, just really wanted me to come to him with it. I picked up my Bible and began a search for the times that Jesus went off to quiet places to restore and refresh himself. I read some of the prayers that He prayed. Something about reading the words he uttered from tired lips was refreshing for me. As I continued on in my reading I happened upon a passage that filled something up in me that I didn't even know was lacking at the moment. It was these verses in John 17 (talking about those who believe in Jesus), "May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am..." It was the love thing that just pierced through the cloud of tired. How often have I heard of God's love? Pretty much my entire life. And still there are moments where I doubt my worthiness. I don't feel lovable. Why would the creator of the universe - a holy and sinless God, love me - want to be with me, and desire me to be with Him?! But there it was right in front of me. He loves me as he loved his very own son; Jesus. I have to tell you guys what that means to me. It means energy to do another day. It means confidence. It fills me up. After I read I sat and reflected on the message I was getting. It had started earlier in the day, but I hadn't given it much thought. As I was driving to do some errands I happened upon a radio program that was talking about God's great love for us. I spend alot of time in my mini van. :) I like the radio on. I like my music loud. If I'm just running K to an appointment or a short errand I usually change the station from talking to music. This time the guy who was speaking really grabbed my attention though. It was only about 10 minutes of driving, but the encouragement I received was wonderful. Later I was cleaning for a friend and she had left some wonderful worship music on for me. Many of the lyrics were reinforcing the encouragement I had heard before and prefacing the encouragement I would receive later. Some one orchestrated it all don't you think? :) I do. I would still really appreciate prayer as I face many responsibilities and truly desire to love my children deeply at each stage they are at. Dave is beginning a very big roofing project here this weekend. It will take all of his time for the next several weeks. He will be going on a wilderness camping trip with guys from church when this project is at point where it can be temporarily left and will be gone for a week. How thankful I am that He has the abilities to fix our roof as well as the opportunity to get some guy time later. How tired I feel just thinking about it. :) I really need to continue applying what I have been learning.
Oh and getting the encouragement I needed to refuel myself - this didn't hurt either.
I woke up to this sitting next to my computer. :) Awwwww. I love him.

13 comments:

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

I completely relate to so much of this. Running on empty...praying for you (and me) and thanking God we can be filled up with Him.

PS - Love that note from Dave...tell him I'd pat him on the back and say "well done" if I were there!

Elizabeth said...

SO SWEET...that note from Dave. What a great hubby...and so in tune.

I really had to chuckle at the wanting to run when the laundry is piled up & the dishes as well...been there THIS WEEK. Um, this morning. ;-)

I haven't experienced the older ages yet. Tulip is so CHILLED-OUT so far I feel like I've been given a free pass as far as behavior. I still work with her on obedience & commend her when she does well & we "practice" a lot of praying, singing & learning Bible verses. I am really hoping that when the time comes (as I'm sure it will) when she is more difiant that these habits will alraedy be ingrained in me as a mother so I don't lose perspective.

I love the grace that you are showing us & your children but reevaluating yourself with why you are frazzled instead of just plain blaming the boys. I see that so much and it's sad. our impatience will be ours to be accountable for...no matter who is 'causing' it.

I'd love to know what type of parenting books you are attracted to or read...or if you take a certain philosophy. I always tell any mom that I approach about this topic to not be offended if I don't do things just like them once they've shared with me...but I will keep it all close to heart as I learn about motherhood & parenting my unique child that no one else has but me. :-) What a special responsibility!

Stacey said...

What a great hubby!! Such unexepected sweetness just when you needed it! You're doing a great job with your family!!!

Leslie said...

awesome awesome post...
seriously been feeling this and only with my one. I need to refuel but sometimes you gotta take it when you get it, 2 seconds here 3 seconds there...
we can't wait for huge moments of refreshing we gotta take it in the easy naps, the ticklish times, and the two seconds that the kitchen countertops are clean....

so so life right now.

You have been on my heart A LOT. Hope your feeling well. ohhh and yeah for awesome spouses...!!

Queen to my 3 Boys said...

Awwww...

dani said...

wendi,
this post is beautiful. i love reading about your relationships with your family and God!!!
i also forget all too often to refuel. last sunday night i walked out on my front porch and questioned aloud, "where are you, GOD???" the funny thing is it's not where He is it's where i am...
i definitely needed/need a refuel as well!!! i am just so grateful that God's fuel station is so near for those of us who believe:)
love to you and yours,
dani

Lisa said...

Hoping you get more rest and the fuel you deserve! I am sure that note helped a little, huh?!?! So sweet.

Your faith is such a wonderful lesson for me and I so, so, so needed the reminder today! Thank you sweet freind!

Angie said...

This was great timing - thanks for writing a post just for me. :) Seriously, it was a needed reminder before I embark on this weekend trip. It's so easy to blame my attitude or mood on my kids and their misbehavior instead of owning my emotions and being proactive about changing it. Thank you.

Setala Family said...

Thanks. I feel like I am running on empty everyday lately and I was encouraged by your post and the reminder to turn to God when I would rather run and hide from the world.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Wendi...sometimes I'm quite sure we share the same brain. :) The whole issue with love is something I struggle with so often. I know it in my head. I understand it on some level, and yet to get it into my heart is often a completely different story. I honestly thought that I might be the only one in the entire universe to feel this way. And then I come here and read this. You are such an encouragment and I'm thankful that you wrote this.

I haven't stopped praying for you, girl. I can only imagine how weary you must be, and so I'm asking Jesus to fill you up with his peace and strength.

And how about that husband of yours? ;) He's a keeper.

Elizabeth said...

feel good friday is up and running on my blog...hope you have time to sign up with mr. linky and participate.

mamachristina said...

that little note would have had me floating through the day.
We hav emade it a habit of praying with the boys before bed as well and at dinner we hold hands to pray. My 16 month old is so adorable because he now mumbles and holds our hands with intent the whole time someone else is praying. this is how they learn, by example and you and Dave are great examples.

Redhead Mommy said...

MINE and NO! haha. We need to put him and Lydia together for a while! Those are her favorite words, too!