Saturday, November 21, 2009

One of Those Days

Today was one of those days that reminds you about the not so glamorous side of parenting. Let me walk you through my train wreck of an evening. It all started while I was at work today. With it being opening day of gun deer hunting season, we were DEAD. Things we so slow, which gets me all antsy because I end up either A: Watching the clock, B: Eating, C: Reading the newspaper, or D: All of the above. Today was definite a Choice D kind of day. All of a sudden, I started to get a headache. Within five minutes it had escalated to a full blown migraine, the kind where your vision gets funky and you're super-sensitive to light and sound. No sooner did this upgrade take place, but a toddler at the table right next to where I was trying to take an order melted down into a full blown tantrum complete with shrieking at the top of his lungs. Normally this wouldn't really get to me because I hear something quite similar on a regular basis from my kid, but the migraine made that boy's wails penetrate my brain like flaming swords. It was excruciating.

I finally headed home and planned on just taking it kind of easy to help appease my migraine. I got to relax until about 4:00 when Isaiah woke up from his nap. By this time, Evan had headed down to the basement to get to work on finishing his trim work. Isaiah woke up in a crazy bad mood and was screaming from the second he got out of bed. Cue: Micah! Baby brother promptly also woke up from his nap and not only refused to eat a bottle, but hollered at the top of his lungs. So, I have both boys screaming their bloody heads off at the same time. Remember that migraine??

Time for dinner. I make Isaiah a grilled cheese sandwich and he is actually coloring at the table rather calmly. Whew! All this goes out the window the second he sits down to eat. I move the colors away so he can eat and he immediately flies into a massive tantrum. I try my tried and true methods to calm him down and get him to eat, but instead he throws his plate to the floor, sending grilled cheese and ketchup everywhere. I put him into time out and try to hold it together while Micah screams from the Pack n Play, Isaiah screams from the naughty corner, and I go to clean up the mess. By this time, my head is hurting worse than ever and in the middle of this din the doorbell rings! Brian starts barking like Cujo on steroids and I open the door with a mop in my hand and two screaming children in the background to the Schwans man. Surprise!! I manage to stammer out that I don't need anything before Evan emerges from the basement to come lend a hand. I lose it. I slam the chairs back in place, throw the mop against the wall, scream a very nasty word at Evan, and collapse onto a stool and start to sob hysterically.

Wow. I'll spare you the gory details of the rest of the evening, but just know it was more of the same. I felt horrible, like I had completely lost control of my kids, my home, and myself. I just couldn't stop crying, no matter what I did. Isaiah said sorry, but I kept crying. When I put him to bed at 8:30, he was still screaming and I was still crying. I was left feeling like the worst Mommy in the world. Evan, the ever level-headed rock of a man that he is, was quick to reassure me that everyone has days like this where the deck seems stacked against them and that I shouldn't blame myself or feel guilty for how it went down. I know that logically makes sense, but I can't help but do exactly that. Isn't it my job as Mommy to keep a cool head and avoid stuff like this? Maybe, but perhaps I just also needed a reminder that I do need help, that parenting is not supposed to be easy. I found a verse from Psalms to help me feel better about this whole fiasco:

For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs. You have caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment. (Psalm 66: 10-12)

If parenting was a walk in the park, where everything came easily and we didn't have those days like today, I'd be willing to bet we wouldn't feel as fulfilled by it. There is nothing more fulfilling than those amazing moments with your child where you look at them and say to yourself, "This kid is amazing. I'm a good Mom." Those moments are EARNED, not given. Thank you, LORD, for reminding me today that parenting is so rewarding because it is so difficult.

After taking some cool-down time after Isaiah had gone to bed, I feel much better. I've stayed up past my bedtime to have some quiet time with God and to partake in my therapy - scrapbooking. I'll leave you with the fruit of my labor tonight, I layout I am very proud of and that represents a great catharsis for me. Looking at the sweet faces of my boys in these photos as I worked on this layout was a great reminder that I have great kids and I know that the awesome moments will make days like today just fade into the background.

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