Kids for Sale

Friday, November 15, 2013

It's been a trying week.  Work, school, and life in general are swirling about me in non-stop motion.  I told my husband late one night that I felt like I was sucking water from a fire hose underneath an avalanche.  My girls have also been annoyingly "sort of sick" throughout the week.  You know the kind - just sick enough to keep them out of play dates and church nursery, to keep them whining throughout the day and night, to keep them crabby and demanding...but not sick enough to get snuggles or have them slow down at all.  How is it that kids can run a slight fever and run around the house like maniacs all at the same time?

classic hug-turned-strangle situation
Don't get me wrong, of course I don't want my kids to be so sick that they can't play.  I'm glad that their sniffles don't slow them down and that they are generally healthy as caged zoo monkeys.  But, it is exhausting to be with them and trapped in the house day after day trying to not let "The Little Mermaid" songs drive you batty.

As I was folding a volcanic mountain of laundry last night, I realized that God probably infiltrated stay-at-home-motherhood with mundane tasks like that (or doing dishes, or picking up toys, or wiping noses) so that we could feel again and again I'm so good at this to make up for the rest of the day filled with the frustrating doubts and infuriating challenges of thinking I can't handle these kids! What am I doing?!

I might not enjoy folding laundry or doing dishes or generally cleaning up after my little tornadoes, but it does fill me with a sense of pride that I can actually accomplish something ridiculously well in the midst of such loud, incessant, irrational pandemonium.  When I can stack a pile of clothes perfectly straight (which, inevitably get knocked over within seconds of completion), I can take one second of pride in the fact that I'm overqualified for the chores that this job requires.

Then, in the midst of a knock-down-drag-out battle over who gets to buckle Minnie Mouse in the toy stroller, it helps me take a deep breath and remember that I really have NO idea what I'm doing, but I'm still going to be okay.  This is normal.  This is motherhood.  And as quickly as the brawling began, it will all be over and we will probably all be crying into bowls of ice cream at 9 in the morning.

grumpy is as grumpy does
Early in the week, when I could have sworn it was almost bedtime and then realized we hadn't even had lunch yet (tick, tock) I had to just pray pray pray for the fruit of the Spirit to get me through.  I love these little beings more than my own life, and yet there are times I'm ready to post them in the FREE section of craigslist.  As I was literally knocked over the head with a lego block, I clenched my fists and bit my tongue.  And, in that split second all I could think was HOW in the world does God not just smite us all off the face of the planet each and every day?!?

If blatant disobedience, irrational fighting, and incessant demands are all it takes for me to lose my cool (and that's putting it lightly) then I have no capacity for understanding the grace of God and how the heck He compassionately forgives my stupidity day after day, hour by hour.  I need to tap into that mercy.  I need to channel that kind of only-through-Jesus compassion.  I need the patience that surpasses all rationale to be able to be the parent my girls need.

The reality is, I'm going to lose my mind in front of my girls sometimes.  I lose my temper so often I'm thinking of getting a GPS tracker for it.  Praise be, that I live in a place and time where I don't have to parent these hooligans all alone, and I have the greatest resource available as a mother - a Holy Spirit who puts up with my nonsense and extends me ridiculous amounts of undeserved mercy to help me get through the day, and reminds me how priceless this season truly is.

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