A Moment in the Trenches

It’s 11:30am. Thank you Jesus!

Baby boy is finally sleeping. I’m going crazy! I totally forgot about this stage (14 months). He’s so busy, obsessed with being outside, and wants to snack every second, but he can’t do any of it by himself! He loves to swing, but the swing isn’t going to move itself. We don’t have any soft grass in our backyard. He could hurt himself out on the rocks. He doesn’t know how to steer the big car he loves to push around. The water table keeps his attention for two minutes. Then, he wants to move around the other riding toys he is not big enough for. Frustration arises from him every time he wants to do something but is then hit with the reality that he is not capable yet. Try to take him back inside though, and he will let you know that that is NOT where he wants to be.

Lord, help me. I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin. I can’t walk that car with him another second. His smile is so big splashing the water around, but now there is so much on the floor. I can’t go too far because the cement is now very slippery and I might have to protect his head any second. Please stop the whining at every frustration. I know he’s just one, but can’t he accept the things he can’t do yet? I know he can’t, but I don’t have the patience for this.

It’s getting hot, and I want to go inside. It’s been an hour or so. We are going inside. Everybody drink water and snacks for the kids.

Did I finish my coffee? Husband texted about something important. Be an encouraging wife. I can barely think right now though. I’ll answer when I can think more clearly. Don’t want to make an impression that I don’t care about this. Lord, be with my husband right now.

Oh gosh, baby boy is flailing, trying to tell me he wants out of his high chair. But dude, you’re hungry!! Grr, he won’t eat. Fine, I’ll get him out. He walks straight to the pantry. “Dat” he says. Telling me he wants something in there, aka he’s hungry. AHH! Then why wouldn’t you eat in your chair? Fine, I’ll grab the snack and spread it out on the ottoman and he can move while he eats, since clearly it is currently against his morals to sit still and eat.

Ok. Maybe I can go tidy up the kitchen a little bit. Sister is in their watching a show on the iPad while she eats her snack. I can keep an eye on her.

Not even five seconds later, in walks baby boy. He pauses, then walks to the pantry. “Dat.” NO! I already gave you your snack! Come on! Back I walk him to the ottoman. “OH! Right!” His little brain kicks in. “I like this snack.” Good. I head back to the kitchen. Three seconds later. In walks baby brother. He pauses, then walks to the pantry.

Oh dear Jesus, PLEASE help me.

Looks like I need to sit next to his snack so he stays and eats. So much for cleaning up the kitchen. I’ll try again later. Sister should be fine. She’s captivated by the show. Baby boy seriously can’t stay still, but he won’t play with anything. The only way he will play is if I’m next to him or engage in toy with him. Dare I walk away and the wining, tears, screams, or pulling at my leg begins.

Lord, I don’t want to sit here! I have things to do. Plus, I’ve barley spent time with older sister all morning. I need to give her attention too. She’s been really good today. I need to reward that. She has wanted and needed so much attention these days. I want to continue to teach her that she has my attention during the good times and not just when she acts out or acts like a baby. She’s almost four. Growing up quick! The numbers of days I have left with her feel like they are slipping away faster than usual. Instead, she’s had the iPad for a while now, other than our outside time. But she won’t play outside unless I’m out there with her. It’s getting hot. I don’t want to be outside all day.

Lord, I can’t do this! I physically and emotionally cannot satisfy these two at the same time. I want to be a good mom to both of them. I hate having to pick one’s needs over the other. Please take care of my daughter while I’m with her brother.

Finally, it’s time for brother to nap. Now, I can spend time with her. Breathe.

Oh my gosh, I’m so hungry! What time did I eat breakfast? There is no needy baby. I should really make lunch right now. OH! There is still a little coffee left in the pot from this morning. I’m gonna heat that up. Wait, back to lunch. What am I gonna eat? I am so tired. I just want to go crash on the couch. I don’t want to cook anything. What can I do that won’t make more dishes?

Shoot! I haven’t texted my husband back yet. Lord, please still be with him. Help me remember to talk to him when the kids go to bed so he can have my undivided attention over this and see that I care and am listening.

A sandwich! Ugh. There are so many components to a sandwich. I want as few ingredients as possible. Breakfast burrito! No, that will make more dishes. Plus there are a lot of things you could put in that too. Screw it. Just eggs in a tortilla it is. Mmm, hello brownies from last night on the stove. I’ll just eat some of that. Ok, back to lunch. Oh, heat up that coffee. Now, lets make this egg and tortilla. Good enough. Scarf. Well, all that work for two seconds of eating. Pathetic.

Sister is still on the iPad.

Gosh, I’m a terrible mother today. I need to go spend time with her. But I’m so tired. I need a break. I REALLY need a shower! Girl doesn’t nap anymore. When am I supposed to have a break? Naptime is my only time for one on one with her though. As soon as brother wakes up, he sucks up all the attention. It’s not her fault. If I don’t get a moment to be alone though, I might loose it. Maybe if I write, get this all out, I’ll feel better.

 Worth a try, so I start typing.

 Lord, I need you so much today. I’m breaking down. I know the mother I need and want to be, but I don’t have it in me today. These all-consuming, nothing days, are sucking the life out of me. I know there is importance and significance to being the one to support and fill in for every one of my children’s needs that they are not capable of fulfilling themselves yet, but I’m on empty. Lord, please fill all MY holes. Cover this home with your grace, and within my husband and I, please fill us with a renewed energy. Grow our capacity for the mundane. I feel like I’m starting to suffocate in this home. My brain feels like mush. I can’t focus. THANK YOU, Lord, for being my example on just how to get through and do all of this by doing these exact things for me.

I hear baby boy crying through the monitor. Look up at the time- it’s 12:30pm. NO! It’s only been an hour. This cannot be all you sleep all day. “Mom I need help.” Now? You’ve barely needed me all morning. “Sorry honey, I’ll be right back. I need to try to get brother back to sleep.”

LORD, PLEASE CARRY ME!

 

**Welcome to about an hour inside my brain.  People can say all they want: “This too shall pass.” “Enjoy these days. They go quick. You’ll miss them.” But some days, weeks, or life phases are just flat out hard. Don’t feel bad about the struggle. I love my children more than anything. Being a stay at home mom is a choice I couldn’t live without, but the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I know the significance of this role and time, but I’m human. And some days I struggle hard.  This role of parenting requires so much selflessness that sometimes I feel like I’m suffocating and loosing my sense of self.  Those feelings set off this survival mode that immediately has me desperate for selfish things.  Things as simple as watching a TV show uninterrupted, to getting in a car and driving for who knows how long with my music blaring.  Through it all, I’m grateful for a Lord and Savior who covers and fills in for me as I wrestle through these moments.

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