Monday, November 24, 2008

 Me, me, me

I wish there was some way to just vomit out all of the selfishness that I have allowed to infect me. Even though puking is like my #1 worst thing to do - I would do it to get back on track. Fortunately I don't have to do that because there are other ways. Today I am just trying to figure out the best course of (non puking) action to rid myself of the ME ME ME disease.
I am used to Dave working 5 days a week - 8 hours a day. I know, I know. Spoiled I am, but that is what life is like for us, so I have become accustomed to it. He had to work on Saturday and was gone for about 9 1/2 hours. In my self centered world Saturdays are for relaxing, sleeping in, being a family, and - here's the part that I hate to admit, but is becoming a little bit more evident- "letting" Dave take over some of my daily duties. "How nice - hubby's home, he can do diapers and control the 3 year old fits. YAY!" -Yeah, not some thing that exactly warms the heart of the guy who just worked 5 long days to provide for our every need and even some of those wants.
So, I did the mommy thing all day Saturday, for the sixth day in a row, and it felt monotonous and a little overwhelming.
I cleaned out the fridge with three little ones 'helping'.
Green beans spilled all over the kitchen floor.
They got trailed all over the house on little feet.
Every drawer and shelf came out and was scrubbed.
Some grossness was encountered.
All three boys got baths.
The bathroom was soggy
Every where
Like, towels were almost floating by me when I went to check on the boys...
Disobedience was encountered.
Mommy was not as patient as she should've been.
Three loads of laundry were done.
Dishes were done.
Bottoms were cleaned.
All the while instead of seeing the blessings right in front of me my heart grumbled. The grumbling doesn't exactly help the day go by smoother or happier by the way.
In the middle of the day I knew I had to do some thing to try to salvage the day, keep the boys occupied, and enjoy our time. So we did a craft. We traced leaves, cut them out of paper we had colored in rich fall colors, wrote what we were thankful for on them, and strung them up on some string. Scissors were grabbed by little hands which have no business with such sharpness. The table was written on with a sharpie. I still tried to make it fun. I smiled at what the boys requested I write on their thankful leaves. "DVD's". "Bacon and sausage". Wow was I ever thankful that "Jesus" and "Daddy" showed up on a couple of leaves too, cause I was starting to feel like my child rearing was going down the toilet.
Even through that time the selfishness thrived. "Oh, look at me, I am doing a craft with my boys. Just wait till Dave gets home! He's going to think I am an awesome mom and probably won't be able to stop telling me how clean the house is and what a great job I am doing." Oh yes, it's true.
After a long day of work Dave stepped into his home, which should be his oasis. His place to relax and just be. The boys were in bed. The thankful leaf garland was hung expectantly in a place he could not miss. And he laid on the couch to rest. And said about 2 words to the wife who was so absorbed in herself she did not see the tired lines around his eyes.
Here is where I wish I could say I noticed his tiredness, gave him a nice back rub, made him some food, and let him get the sleep he needed. Oh no. That is not how it played out. I will spare you the drama. Perhaps I am sparing myself the embarrassment. Let's just say there was ugly crying, pushing to hear what I wanted to, a retreating husband, exhaustion, not enough sleep, a tough Sunday morning, divisiveness through church, a silent afternoon, some resolve, and another too-late-night last night. *sigh*
Oh friends. Do keep me in prayer and keep me accountable. There has been alot that God has revealed about my pride this past weekend. Facing that has been just about as fun as puking while having jaw surgery (I've done it - it's not good).
I am a mom. I am blessed to be a mom. I have always wanted to stay home with my kids. And yet do I think I am entitled to accolades for what I do? Because I have dealt with 3 kids under 6 all day every day? Oh, and lets not forget the special needs card. I have to make sure that K gets the food and liquid he needs. We are back to using the g-tube. Working with him and carrying him... Oh, and diapers - guess how many dirty diapers I change EVERY DAY! Do I expect to get an "atta girl" for dealing with my own children? For doing the things which one just does because, well, you LOVE YOUR KIDS? Sadly, yes. I want it recognized that this is a hard job. I want breaks. I want pampering. I want Dave to say, "Oh, you poor sweet girl!" When I tell him about the difficulties of my day.
Oh to see the blessings right in front of me and enjoy each day as a gift. The truth is, this is my job. And it is truly an honor. There are enough hours in the day to get it all done. I am equipped with every thing I need to deal with each challenge presented to me. Every mom does this. I am no different. I am entitled to no more than any one else. Some of you do your job with such joy - because it has become clear to you that this is a God given responsibility and privilege. Sometimes I have that perspective. Some times, like this weekend, I mess up.
It astounds me that there is one who cares for me despite all of this. He doesn't look at me and say "Do you have any idea how much I DO for you?? How much grossness I encounter? How many times I have forgiven you, just to have you fall into the same mistakes?"
No, that isn't even close to how God deals with me as his child. Today I am asking him to show me how to parent the way he does.


