….I will miss these days of having small watoto. That is what “people” tell me. Days of constant noise and activity. Of being needed every second. Of being so involved in every aspect of my children’s days.

That day is not today.

I knew the day was not going to be fabulous right about the time I pulled a worm out of Anni’s butt this morning. For sure an over share but I and this blog are committed to reality and that is about as real as it gets from our house today.

We were already behind when the day started. I am recovering from a breast infection (self diagnosed mastitis but I had one early on with Evy so I knew the symptoms and it is pretty wicked). J searched out some meds and I am feeling better but still exhausted from a couple nights of not sleeping because of the pain. Last night when Evy woke up for the third time screaming at 3:30am we let her cry for almost an hour (she did not need to nurse since she just had eaten an hour before and we are trying to get her to sleep through the night so want to avoid giving in to her attempted totalitarian regime). She still will not take a paci ever and gives me this “what are you thinking shoving that plastic thing in my mouth woman?” look every time I try…sigh… so she cries some nights. After she finally whimpered her way to sleep and as soon as we had fallen back asleep we were awaken by Annikah standing crying next to our bed. She had pooped everywhere. Her PJ’s were covered, her bed, everything and it reeked of death. After cleaning up everything in our half-comatose state we gave her a bath and got her settled back in her room. Collapsed back in bed. 10 minutes later Evy wakes up and starts making noise. At this point I figured there was no hope and “took one for the team” and got up, took Evy out of the room and started breakfast. There is just something wrong about eating breakfast at 6am on a Sunday. Anni said her tummy was hurting again and after some examination of her stomach and bottom I thought maybe she had a rash so I got some diaper rash cream and as I was about to apply it I saw a white thing sticking out! I pulled out a worm! My nasty things I have done-meter is going up for sure living here and worms are common for kids (especially ones that think they are an African and thus do all things her friends do). Gross but not a huge deal as we have done the de-worming you kid thing before. Jason was up at this point and after eating a quick breakfast we sent him out to find a deworming med we knew worked well. Good thing we had eaten and cleaned up by 8am because that is when we got our first guest. I was not in the mood but tried my best to be a good host. They did not stay long and Jason arrived back with meds. After we tried to do family church but J and I ended up in an argument I cannot even remember what about now. After that with Annikah happily watching a movie and Evy asleep we thought that maybe we could have an adult conversation but Evy awoke and immediately started screaming from the other room (she has started this new shrieking thing which absolutely grates and sounds as though she is being stabbed with needles. This started the same time her 2 bottom teeth made their appearance last week). Anni also sensed I needed to be pushed over the edge and took every opportunity today to irritate and pester her already crabby sister and just for kicks to whine about everything.

It was too much. I wanted to run far far away. I just needed an hour with no one calling out a desperate “mama” or screaming or crying. With no one pooping, peeing, spitting up, needing to eat, or having a tragedy that required my attention. With no one clawing, biting, pinching, sucking on, or grabbing at me. I was spent and it was only 9:30am. In Mama World that is no good.

I wish I could say I dealt with this all by turning every negative into an opportunity to show love. I did not. I was pretty much not feeling the parenting with love thing today and mostly just tried to survive until bedtimes. It showed. I was reminded of my funky attitude when Anni asked “Mama, why you talk in a nasty voice?” Gulp. It was like I saw my gross attitude spewing out all over my family in slow motion but was powerless against it. I am not trying to get out of my responsibility. I take full ownership of my ICK and it’s affects on everyone around me but I really just was down today and unable to shake it off, pray through it, or power through. I totally let my attitude and my response to everything become reactive. My love for the people in my life does not depend on them doing everything I want them to do. That is not love at all. Sigh. Failure was epic for me today. And not “feel sorry for me” cuz I am overwhelmed failure. But like I want to learn and grow and not allow my circumstances to dictate my attitude and behavior. Thank you Jesus you do not love the way I did today.

On days like this I think back to my stereotypical notions of notions of baking fresh bread with hand washed laundry drying on the line while playing educational games with perfectly adjusted and respectful kids. Then I laugh (or cry) depending on my disposition at the moment. Today it was the latter. Today I just want 10 minutes (ok, really like a morning) to myself. I want to read or workout uninterrupted. Heck, I just want to pee without someone whining or needing something! I just want to live a bit closer (like less than half way across the whole world) from family that could be called in as reinforcements on days my crazed-Mama meter is blinking red. Jason offers to help and take the kids when he can and lets me have some “time” but really talking and thinking through it that is not really what it is. I realized tonight as I was reflecting that even time “away” is not really time AWAY from everything. I still need to prepare, instruct, and orchestrate everything that may occur while I am away. I still think about them all the time, I still am constantly aware of the time and the schedule (or supposed schedule) they are on, anticipating what needs there are, what disasters are lurking, heck, even my boobs are a constant reminder I am needed. All the time. God designed it this way and for me I have chosen to be in this role and I try really hard to live in the moment, be immersed in this role, in this space, in this now. But geesh, I just am tired. I think it hit me just how tired this morning when I had the vivid reminder that I am basically responsible for someone else’s butt. Not pretty.

Someone remind me in 10 or 20 years that I once was wishing to not be needed. For now I will pray and be thankful for the resources, support, encouragement, ability, and Grace I have to be a Mama. I think I will also cry a bit more, suck it up, put on my best Super-Mama cape and continue to do my Mama gig (lets hope no more wormy butts are involved!)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh man! What a day! You are an awesome mom and are doing such a great job. I already can see how exhausting parenting can be and also think many of the same things at times. Tomorrow is a new day and I pray that you'll be refreshed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    oh rox, that is intense!! “found worm in butt” is MUCH worse than “found hair in butt” love you, sister!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    So sorry bibi couldn't help give you a much deserved rest. The worm is really awful. I hate thinking it is normal for my grand daughter to have worms. Some can be very dangerous. Glad we got to Skype. Wish we could have seen you and the girls. Anni would love seeing how cute the puppies are now. You are an amazing Mother, because you do so much is such a difficult place without bibi help. Love you so. Wish you could have been at the lake with us.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Roxanne, I had tears in my eyes as I was reading your post. I'm so sorry and fully empathize with you. My prayers are with you friend. Hang in there, and know that I have days like that also have days like that. I love you. šŸ™‚

  5. Anonymous says:

    wow. i was crabby for NO REASON this weekend. this seriously lends some perspective on my lame bad mood. i did not clean up poop, pull worms from a butt, have a breast infection, or any of the other crazy stuff you just wrote about. you are unbelievable, my friend! praying for you and your kiddos' health.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Your humanity and your ability to write so eloquently about it, are an inspiration to all. I hate to say it, but your bad days are the best! You analyze and give it the perspective that I wish I could have had at your age! Love, Aunt Karen