It was full of discipline. It was full of demonic attack. It was full of me feeling isolated, alone, and betrayed. It was full of anger with myself and others. It was full of yelling. I don't want to admit that, but what good does it do me or others to deny it? I yelled at my children last week. A lot. And I'm not proud of it.
So last Wednesday when I was, quite frankly, at my wit's end after having spent the sum of 60 minutes trying to get me and 5 small people ready for church, all while simultaneously dealing with fighting, screaming, disobeying, and my own crazy hair...after having laid my head on the steering wheel in the van and just crying out, "Jesus. Jesus. Jesus..."
There was silence from them. I said afterwards that it was either from the Holy Spirit gently prompting them to tone it down, or from fear that mom had absolutely lost her mind. There was blessed silence. And in that silence I finally had time to think.
I didn't need a break. I needed better coping skills.
See this whole mom of five business is HARD. I read this really amazing blog post today that just phrases it so much better than I could have. He read my mail. He gets it.
I have added two children to my family who, in addition to being preschoolers and male (which means wild, adventurous, ornery, and schisty, among other things) came from a very HARD, inconsistent, painful upbringing. I had no fleeting notions that this would be all cupcakes and sugar crystals. Believe me, I didn't. But there is no possible way to prepare yourself for this transition we've been in. I equate it to trying to train yourself what it's like to have a newborn, after just giving birth, who is constantly crying and hanging on your boob, all hours of the day and night, and you had no idea it would be like this. And you wouldn't trade it for the world, because it's right and good and you look in their eyes and see your heart. But it's hard. HARD.
And it passes. It does. It doesn't mean the hardship leaves, but it ebbs and flows and there's grace.
So I don't need a break. I need better coping skills. And I think I'm getting it. Maybe? Something along the lines of intentionally not yelling when I really want to, because it actually raises my blood pressure and makes me feel worse. And maybe going to hide in my bathroom with the door locked for a few minutes when I just can't take it anymore. And maybe it's saying/singing "Jesus" over and over again when I have completely lost control of them and my temper. And worship music. Everywhere. Often. Loudly.
I also have to remember I'm not alone. So many other women have trodden this path. Trod it with me now. Some are army man crawling through it with mud on their faces and dark circles under their eyes, smelling of urine (I have no idea) and lack of a shower, and rumblings of hunger. Some are walking. Some are jogging, Some are running. But at some point before or at some point in the future, another obstacle will come and we all know that army-man-mud-exhaustion-gross-hungry feeling. It's not fun. I had to remind myself last week that no one has it all together. It's a lie. A total lie. My mom friend with 8 kids has had days like this too. I'm not alone. No one is judging me (and my gosh if they are, they need to find something better to do with their time...like read the Bible).
I totally don't want to undermine the necessity and importance of breaks. I take advantage of them often. During naps. During bedtime. When Daddywayne is home. Yep. Love them breaks. In front of the TV. With the hidden snacks the kids can't have. And the laundry. And the quiet. That's some good stuff.
But my realization last week was that a break wouldn't solve my problem. Breaks give perspective. Breaks help you rest. But I needed to learn how to in the moment, deal with my issues. With my yelling. With my children. In love. With grace. With JESUS.
|On my chalkboard right now. Because I need the reminder. Daily.|