Mel said...

I think we all fall into the fleshy trap of what about me...we all desire recognition and accolades...being a mom is the toughest job ever, but also the most blessed...

your post reminds me and i thank you for that, that at the end of the day I need to hug my kids and thank my stay at home husband. You have blessed me with your transparent heart.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

I hear ya :)

I want "atta girls" too.

Barfing with you.

Lindsay said...

What a wonderful post - truly something we mothers need to think about and reflect on DAILY!


** and the last line ...Today I am asking him to show me how to parent the way he does.

Blessings to you this week -

Kristy said...

You brought me to tears today. I can't tell you how many times I have done the same thing. I want to be praised for a job well done. I want to have "quiet time" to focus on ME, ME, ME. I want to sit in the chair with my feet on the footstool and read my book while hubby (who works all week long and then some) does the bottom wiping or the bath giving or the story reading. You are not alone. Thank you for reminding me to be more patient and loving and less selfish. I need CONSTANT reminders.

Becoming Me said...

You know I have been there...often and wish I could just cut the selfishness out of me...but also like me, you are covered in grace and through the power of Christ can make things right again. You are a beautiful person and loving mother. I am blessed to call you friend.

Anonymous said...

I'm a firm believer that God gives us kids to keep us humble and remind us how how perfect His love for us is.

Jules from "The Roost" said...

Girl I prayed about selfishness in my own life today. You are not alone! :0

photomama said...

I do agree with we need to be humble and we need to see the joy in our duties and our husbands do work hard to provide for us.
But, I like to keep things in perspective as well, as this is something I am battling with as well and my husband understands that I never have an escape and he is able to escape 5 days a week from the emotional strain that raising children has on us.
Allthough selfishness is not Godly, we should also not feel guilty when we see the need to escape on a periodic basis. It took me leaving for 48 hours twice in one year and my husband see's what all I do and completely feels like I need time away weekly to regrouop my thoughts and remember that I love being a mom and a wife. It helps a great deal.

Lena said...

Been there, Done that... Being a mom is the most demanding job ever. It's the one job that demands selflessness- giving all of ourselves. Which is sooo tiring!!! I feel for you and like all the moms who commented I have been there more times than I'd like to admit. It's true God is the best example of a parent- which is a hard model to follow sometimes. Thanks for putting your heart out there for all to see- there is so much to be learned by sharing our struggles.

Brandie "Bee" said...

Don't you just love how reality messes up our daily routine??!!
I'm right there with you, my friend.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh, I just love you, my friend. First, big hugs. I don't pretend to have even half the workload that you do, but I do understand trying to do something fun/productive/meaninful with my daughter, and then end up wanting to scream because it doesn't turn out like I want it to (usually with a big mess instead!) And I so understand wanting the accolades, the acknowledgment that, Hey, I see all of your hard work, your awesome!

I guess I struggle with a balance with all of this. I know that it can't be all about me. I know that we are to do our work joyfully. But I also know that you can burn out awfully quickly with the sameness of each day. It isn't a matter of whether you are doing what you love, or that you are happy to be home with the kids...that's a given. It's just that you can get so TIRED. So...I will be praying for you (and myself as well!) that we will be able to rise above this, and have a better perspective and attitude about it all.

