Wednesday, March 30, 2011

rabbit holes.

Forgive me if I stumble and fall and make no sense and end up trailing down too many rabbit holes. Why does it seem to take so much more energy for some people to be optimistic? Why are some people so much more inclined to be happy? Why does it take so much more energy for me to be optimistic? Is it really an easy choice for some people? Is my slope towards stress and pessimism more slippery? Or steeper? I see all of these other mothers, wives, women, girls - smiling, happy, radiating joy  - and oozing it all over my poo party sh*t show.




The First Rabbit Hole.
Pardon me for feeling sorry for myself. Pardon my language. I am feeling very selfish right now. These are questions I've been asking myself. I have a tendency to swing towards being this over-stressed, teary-eyed mama, hair fuzzed out and sticking up and weird, eyes bugging out and sweat beads on my forehead, crazy sweat pants on and an ill-fitting top, baby on my hip and kids underfoot and Too Many Crunchy Things Under My Bare Feet... being a bit of a drama queen in my home - I get far too stressed out by the house getting a little too messy, the kids being noisy - too many voices.

I let the house go and go
and go 
- and go. 
People have heard me say repeatedly that I will not be a slave to my floors - I realized many years ago and fully believe that on my deathbed I will not wish that I had vacuumed more often or ensured our sheets were freshly laundered twice a week or that my toilets were scrubbed before they needed to be scrubbed - I know inherently to the very depth of everything that I am that my wee children are more important than whether or not my dishes sparkled and were always put away promptly. And then I crack. I very nearly feel an actual physical cracking - my head and my eyes and my feet can stand the clutter and the noise and the icky sweat pants no more.

Although I will preach to my family when I can see they are feeling overwhelmed - you can do this - you don't need to feel overwhelmed. take a deep breath. why do you feel so stressed? does someone have a knife to your throat? implying stress is self-induced...  so I also inherently know that I am causing myself much if not all of my stress, and the depleted energy and exhaustion that comes with it. because of all the energy I give to it.

And selfishly, I whine to myself about feeling alone. Oftentimes I just wish I had someone in my corner, whispering to me you can do this - you don't need to feel overwhelmed. take a deep breath. why do you feel so stressed? does someone have a knife to your throat?


Or perhaps I am feeling gray yet again today because the sun went away again, I have not slept more than three broken hours in a night for far too many nights in a row to even remember... and all the while I struggle and claw and scrape and frantically scratch at staying on top of it, remaining optimistic, but at that point of having nothing left - something like my hubby speaking not so kindly to me, or to the children will set me off. I can no longer retain my fingernail scraping optimism, and I feel myself propelled backward, yanked out of pleasantness into a state of near hysteria. The exhaustion seeps from my very bones, and although in moments I am a walking example of grace, clarity, purposeful thought and communicating in love, the next I feel as though there is literally steam blasting out of my ears and the term spirit of anger is so painfully true.

What's This? Another Rabbit Hole?
And then I just realized; besides my Savior, I had people all along, in my corner, whispering me sweet words of encouragement. I just needed to look somewhere besides the crumbs on my floor and the stains on yet another pair of my pilling lululemon pants. Feeling like I needed some validation, this was my most recent status update on facebook:
hard to believe I've been pumping to feed my baby breast milk for more than three hundred days. Feel like I deserve a medal, or something. It's all for you Amos, you little love.
Nearly a whole year. Three hundred and nine days, I think. That is a lot of time to be spent with a machine instead of a baby squirming in my lap and against my skin. But, through the grace of God, my heart is no further from his than any of the other three little ones who have drawn nourishment from my body for those first years. Blessed milk for a blessed babe with such blessed little feet.





little sweet milky lips.
And responses to my little plea?
  • warrior!
  • you do deserve a medal! So proud of you!
  • Dairy Queen!
  • YES!!! You DO deserve a medal! I could only pump for Rae for 6 weeks...then found out she was allergic to it. It felt like a slap in the face. Way to go!!!!
  • Good job mama! I had to stop nursing Jenner when I was sick and on antibiotics...you think they could have given me different drugs..
  • Go you! I could only handle 8 months before the devil pumps drove me crazy. And you have 4 kids?! Mighty impressive.
  • You're a very dedicated Mom Laura - so proud of you!
  • You are an angel Laura......Amos is a lucky boy.
I am an angel. I am a warrior. 
I am an angel! I am a warrior!

And then within two days of one another, my husband saunters up to me and tells me how important what I do for our family is, and my friend tells me I looked lovely in my robe and icky sweatpants. And I couldn't detect even the teensiest bit of a lie in her face, or in her heart.

Melt.

Thank you, dear ones.

