There are so many times when I feel things as a Mom that I wonder "Does anyone else feel this way?" This leads me to googling different aspects of motherhood, usually things like "angry mommy, cranky mommy, etc." It's sometimes hard to find things written by other mothers that mirror my emotions, so I thought, hey, what the heck, I'd start a blog. Maybe it'll only help me as I vent, or maybe at least one other person will read it and go "yeah, that's me!" and we can walk on, each of us refreshed, knowing that we're not alone in this.

Friday, July 2, 2010

He Makes Me Lie Down in Green Pastures

So today, while driving the kids to the museum, I realized that perhaps it's been awhile since I've had some "me time". Sometimes, I'll be going along with this mothering thing full steam ahead, and we're having a great time, and everythings a-okay (for the most part), and I think "Nah, I'm cool...I don't need a break from this." But then, as time goes by, I start to get a little snippier with the kids. I find myself raising my voice a little too often and a little too quickly. I start finding myself more easily irritated by silly kid things that shouldn't be so annoying to me. And the final clencher, the big indicator that Mommy needs some alone time to focus on being an individual and not a mother, is that I start feeling trapped in this lifestyle and like these kids are cramping my style.

Yeah, I always promised that this blog would be honest and raw, so there you have it.

It's funny...you more often hear of daddies wanting to run away from their households, not mommies. Although maybe it's more common than we know. But sometimes, I just want to deposit my kids somewhere safe, where they'll be loved and taken care of (like with their daddy), and just head out on the open road. Let go of this domestic life, shake off these "chains" I've willingly saddled myself with, and get back in touch with who I am as a person. What IS "my style", after all?

For the record, my husband is awesome at letting me get alone time when I need it. I guess the problem is with me...I just think I don't need the time, and then I don't take it, and then...uh-oh...Mommy's not doing so well. Can anyone say "self-sabotage"?!

I. Need. Space.

Granted, life as a parent is all about sacrifice. It's about laying down your life for not only your spouse but also your children. We often don't get a chance to just step away of our responsibilities for awhile. And don't get me wrong, I've got a lot of help in that regard. My parents are such a blessing - they often babysit for us. And two weeks ago, we took a week-long trip away from the crew (although we had the baby with us), and that was good and hard, all at the same time. (I think that's TOO much "space"...I missed my kiddos so badly!) But sometimes, sometimes, a person needs time alone. A-L-O-N-E. Time to reconnect with our inner selves. Time to refocus on what our life is about. Time to talk to Jesus and listen to what He says.

Maybe the solution here is me getting myself out of bed earlier in the morning and getting quiet time every day. I KNOW that would be helpful. But...oh, so pathetic, I know...I'm so tired! And I have to confess, I DO stay up late, because that's time to get stuff done without the kids around! Time with husband, time for work, time for other stuff.

Blah. Maybe I'm complaining too much. But, regardless, I sense that all is not well on the inside, and something's gotta give. I think I'll be headed somewhere on my own sometime soon. A coffee shop. A bookstore. A mini-roadtrip. Time to renew, time to refresh. I love this team of people I'm traveling with, but sometimes, this girl needs to break away from the path and "lay down in green pastures." Moo.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mother's Day

I've been mulling something over since Mother's Day, and I figured I needed to blog about it to properly process it, but I've been putting it off. My kids are playing quietly right now, so I'm gonna go for it. :)

It all started with preparation for Mother's Day. A few days before, I remembered something I overheard my mom say to a friend, "Mother's Day is more important to me than my BIRTHDAY!". I always thought that was a little strange, seeing as I'm waaaay into birthdays, but I tucked that little tidbit into my heart and made sure that I make my mom feel special and loved on her special day.

This year, however, I feel like I'm starting to understand where she's coming from. That Sunday morning was stressful and full of chaos, as usual, trying to get 5 little people ready, cute, and out the door as to not be more than 30 minutes late to church (sadly, our norm). I was up early making stuff manicotti so my parents could join us right after church and food would be ready. I spent the last 15 minutes before we walked out the door on myself, meaning a quick shower, semi-wet hair, and a thrown together outfit. I was feeling like a failure as a mother for several reasons, I'm sure, one being my lack of sweetness and my impatience with my kids.

When we got to church, they played little video snippets of different people honoring their moms, and while it was so awesome to hear, it was kind of discouraging to me, because I kept asking myself, "What would MY kids say 10 or 20 years from now about ME?". (Maybe this was the point...it sure made for some heartfelt repentence during the ministry time!)

But I realized, you know, yeah...Mother's Day IS important, probably because there are so many of us mothers who feel like we're doing a horrible job, who feel like total failures at this motherhood thing. It's almost like, turning another year older, whoo-hoo, big deal...I do that whether I'm good at it or not. But MOTHERING...now THAT'S hard work! My whole LIFE has changed because I'm a mother, not to mention I have discovered how much I need God's grace and mercy DAILY to effectively lead and disciple and love these kids He's given me.

