Tuesday, June 24, 2014

 Hi. I'm a stay-at-home-mom with a child training hangover

Every year we put our backpacks away. We smile the giddy smiles and we are fresh.

 I say, "This year, I will enjoy them. All of the moments, all of the everything. It will be different because I am in a different place and they area older... and it will be different".

We do our big camping celebration and then we enter our New Normal with confidence and excitement.

...And it's not that different. The adjustments are the same, which lead me to the guilt and the "what's wrong with me?!" and the disappointment.

There's plenty of good, and alot of hard. It's just life. I'm begging God for extra strength and extra grace to offer these boys. None of us are used to all being under one roof all day every day. We are navigating the togetherness.

The second day we were back home from camping I ran out of milk. No biggie. We always run out of milk. I'll just jump in the van... and.... Wait. I'll make sure every one is dressed and ready to go. K will need his braces on. And... he's too big for a cart, but doesn't quite have the endurance to walk through the entire store to the back where the milk is. And they will want things. I just need milk. I don't want to hear about all of the things. 

Milk is overrated. Who needs milk anyway? -Not me.

My brain knows stuff - Like the fact that my time has never been my own. How selfish to think otherwise.

I live for higher things. Eternal things. I want to serve my family. It's my ministry.

Truth? - I want to... want to serve my family. But right now?
 I'm rarely alone.
I'm getting up early,
staying up late,
and my time not being my own is taking on a whole new definition.
I'm battling this bigger/uglier desire to be affirmed and to be served.

Just like every year. Oh human nature...

Today K is at Grandma's. And I am grateful. Grateful for her patience with him. Grateful she has been highly involved in his care since birth, therefore is comfortable and used to all that having K entails.

I am grateful for this grace, because I needed a break. And I can either hate that I needed a break, or I can simply say,"Thank you", and breathe. He blesses my socks off and he needs alot. As he gets older, personal care needs take more. He learns so differently, and feelings of inadequacy are never too far under the surface when I am in the trenches of parenting him.

I'm getting used to the noise level, and I am learning when I need to step away for a minute.
Before I feel that rising heart rate and smoldering frustration escalate.
Before the unkind words and ugly little creature of self  reigns.

So much God is teaching me. I am not a fan of being shown my weaknesses, and that is right where I am at now. Trying to humbly see them, having the courage to hit my knees, and repent. To truly turn from selfishness.

Trying to give the tools for "working things out" when the fighting starts (this seems pretty constant right now), disciplining the disrespect, unkindness, and disobedience - I feel a bit like I have a child training hangover....

One thing that has been coming into my heart - loud and clear - is that I need to address gender differences with much more gentle grace.
Because you guys, I have never felt more keenly the fact that


The lone female in a home with 5 guys will want to aggressively attack things that seem wrong. That do not make sense to her. That annoy her.

Asking God to open my eyes to what needs to change in my parenting, to see my boys as unique and valuable creations, and nurture my relationship with each one has resulted in.... well, just that. He is answering. He is stopping me in my tracks when I begin to "discipline" that which is not wrong doing.

"It's a boy thing. Leave it alone" - I swear God is whispering that in my ear daily. ;)

The competitive EVERYTHING. What the? I do not care who finished their cereal first.
Or stayed up latest.
Or got up earliest.
Or kicked tail in Mario Kart (Kicked mom's tail in Mario Kart? No.Big.Deal. Everyone does it. Yes, even the baby) ;)
Made the biggest Lego battleship.
Jumped the highest on the trampoline.

WHY? Why does it matter?

Because it does. And much is accomplished when guys are pushed by a drive to do better. Does it need to be channeled and managed? Yes. But it doesn't have to be squelched.

The silly? The loud? The imaginative? The endless talk about

Mine craft
Their imaginary friend
What-would-happen-if _______________

I know it's investing in deeper relationships with them as they grow up. I know it's good. And sometimes? My brain feels like it is about to melt.

K asks me 10,000  several times a day what I am going to do tomorrow, what I am going to do right now, and what I am going to do after breakfast/lunch/supper/the laundry/bedtime. I know this is his way of having a connection with me. He is communication and ordering his world. But after the fifth time......

My mornings are fresh and I have new resolve. It's after about 8 hours I am done.
Need to breath, need some me time. 

What if we are ok answering 15 questions, but by #16 we start to snap back?

What is we are super fresh and full of self control and kindness in the morning, but after 8 hours or so we have used it up. Can't do it anymore?

And that scripture that talks about our entitlement to "me time"..... oh wait.

Renewing our minds? Yes. Refreshing our spirit and coming up for air? Indeed. But I am challenged with where I think I need to get that refreshment.

I know the answer. I know where I need to renew my strength. I know I can't do this alone. Practically "getting this" and really applying it is the process I currently find myself a part of.

I've always been the "stay at home mom who is hardly ever home". -During the fall and winter I am there with the guys in the morning, and when they get home from school. But other than that - I am constantly on the go. Imagine that. A stay at home mom who.... stays home. ;)


Rachel said...

I had my start of summer melt down yesterday. I totally relate. Throw in a husband with a new job, that is sucking up ALL HIS TIME. I am trying to keep focus, but it is hard. Love you! Love that we are in the hard together.

Kristin said...

I so needed this. Thanks friend.

Anonymous said...

OH!! Thanks for this. I only have two boys, but add two sisters in the mix and the shrieking and fighting just seems like it never ends sometimes. Back and forth, back and forth. I feel like a ping-pong ball about to explode. Praise God for His grace and forgiveness. Praying you have memorable and fun summer with your pack of boys!!

Andrea said...

"The competitive EVERYTHING. What the? I do not care who finished their cereal first.
Or stayed up latest.
Or got up earliest.
WHY? Why does it matter?"

This totally made me laugh!! I can relate, as I often hear the exact same things in the classroom. I find myself sounding like a broken record "not everything is a competition / life is not a competition" etc etc... And to them it probably sounds like Snoopy's teacher "wah wah wah". ;)

Christy said...

I home school our girls so I am rarely alone. The only difference between the school year and summer is now they have time on their hands to find things to argue about. ha!

Anonymous said...

Hang on ladies and enjoy it all! The years go fast! I actually miss those times - speaking as a mama sending her last baby to college next month.