The last time we were at the old house finishing up some stuff, Les turns to me and tells me, “Between the puppies and Gabriel, I have no idea how you get anything done!!”
With a smirk on my face, “Why do you think you occasionally get texts from me that say, ‘I conquered the world today!’ – because I don’t get everything done everyday.”
This is the realistic side of parenthood. Some days, you feel like you accomplished next to nothing other than feeding your children and watching out for their safety. Other days, you’re on fire! You catch up on all the laundry and dishes. Made an elaborate meal. Not only did you finish school work without any tantrums, you also did a project!
Just like life has it’s ups and downs as it never stays stagnate – thus is day to day life as a parent.
On the days I feel like I got nothing done, realistically I did. My children were fed, cared for, dressed, warm, protected. We had talks about treating others with love and respect. We talked about and practiced making better choices. Sometimes it was as simple as snuggling up on the couch, watching their favorite show while they’re sick, and taking care of them. I may not be keeping up with my chores but I was most assuredly tending to their hearts and needs.
On the days we feel like we’re getting nothing done, more than likely we’re reworking our children’s foundations…making sure it is sturdy and withstanding. It might not be the immediate progress you like to see but you’ll get to step back and admire the adults you helped to shape later.
I imagine it would be much like weaving an intricate carpet. As you’re up close and weaving each strand, you notice the kinks, the missed weave, the knot from a stubborn piece of yarn. Some of the work may be harder than others and as you set all the materials down and step back to take a look – you are simply frustrated. It’s not how you wanted it to look! But…you come back the next day and start re-working and working on it again. Sometimes you may need to go find the master weaver and ask for some advice on your carpet. You may even walk by other weavers’ carpets to get ideas. With time, a hefty amount of patience, maybe even some feelings along the lines of ‘what’s the point!’ – you finally step back and notice that it’s all starting to come together.
Last night, I was definitely at the ‘what’s the point!’ phase. One of my children…again…did something we’ve parented with him for the umpteenth time. We have tried everything to encourage him to make a better choice yet nothing seems to be working. I’m emotionally burnt out. Spent. I truly don’t know what will work to get him to stop making this same poor choice over and over again.
I even gave serious consideration to sticking the boys in a school next year. The problem is that I’m not getting rid of any my problems that way – just putting them off until later in the day. Or…spending all day at the school when the same problems start manifesting themselves there as well in addition to dealing with them later in the day. It doesn’t seem to be a viable option but my sanity is on the line here.
Interestingly enough, I was talking to someone today about parenting and burn out. I think I may have found a therapist for our family. I emailed him today, told him a little bit about our situation, and asked if he’d be willing to work with us. He’s an Orthodox deacon who specializes in trauma for families. I have high hopes that he will say yes.
We’re days away from Christmas and for a plethora of reasons, we haven’t done any of our normal Christmas traditions yet. It’s in the late night of a quiet house that I think about what is truly important to me. Yes, I still want to attempt to get in some of our Christmas traditions but more importantly I want my kids healthy, safe, and happy. I’m tending to little hearts and taking one moment at a time. It’s in those moments where I feel I can go no further that I realize God is holding on to me. Telling me, “You won’t fall. I’ve got you.” And…I don’t. I get up the next morning and keep going. As much as I’ve joked I’m going to go insane, I haven’t yet. I keep plugging away trying to find a different route to reach my young boys’ hearts. I’m just a normal mom trudging along trying to cherish, love, and guide all of my children.