So I think I'm siding with my mom on this whole "really whoop it up on Mother's Day" thing, even though neither she nor I nor anyone else would probably admit out loud WHY this day is so important to us. I think it comes from a deep need, a deep wound, a deep sense of insecurity about our job performance. Not that we need to be lauded and stroked, but just that we need to be encouraged. "You're doing a good job, lady...hang in there!" or "I know it looks like I never listen to you, Mom, but once a year, I can admit that you make a lot of sense." You know, those kinds of things.

So happy belated Mom's Day, friends. Hug yourselves and know that you're loved, know that you're cherished, know that it's gonna be worth it all!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Here We Go...

Wow - long time no blog. Been resisting and completely intentionally avoiding this blog for the past few months. Don't know why, but hey, at least I'm back now.

Today is "Field Day" for my two oldest kiddos, and the morning was less-than-ideal for what should be a fun-filled day. Hubby and I were both incredibly grumpy (nevermind that I was up til 2am), and our poor children stumbled out the door in tears.

I feel horrible now, now that I've had time to wake up a little more and process. These are the times I wish I could send flowers to their school...something happy and bright, with a note asking for forgiveness for being so darn grumpy. Or call them up on a cell phone right in the middle of a math test..."Hey, sorry, real quick: I love you. Sorry Mommy was a jerk this morning." Wouldn't that be great? I think I'll write them a note apologizing so they can have it and keep it and read it again the next time I pummel them with my crankiness. Sigh.

This parenting stuff, it's hard! I know they're only kids...I shouldn't be annoyed that my daughter freaked out about having to have a sack lunch today right as it was time to walk out the door, or that she left her glasses at church the other night. Nevermind that my son suddenly decided he didn't like grilled cheese even though he's liked it for 7 years. Nevermind that they were stomping and clomping around the house and arguing with everything we said, waking up their little siblings (way too early!). I remember being a kid. I remember how annoying I was, but I know it wasn't intentional.

This is where we need that verse about how God's mercies are new every morning. Except I need them to be "new" TWICE every morning. That way, when I blow it the first time around, come 9am, I can get some more!

So here we go on our busy day, hoping for the best from the littles since they didn't get much sleep, but bracing myself in case we have some extra meltdowns. I'm operating on 4 hours of sleep, so this could get ugly. Won't be able to take a nap today either. Oh...help! Lord, help!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rise & Shine

So this morning, we were short on clean laundry. My son was sentenced to wear some pleated khaki Dockers, and let's just say he was less than thrilled. Ten minutes after being told to put them on, I find him crouched in his room in a corner, ultimately depressed and horrified to be seen in the pants. Mercifully, we found a pair of jeans right as they were walking out the door to leave for school, so Jeremy let him change. He really didn't look bad, but I'm trying to remember what it was like as a kid. It's good his daddy had compassion.

On another note, I've been waging a war against early rising. When the big kids rush out the door in the mornings, they've been waking the little kids up, and it's driving me batty. I got some room-darkening curtains for their room, thinking I'd outsmarted the sunshine, but no no no they're still waking up. I know I shouldn't complain so much b/c some kids wake up at like 6am or something, and 7:30 isn't too horrible, but here's the honest truth: I'M JUST NOT READY TO START MY DAY THAT EARLY. Meaning....I'm not ready to start my job - my WORK - being a Mom - that early. After waking up with the baby and feeding him, I really want to just snuggle back into bed. Or at least have some time with just me and God - some quiet time - some reflection time - time to gear up for the day. When the littles wake up early and immediately come TO me, my insides are screaming for SPACE and privacy (you know....the 2 things we as moms sign away in the delivery room).

I've retreated to our computer/music room while they're snuggled up in blankets watching cartoons on PBS. Sweet little girls. I love them. I've got all the blinds opened in this room I'm in and it's filled up with morning sun, and it's invigorating. My mood is lifting. I wish I were sitting out in the country on a front porch with a cup of coffee and dew fresh on the grass. Maybe a deer off in the distance. Some birds digging in the soft morning dirt. But for now, I'll enjoy this peaceful view of my surprisingly, for the ghetto, peaceful neighborhood. Something about the quiet of a morning that replenishes your soul. "Be still, and know that I am God." It's good to be still. And it's good that "He restores my soul."

Doesn't our Father know exactly what we need? It's good...it's good that MY Daddy has compassion.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I feel like the past few years of my life have been spent learning humility. For an almost-only child who grew up without siblings to fight with and who pretty much thought the world revolved around her, this is actually a good thing. I'm not saying I'm enjoying it...it's trying, for sure. But oh, so needed.

