We’re home. First from the farm. Second from the E.R. Since I have had children, I have now been in the E.R. for Labor Day, the Fourth of July, twice nearly on Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day (that doesn’t count our Halloween hospital stay and our Texas Children’s outpatient on Christmas Eve).
Y’all, I am pooped. Dull head throbbing, bone weary, eyes too tired to shut, worn out. I mentioned yesterday that I was playing momma to seven. That’s because one sister-in-law is in Spain, and I was at the farm with her three kids in addition to mine, and they brought another cousin out for fun. One of hers ran a fever right alongside mine. So we did simultaneous Tylenol dosing and tepid rice eating right there next to the healthy ones that were bouncing off the walls. Seven kids ages three to eleven. And while the farm is normally a perfect place for that, it’s not so much when it’s below 40 degrees and raining. And kids are sick. I slept two hours last night.
This is a picture of me with some friends on New Year’s Eve just after Bray and I started dating:
Thankfully, there are no photos from last night. At least no photos of me. There are some cute photos of fireworks activities with the littles in between weather issues. I’m about to go shower for the first time since Sunday morning. My kids bathed today for the first time since Sunday morning, at least I hope it was Sunday, and not Saturday. When I have no nanny and I’m at the farm I sort of lose track (otherwise I’m pretty on top of it). I did worry enough about it that I almost dropped little bit in the bath before running her to the E.R., but the pain was significant enough for me to just race there as fast as we got back from Louisiana.
Do you ever have those moments when you think, I don’t think this is what they write Hallmark cards about? I’m pretty sure if I showed those newly dating adorable couples that ended up on television last night making out when the ball dropped a photo of me as the “after marriage and kids,” they would be a little more hesitant to settle down. My darling husband kissed me last night because he vowed, and meant, for better or worse.
I think sometimes the hype is what kills us. I think there were a lot more people in America that didn’t look like that shiny black and white photo above than those that did – it’s just that only the people that looked that cute posted their photos on Facebook. Nobody Tweets their 3:00 am medicine run. No one “Pins” their emergency load of laundry because of kids bathroom accidents. Folks tend not to Facebook their grime.
I’ve been reading a lot of Lisa-Jo Baker’s posts lately because they rock for tired moms. She was sharing a collection from some of her favorite learnings this year, something I did aspire to do and just couldn’t make it fit with my book deadline, and wrote this, “Every day I wake up knowing by the time I crawl back into bed…I will have learned more than I bargained for. I will be tired in every part of me. I will feel stretched out and squishy. I will often be frustrated that no one is staying in bed like they’re supposed to. But I will also know that the Lisa-Jo today has grown up. And the Lisa-Jo tomorrow will grow up further still. Grown up, dragged up by her kids and the God that made them.” I write sometimes about the dirt and the E.R. and the forgetting to bathe my kids because people tell me, “I don’t know how you do it?” Like it’s a compliment. Like I have it together. But I do not. I get just as tired and dirty and exasperated and undone as every one of you and probably a lot more than most of you. But I know, on this New Year’s Day, that I serve a big and faithful God. And I wouldn’t take back a moment of these rough few days because it means I am a momma and a wife and there’s nothing I would trade it for at the end of the day. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll leave you with Lisa Jo’s gracious remarkable words and I’m gonna go take a shower (click here if you want to read the full top 20 list):
For the days we are running on empty. For the days we just don’t think we have it in us to read one more story, play one more game of Uno, wash one more round of sheets. For the days when we think everyone else has it altogether. For the days we’re sure anyone else would do this job better. For those days. You know the ones. Repeat this creed for tired moms after me:
- I shall not judge my house, my kid’s summer activities or my crafting skills by Pinterest’s standards.
- I shall not measure what I’ve accomplished today by the loads of unfolded laundry but by the assurance of deep love I’ve tickled into my kids
- I shall not compare myself to other mothers, but find my identity in the God who trusted me with these kids in the first place….
So good and so true. My son has had “issues” his whole life and finally a year and a half ago he was diagnosed with Asperger’s. The diagnosis should not be a surprise, and yet the layers to this developmental disorder never seem to stop. He’s textbook and yet there’s still no ability to head it off. Catches me off guard every day. So I continue to wrestle internally knowing I can’t ever be like other moms and yet wanting to be. “…dragged up by their kids and the God that made them”. Isn’t that the truth? So earlier tonight my son was clearly disturbed by something, and when I inquired he strongly didn’t want to share his feelings. I respected that (another dilemma I’m not sure about) at the time, but later in the evening it became clear I needed to know so I forced him to tell me. I’m so glad I did! He was feeling terrible about something that was a complete miscommunication. He would have gone on in life thinking what he thought was true. So most of my life is not quite knowing what is going on inside his brain, but tonight we had a break through which makes today feel more like a success than most. I only hope I can refer back to this event in the future to remind him it is so much better to express what he is feeling (with words) than to keep it locked up inside. Being a mom is just so hard.
Oh Alicia, I am so glad you shared this struggle. I can’t imagine what dealing with that diagnosis is like, but I do know trying to adapt parenting to each child. What works for the “younger” two will completely decimate the “eldest” who can not take discipline, it shatters him. So I battle between knowing what works for which child and then feeling so guilty if I take the wrong approach with one. It is constantly a learning curve, but one that I’m grateful I have a perfect Father from whom I can seek instruction (if I just remember). I’m so glad your gut showed you the way to work things out with sweet T.
As always, beautiful words, Gindi. As I started to read this entry, I glimpsed your photo of NYE past and thought it was this year. Funny how I totally related to everything in your post, but I could not imagine looking that fantastic on NYE. I was a little relieved to read that was your point. =)
Thank you Tina – and yes, I couldn’t fit into that NYE outfit now if I tried (you can’t see the black LEATHER pants!). So great to see you the other weekend, looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us this year!