Monday, January 23, 2012

General Rant on Parenting and Other Frustrations

Ok, so today is one of those days I woke up and don't feel like "doing" life. I don't feel like being a parent. I realize it's a huge privilege and honor and that there are many people who would kill to be a parent. But there are just days that I am so overwhelmed, I don't even want to figure out what to have for dinner, much less actually prepare it. 

Don't get me wrong. I am grateful to have such sweet, adorable kids. But some days I'm just not up for it. Not up for the responsibility. Not up for the decisions. Not up for the tiredness. Not up for being an example to two impressionable children when all I really want to do is scream. When my child has disobeyed me for the 50th time that day or has come out of his room 10 times to tell me that the air is too loud or that our one light is too bright for him to sleep and the baby is crying on top of it, I just want to run screaming to the hills. 

I'm tired of wanting to be a better parent and feeling like I'm failing again and again, despite my good intentions. Despite my desire to not repeat patterns of yelling and controlling. I'm tired of the house being a mess. Everywhere I look. There's not one clean space. The kitchen is full of dirty dishes. The counters are cluttered. Elias' room is messy. Even the baby/computer room is not neat. And our room? I just shut my eyes as I walk through so I don't have to see it.

I'm tired of being behind on the laundry. I'm tired of feeling like I am never getting anything done. I'm supposed to tame all this chaos and still maintain a good attitude and have fun and enjoy my children. I don't want them to look back and think Mom was always stressed and/or mad. I want them to look back on childhood with fondness. 

So what do I do? What's the answer? Is there an answer? I guess the key is keeping calm and controlling myself in the midst of the madness. It reminds me of a poem I once memorized. I never liked poetry, mainly because I didn't "get" it. But this one I remember. "If you can keep your head when all about you....are losing theirs and blaming it on you....If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you....and make allowance for their doubting too..." I don't remember the rest. But the point is that I have to choose to be happy and have fun. In the mess. Right smack in the middle of it all. Because if I wait until the laundry's done, the house is clean, the bills are all paid (oops!), I'm well-rested and all is peaceful, it will NEVER happen. When NOTHING is the way I want it, I still have a choice to make. 

I guess that's where prayer and trust come in. And maybe that's the point of it all. To make me realize I am NOT up to the task. Not in my own strength. Maybe I'm supposed to come to the end of myself and depend on God. You know, I think that *is* the point. "Rejoice in the Lord always." Hm.. How else can we do that unless we are relying on Him? If we wait for perfect circumstances or even mildly okay ones, we won't be doing much rejoicing. Maybe that's the key to handling my Star-Wars-question-asking, fish food-eating, non-sleeping ten-year-old, screaming baby, messy house and never-ending mountain of laundry. A healthy dose of humor might not hurt either. My son told me this morning that he ate some of the fish food just because he wanted to know what it tasted like. I had to laugh. So maybe *that* had something to do with throwing up last night? It never ends......

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