It is well before 5am and I should be doing lots of things other than blogging. The number one being sleeping. But sleep is for the weak. Or at least for those without kids. I vaguely remember a time when I could sleep when I was tired. It was a while ago, though, so the memory is foggy. I am pretty sure I was also better looking, I could also eat with 2 hands, come and go as I wished, and my butt and nose wiping duties were limited to myself. But then again, I also had no tiny chubby fingers wrapped around my neck, no “Mama, these are the best pancakes ever!” declarations at the breakfast table, and no tiny giggles and furious claps when I enter the room.
The trade off is sooo worth it. Every day. Every minute. The mix of fabulous victories, dull moments of boredom, squeals of delight, dirty hands, frustration, wiping, cleaning the endless mess created, lots of drama and some tears, belly laughs, sighs of exasperation, giggles, discovering new things, “firsts,” eating and snacking and eating again. But it is also really hard. Harder then I ever thought it would be. Maybe it is that in the rush of excitement when you are pregnant no one ever tells you how difficult parenting is. How much you will feel your former self slipping away, how much patience you will be required to muster and request everyday, how many tears you will shed, how many things about yourself you will discover that you don’t like. Or maybe they do and I just didn’t listen. Yep, I think the me not listening part is more accurate.
Social media is suspicious. And I say that as a blog-addict and one whose very limited communication with friends and family is restricted to the old but still kickin’ laptop in front of me. Part of blogging is only presenting the world with your version of yourself: the Sunday best, cleaned up, sparkly version of yourself even. It shows up in edited pics, funny stories, witty anecdotes, and insightful life lessons all effortlessly put out into cyberspace.
It is life to be sure but just shinier.
But the problem is that leaves off a lot. Of real life. Or at least mine. Perhaps some out there have perfectly behaved and cutely dressed kids who only mutter quirky lil’ bits of heaven. Maybe some couples have a marriage where you are never jerks to one another and choose to always work through the hurt even though it is painful. Maybe there are even those who are completely fulfilled, challenged, and filled with joy every moment they are working. Who never feel like a failure. But I doubt it.
I don’t want to leave off those moments either because they are part of the molding and the making. The shifting and the stretching. The wishing and the weeping. The me.
I had a crappy day yesterday. I am not sharing for sympathy or even empathy but rather because I am committed to documenting, or at least trying to, this journey of mine. Even the crap-tastic stuff.
Pretty much I was a jerk. Insert here the long list of really frustrating things that happened like no power all day, stifling heat, our washing machine broke with laundry inside that started to mold, running out of water at our house at the precise moment I was covered in poop from an epic Evy blowout, and Anni being in rare form. All that stuff sucked to be sure but I chose to let it dictate my day. I was snarky at Jason. After Anni and Lusi colored on the house yet AGAIN and I punished her she yelled at me “I don’t like you Mama!” to which I responded but punishing her yet again. I told her that she hurt my feelings and that I did not care if she didn’t like me I loved her and would not allow her to disrespect our family rules. Plus, in my defense I think ‘no defaming things’ is pretty good prep for the future rule. But the truth is I lied. I do care when she says that. It hurts a lot because I try really hard and although I want her to love me always I want her to like me too. Jason got home and I taught shule but not with a joyful heart. I wanted to run and hide. I wished it would start down pouring and I could cancel without having to give a reason. To hide or go to sleep so I could “start over” today. I got upset at the kids for not listening when really they were restless because of my poor planning. I took away their game time and could not wait for it to be 6pm so I could send them home. I went inside to a crabby Evy who insisted on being held while I tried to piece together a dinner. Right as a I got everything for make-shift assemble your own tacos on the table I walked into the kitchen to grab drinks only to come back and discover Miss Anni grabbing fistfuls of shredded cheese and transferring them to her already filled plate. She proceeded to drop about half of the cheese on the floor and before I even took a breath I grabbed her hand and yelled at her. Like hollered. I did not take a minute to remember she is only 4. To think about the fact that cheese is pretty fabulous (and rare here) and that she was probably just excited about eating cheese. She had no sneaky plan to make me crazy (too late) and she did not deserve my wrath. I let my stewing, brewing, crap-tastic emotions spew all over my child. It was everything all at once. I feel like most days I cannot control anything and just wanted to control that moment. I wanted to eat dinner as a family with no one crying, whining, creating havoc, or talking back. But the truth is that is not reality. I sat silent covered in my own pride for about 2 minutes before I was so convicted that I needed to explain to Anni that I was so sorry and ask for her forgiveness. Then I asked for His. Anni had tears in her eyes and forgave me. Now, I suppose if I were sitting on a counselor’s couch somewhere I could blame some of my past where my Dad screaming at us was more than frequent but the reality it this is now my issue to own. Healing takes time but it does not happen with only the passage of time. It requires thought and action. I cannot let the quiet rage I feel build. I need to seek strength from the Source in the midst of my brokenness. I need to beg for help in becoming slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to become angry. I need to remember that when I try of myself to change it will be fruitless. And I am able to process, realize, and repent more now than in years past but I still lose patience. Mostly with myself. Thus, lack of sleep. Because it is not only me or Jason that is affected by my crap-tastic-ness. I say it a lot but I am IN process…
This morning after a few more stinging well intentioned jabs J and I finally let our walls down. We talked, cried, vented, and processed. Jason said. “we are both passionate, stubborn people who believe with utter conviction what we say. And so is Annikah. But, that is way better than being boring, right?”
I loved him more for that.
I agree and again am grateful I can be united with someone who sees my flaws in living color and still loves me and believes in the Spirit’s work in my life.
That I want my life to be about Kindness. Love. Passion. Forgiveness (myself and others). Joy. Peace. Patience. Faithfulness. Truth. Growing pains are inevitable and are also where real learning, praying, humility, and love comes from. He who began a good work in me will carry it onto to completion even when I struggle to see how. Even when I stumble and fail. Even more so then because I can see My Need clearly. Because being remade by Him is not easy but it is a life worth living.