Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Today's Grade: Fail

So by this afternoon, I was done. Done like dinner. Oh wait, dinner wasn't done and I still needed to feed the kids. By 4, I was completely wrung out, crying, yelling, frustrated and defeated. But guess what? Just like every other mom out there, I couldn't actually just give in and be done. Nope, there were kids to be fed. Faces to be washed. Teeth to be brushed. Jammies to be wrangled onto small bodies. Stories to be read. Lullabies to be sung. Prayers to be said. Driving teens around to be done. Chores to be done. More prayers and lullabies. Babies to be nursed and comforted. Repeat.

I took the littles to play group this morning and it was great until poor Monkey got something in his eye that we couldn't seem to flush out. So we went home a few minutes early. I had asked the boys to quickly do their chores while I was gone so that we could go out when I got home. Field trip day!
I bet you can't figure out what happened while I was gone! Nothing. They did nothing.
So I was a bit frustrated, but it was early and I asked them to quickly get them done. By 4 o'clock, they had still not completed the 10 to 15 minutes worth of work I had asked of them. For 5 hours I reminded, scolded, reminded, helped along, reminded, separated fighting kids and tried to get them back on task. By 4, I had resorted to trying to scare Superboy (11) with my loud voice into actually finishing the loading of the dishwasher. I had lost it. I was done.
All I had wanted to do was to take them out for some fun. Instead I waited for them all bloody day. And we did nothing. Well, they fought with each other and chased each other around the house. So that is something.
Now, I had been taking it easy on them this week. No school, very little chores. Giving grace and just dropping everything and taking them for a treat or some fun. Today, all I wanted was to not leave a food mess all over the house. So I asked them to do their regular, every day chore and expected it to be done. I thought, and still think, that if I said we could go when they were done, that I need to hold them to that. You know, consistency, follow-through, all that jazz. Anyhoo... needless to say, it was not one of my finest days.
So by evening, I just couldn't cope anymore. I wanted my hubby home desperately. I still had a laundry list of stuff to do before I could have my peace and quiet, a list I couldn't face, but had to. I so wished that I didn't have to make dinner. I just threw some pasta on to go with the yummy sauce I made yesterday and I took a fork to the leftover chocolate cake.
I spent most of my evening in tears. I still did the bedtime routines and there was something redeeming in that. I made sure that I apologized to each kid for yelling and that I spent some special time with them. I made sure that I let myself enjoy each of them and smiled real smiles at them, even though I was feeling kind of dead inside. My big boys even made me laugh with their boxer shorts polka jig!

I have really been able to feel the presence of God surrounding me and uplifting me in the last 3 weeks that my hubby has been gone. I have intensely felt that it has not been my strength, but God's that has sustained me. And apparently I forgot that today. I forgot to let go. I struggled and fought and tonight as I spoke to my hubby and told him that I needed him to come home NOW, I didn't even want to pray for God to help me again. I just wanted to pray for him to bring my hubby home. I didn't want to need God's strength in this. I just wanted it to be done and over with. But I do. I always need God. I am not strong enough, and my husband is not to carry me. That is for God. And He is enough.

hmm... maybe I learned something afterall...


  1. I have "Fail" days many days. (Or at least I feel like I do)

    It may not seem like it--but I think you're managing the stress of your husband being away quite well--

    I'm not sure how you do it, really. I think by this time, I would have just given up! (But that's me--I so rely on the Silent Husband)

    Hang in there Mama, you're surviving! ;)

  2. I think you're amazing. I lose it sometimes too, and have to apologize to my kids. But I hope that your big boys, at least, apologized to you too?

  3. awww - sorry to hear it was such a rough day. I think we all have days like that when our patience is just maxed out. You've been prayed for :)

    And I hope today is a better one, with lots of cooperative little people jumping to be helpful. Your day has been prayed for too :)

  4. I think all moms have these rough days. (: You are a great Mom. Hugs and more hugs to you.

  5. It's easy to lose sight of those things you mention at the end, when you are in the middle of all the "madness."

    I hope today is better and I'm not sure when your hubs is due home but I hope it's soon!!

  6. I'm so sorry you had such a bad day yesterday and I sure hope today was better for you. God does help carry the burdens but he doesn't give the baths or wrangle those jammies onto little bodies, does he. I will keep you in my prayers that you stay strong and handle everything with the grace that is YOU!

    Take care and I'll see you soon - Kellan

  7. My heart goes out to you as I read your post. I pray that you had a better day today. :)

  8. WHat a rough day. My heart goes out to you - and I hope and pray hubby comes home soon.

    HUGS. Lots of 'em!

  9. Here's to a better day where your kids listen and do what they are told!

    I think we've all been there.

  10. What a tough day! I always feel so guilty after I have a day like that, like if I had been a better mother, I wouldn't feel resentful of the situation, or angry, or impatient. But, God doesn't work that way. Lessons learned, eh?

  11. Everything above applies, ma'am--but I must advise (or remind) you of one characteristic of small children. They live only in the now. If right now you go easy on them and have fun with them and don't enforce their routine, they immediately think that's how it should be ALL THE TIME, and when you bring them back to their routine, they resist with everything they have because to their young minds that's not how it should be now. I'm not saying never have fun, but routine is a critically important thing for children to have.

    That said, when your husband gets home, kiss him, thank God, and get some sleep. :-)

  12. I'm sorry you had such a rough day. I hope that you were able to have a better time this weekend. How much longer will your husband be gone?

  13. Actually sweetie you are plenty strong. That's a lot of kids you are single parenting right now over there, and you are tired.
    You have pretty well super human strength from where I sit. You
    are mostly amazing. That you aren't always amazing every minute of every day is the normal part.
    And maybe they were having a bad day too and just couldn't get it together. Sometimes you have to know when to bag it and tell everybody that you are tired and let's make pasta together and leave this unholy mess for tomorrow.
    I bagged it a couple times a month and the relief was always palpable. The good news is the sun still comes up and after a good night's sleep it usually all looks better....Hope today was fun.

  14. Sounds like a rough day but we all get 'em and we all need God. Well, I do at least. And I am still morphing as well. It's a journey!

  15. Ah yes.... I wish I could always manage my household with nary a raised voice or angry word. I WISH! But some days.... And in this case, it does seem the kids had earned themselves a little righteous anger. I have been known to apologize to my kids for yelling, but not for being angry. Resisting doing one's chores and being helpful to one's mama is a simple invitation to get oneself in trouble. Don't you think? :)

  16. I would actually not call your day a fail. You are one amazing mommy in my mind!
    I'm proud of you and you continue to inspire me:)
    Bless you as you navigate this hard time with out Big B. I wish I lived closer every day!