Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013


It was one of those days where my head pounded, my jaw ached and my stomach churned. But my tongue felt fine because I yelled shouted screamed *ahem* spoke what I shouldn't have rather than biting it like I should have. I convinced myself I was a wretchedly inept, horrendously ineffective excuse for a maternal figure who should be promptly fired and sent to The Land Where There Are No Children as a vacation. Oops, Freudian slip, I meant punishment. Clearly. 

It was kind of like every day at the beginning of the home educating year when the kids are still wild with the intoxicating vitamin D overdose of summer daze and their mom is dreadfully mournful of the end of glorious freedom as we knew it, questioning why academics need be an essential part of life at all. Does anyone ever actually, like use algebra anyway, you know in their real life? 

Lucky for him, my stellar and ever-patient-with-me husband got to hear the whole lot of it when he got home from work. At 10:30 last night. Um, I am such a sweet wife.

I'll spare you most of the nitty gritty dirty sordid little details but it basically went something like this:

Me: I know I should be grateful. My children are healthy. I have the privilege of staying home with them. The time we spend together is precious to me. All in all we have a beautiful, blessed life full of abundance of which some can only dream. I have no worthwhile reason to complain.

















I may have mentioned that the bickering starts every.single.blessed.morning. at the breakfast table and lasts all the livelong day. Perhaps I said something about their complete lack of respect for what I say and that like a (cute) pack of feral dogs the way they incessantly ignore me as if I had no voice at all. Maybe I talked about the reminders I must give, correcting the.same.exact.things. and how closely my life resembles a real and true Groundhog Day where nothing changes and everything stays the terrible awful same. There's a chance I spoke of the constant chatter and commotion and mess and quarreling and ridiculous questions that they won't truly listen or understand the answers to anyway. I may have brought up the extensive list of broken/lost/stolen/left outside/carelessly misused items at the end of each week. I could have admitted my deep seated fear, that I am not fit for this role and I am damaging them, my precious beloveds beyond repair. My darling hunk of burning love may or may not have momentarily dozed off while I was pouring my pathetic heart out. Who can say? It was late and I was tired and I hardly remember.

(No one has ever accurately accused me of being only mildly melodramatic.)

The thing is, this isn't my first rodeo. I've been down this road before. Only to rise up again and summon the energy and dig deep for the patience and slow myself to savor the joy.

But I am no longer under any false impression that this will or should be easy or that because people are suffering in the world to a far greater extent than I, my life should be seamless. And to me, it doesn't necessarily seem all that invalid. Because, ladies, most of us feel it to the depth of our depleted being, this motherhood gig can be wicked hard. Those little (or big) people under our care are forever asking for a whole big lot of us, often with little or no regard to what they leave behind in their wake. It takes so, so, so much work. Although it is good work it is rarely ever easy and genuine replenishment can be elusive.

So today I'm going to cut myself some slack. Judging by the sounds of things out side my bedroom door as I type, my kids are rather unfazed by my less than exemplary parenting yesterday. They are going about life as usual, concerned only by their normal concerns. Lucky for me, they are exceptionally gracious forgivers, ever extending generous mercy toward their highly flawed but consistently faithful mother.

When life slows down and I stop to look into their eyes and engage in one-on-one conversation with them, I am humbled by the fascinating people they are busy becoming amid the chaos and noise and mess.

In many ways, I aim to be more like them.

{FUNdue for germaphobes in individual bowls!}


Mandy said...

i love reading you, girl. so brilliant with words.

Emily said...

big fat DITTO over here-- oh my word--- is it wrong that i pray for some of my kids to come down with laryngitis? just so i can have peace? and why- oh why must i repeat myself all the live long day--- yep-- so blessed to be able to stay home with the kiddos- and i DO love them- but LORD! some days !!!!

Erika Stanley said...

So glad to know that you're human and have moments when your kids aren't delighting your heart. :)

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