For what it's are awesome and my admiration for you knows no bounds. :)

And "bacon and sausage"...LOL!!!!

AmandaHoyt said...

Thank you for your honesty - we too had a difficult weekend. Oh, how blessed we are to say that we are His Children and are forgiven already.
Hugs and prayers,

Jodie said...

Yes and yes. :) We all want that validation and praise... and yes, it's ugly in all of us. Mothering IS hard. I have 3 under 6 too - so I can really relate, and sympathize. :) I so relate to what you're saying. There are so many days where I hear my exhausted husband pull into the driveway and I think, Sweet Relief! I can get a break now - not really caring that he's hoping for a break too. Very good post. A change in perspective is a very good thing. :) And hey, you probably ARE doing a good job holding it all together. That's why our girl friends are so important - b/c they can build us up so we don't tear our husbands down.

MoziEsmé said...

Been there, done that with the husband thing...

You know, as a person used to lots of accolades in the corporate world, working from home has its downsides. For one thing, I'm used to exceling at the work I do, and I just don't seem to excel at being a mother - I keep messing up and wondering what to do all the time! And to rub it in, nobody is giving me any Manager of the Year awards to make me feel better about how I'm doing. This is definitely the hardest and most thankless job I've ever done, and it doesn't help to know that half the world's population is doing the same job and probably doing it better with more kids and more challenges.

It's not that I don't like the job. I just want a little affirmation once in a while, you know?...

So now that I've joined your pity party, let's say I'm praying that we all realize how blessed we really are and become fully aware each moment, each hour, each day of the people that God has put into our lives to love, to cherish, and to put ahead of ourselves. Cuz in making them happy, I think we'll benefit from the happiness ourselves.

Heather of the EO said...

Oh yes. My husband travels for work. When he returns from trips I often find myself punishing him. I'm so exhausted and I start to navel gaze, only thinking of how hard this is for me.

You're not alone! And I too am thankful God doesn't get fed up with me. He just nudges me and brings me along, gracefully letting me borrow his patience and selflessness.

Thank you for your honesty.

Elizabeth said...

oh wendi, i think so many of us can relate. i LIVE for saturdays with a little less on my plate! Esquire helps so much on the weekends...and even week nights as able...when he's gone I get overwhelmed and suddenly call it a "lazy" day and dont' get anything done except watching cinderella and know those days. lazy days always multiply too so I commend you for having a saturday productive day...that was something to be happy about.

let the tears come when they need know that your hubby is so gracious. :-)

God is also close and with us the middle of fridge cleaning, toilet bowl scrubbing, and even diaper changing...

:-) keep your chin up!

Becca said...

I have felt the exact same way, many times unfortunately. It's an awful feeling and always takes some extra time on my knees to dispell. Hang in there!

Little Candle said...

Oh, how I can relate to this post...I need to go hug my Husband.

dani said...

i admire your lack of pretense, wendi!!! these things happen, and it's hard. i hope this weekend will be a long, refreshening one for you all:)

Katarina said...

I too struggle with that selfishness in my life as a mother and wife. I read an interesting devotion the other day that said something along the lines of:
'even though there may be no one else who notices the small, often mundane tasks we do as mothers, GOD notices and He is applauding what is done in secret.'

So when you've had a rough day and what someone to acknowledge all you do, remember that God sees and He is giving you the 'atta girls' that your heart so longs for.

Leslie said...

Im am so bummed that I have been missing your blog, I didn't have it in my reader... and thought I did.. Anyways. I could have written this post, word for word. Not kidding.

These days are hard, and some of them even feel ever so desperate. I have been struggling with the same thing so much so, so we can hold each other accountable deal. Thank you for writing this post, when I didn't have the words or guts. I call these days my martyr days, when despite the fact you know the reality (which is that life is blessed and ultimately good) but if one more person explodes before we leave the house, I will loose it... and sometimes momma does loose it.

So hopefully we can hold each other accountable to "keep it togethor". Feel free to email anytime.. :)

love you Ms. Wendi, and thanks to you I sat down a read a sweet new story to Ms. Rylan yesterday, I thought of you. Thank you!