The more I think about it, I would say the whole humility thing started with having kids. I mean, what's more humbling than having your legs spread apart and a room full of people staring at your crotch while you try to push a watermelon through...well...you know what I'm saying. After that, it was the nursing...having those "whoops" moments when feeding your ravished newborn in public but not having quite mastered the art of keeping everything covered. Then, as the kids mature, it's the meltdowns in the middle of the grocery store aisle, or the sheer amount of time spent with your rear in the air as you bend down to tie shoes, put on socks, pull up training pants, etc. etc. Yes...this mothering thing should be practiced in monasterys around the world!

But that aside, I'm praying that I learn to love humility. See, there's a verse I found this morning that I've heard a million times, but reading it again reminded me of its significance:

"Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion."-Phil. 2:5-7 (The Message)

There's something in me that feels the need to explain...to prove myself...to make sure people know my capabilities or my talents - my giftings. To prove that I'm not just some lady who's barefoot and pregnant all the time (although my friend Jeni is right...I AM!), to let them know that I didn't grow up over in the ghetto (even though that's where we currently reside), to let them know I'm educated, etc. But you know what? Who cares?!! Just me, really. So instead, I just keep quiet, even though everything in me is screaming out to be really known. I'll admit that most of the time, I don't keep quiet on my own...usually, the situation affords me no luxury of explaining things to onlookers...but I'm praying that I, too, will "live a selfless, obedient life" with a thousand daily cruxifications of MY plan, MY will, MY need to be respected blah blah blah. I want to embrace humility. If the greatest person who ever lived was able to do it (and asks US to do it), it must be worthwhile. It must be worth it. It must be the best thing for us, with a higher goal, a deeper purpose, a beautiful result.

Here's a thought to close: Wasn't it just like God to rub shoulders with the lowely and the despised? I'm so glad He wasn't haughty when He came. I'm so glad He embraced lepers and spit in the dirt and cursed at fig trees. He didn't have to be this way...He didn't have to be a God so near. And He chose "the foolish things of the world to shame the wise." The lowly things, the disgraced, and He came right into our world, beginning with dirty hay, fleas, rats, cattle, sheep, a feeding trough, a carpenter, and a teenage girl. WOW.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My List

nevermind...i was typing - almost done - and my 4 y/o came in and pushed the delete button. it's all gone. sigh. don't have it in me to retype right now.

raw mommyhood.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

H(cr)appy Christmas Eve Eve

I had high hopes of a beautiful evening. The "Christmas at Belmont" special, hosted by Trisha Yearwood (one of my fave singers), was on PBS at 7, and I had whipped up a yummy pasta dish for supper at the last minute. The hubby has been working late the past few nights trying to wrap up a project before Christmas. But I planned for the kids and I to get the house cleaned after supper, then I would cook up a batch of cookies and we'd watch the TV special together. WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

The house cleaning had its moments of triumph. The older 2 really pitched in and the oldest did a thorough bathroom cleaning all by herself. She really is amazing! After I had washed the dinner dishes, I found out that the sponge she used to clean the bathroom had been put...in...the...sink. SO. I tried to have a cheery attitude, but I failed, and I had to redo all the dishes I had just attacked with a fury.

By the time the special was airing, the kids were watching it while I was on cookie duty, except they were laughing and making fun of the choral singers, the male ballet dancers, etc. Not that I blame them a whole lot, but it just wasn't the time and place to be doing that. (you know, in the safety and comfort of our home.uh...) but anyways, it was bedtime and a privilege for them to stay up, so one by one, I sent rowdy kid after rowdy kid to bed, cookie-less and loudly protesting. So much for hearing the TV show. I tried. I tried to block out the screaming and thrashing and complaining and questioning. My eldest remained on the couch, wanting to snuggle. Sigh. I tried not to reject her - tried to explain that Mommy was in a really cranky mood and that I really didn't want to snuggle, but that I loved her and maybe she could come just sit next to me quietly. Yeah. I know. But that's what I said.

After the special (after a few cookies and spoons full of cookie dough), this same daughter sighed and said "Maybe tomorrow, you'll be a better mommy!" as she slinked off to bed. And I retorted loudly that I WAS a good mommy today and that I needed time to NOT be a mommy before I went to sleep tonight.

Let me just add that we had a good day together, all of us. In fact, the past 3 days haven't been awful, and maybe even a bit pleasant. (Having the big kids home from school all day AND not having Jeremy around in the evening.) But tonight, tonight, I just didn't hold together well at all. I'm a little ashamed. I still loved on them. I alternated barking and loving, and my 2 year old is still yelling for me to come cover her up, even though she's perfectly capable of doing it herself. I've already had to discipline her twice tonight, and to be honest, I don't have it in me to go do it again. So I'm just pretending I don't hear her. Nevermind that she's keeping everyone else from falling asleep.

Anyone have a stiff drink? Or at least a stiff latte? Here's a book title I came up with once..."My Kids Drove Me to Drinking".

Alright...signing off...Jim Brickman's Christmas CD is on, all lights but the tree are off, and I'm hoping to get some true quiet time to just contemplate all the ways I failed today as a mother. KIDDING!

...kind of. :)