A Semblance of Parenting. Otherwise known as Another Rabbit Hole.
Some days I am a great parent, some days I am a crappy parent. The ideal days - the days where I get enough sleep, have good food to eat and time in which to prepare and eat it, am able to make sure I am taken care of as well in taking care of my little ones - the days where I put my real pants on (not the previously mentioned icky sweats). Those days, most everyone's needs get met and everyone in this house feels happy, peaceful, and contented when they lay their heads on their pillows come sleepytime. And the parents? We reconnect with each other, with our Father in heaven, and we go to bed with love for each other in our hearts, even if we don't get to share the same bed all night every night. This too shall pass.

On my bad days, not enough sleep, still in my pajamas or those dang sweats in the afternoon, no coffee in the house, cranky whining children, an indifferent husband, oh and yes, there's me, the cranky whining wife and mama - I neglect myself and it all snowballs gloriously downhill from there, picking up speed with each sigh, each act of willful disobedience from the children - and I get frustrated with them not listening the first time. The house is crazy. And in the middle of the sweatpant wearing chaos, a moment of clarity struck me hard enough to nearly fall on my sweatpant clad butt.

Why would we think children should listen the first time?

I am my childrens' mother because they need a mother. They are our children because they need parents. We go together. If our job were so easy they wouldn't need us. There would be no need for such a thing as parents if children were fully independent and did everything right the first time they were asked, 100% of the time.

Likewise, does our heavenly Father God expect us to be fully independent of Him? Does He ever expect me to get it right the first time? Does He sigh loudly and impatiently with exasperation when we fail, we sin, we hurt Him and disobey His requests yet again, over and over and over?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

Oh, that scripture gets me. I love it. Goosebumps. And with that I Throw It Off. Much of it is exhaustion, and much of it is sin, and it easily entangles. And now? Can you see me running? Can you hear my footsteps, pounding the pavement and my heart thumping in my chest, resounding in my ears as my blood carries refreshing oxygen and new energy into my brain? And the whiny hole I had dug myself into? It's not so deep after all.

And there it is. The rabbit hole lead somewhere.





I decide to get back on my feet, revel in the exquisite features of my girl, lavish love on my boy - the one on the cusp of not being a child much longer, relish life with the zeal of my little boy, and soak up the essence of joy and contentment in the wee picture of contentment that is my littlest babe.

precious |ˈpre sh əs|
adjective
1 (of an object, substance, or resource) of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.

Exactly.

So I made some banana fondue with the sweet little blessings that are my precious children. Nothing like some chocolate, peanut butter, fruit and grains to getcha goin'.
 
















Wednesday - middle of the week. Let it be the start of something that looks like digging out of the tunnels, the rabbit holes, out of the damp soil and into the light, and throwing off the things that so easily entangle.

Run with perseverance.



6 comments:

  1. How did you do that? You spoke of me...not yourself!!
    Everything...the longing to have your baby attached to you while you feed him, wishing one day you and your husband will share the same bed again, the ANNOYING crumbs sticking to your feet...which need a pedicure, if you're like me! And yes...the whining, tugging, pulling from the kids...why do they do that when we JUST NEED QUIET?
    Oh...because they love us. That's right. They never get mad at us for being drama queens...and I have beenine this week...I actually called my sister to tell her that I thought Jesse was trying to out-shine me and mover the top dramatic little self! Hello!? Sleep deprived much? Trying to pack a house while having my sweet little guys around is too much. The list is huge and rhe blood pressure is high!
    So thanks for this post. It makes perfect sense to me. And it has now given me insight!

    PS- I am falling more and more in love with your little children...and I haven't met them yet!?

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  2. Laura, I have felt your sheer exhaustion and, more importantly, your determination to persevere! My 'little feet' are no longer so little. 25, 21 and 19. I remember all too well 'back in the day' praying, begging God to accelerate time so that they're big enough to wake up on Saturday mornings and fix a bowl of cereal and watch cartoons so I could sleep until 7 a.m.! When that day came, what a blessing. However, looking back from where I am now, I'd tell you to....enjoy every bit of the good, the bad, the ugly and the sticky because it all passes too quickly. I enjoy reading your blog. And your children are beautiful! Hang in there.

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  3. Oh, you make me cry....tears of relating. You are an amazing writer; so real and honest, and I love that.

    Going now.......to make fondue for my boys!!! I have all the ingredients, amazingly.

    Much love across the miles. So thankful for computers that make us feel like we're neighbors; I would sooooo bring you some coffee if we were :)

    Kelly and her crumby feet :O

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  4. love your post Laura and love the music too. I have always wanted to comment but usually have only one arm to type wth so I am taking advantage of my daughter napping. just want to say I have those same Lululemon pants with the piling thighs. You start to hate them but some days if I dd not have them i would not be wearing pants at all and the same dirty house that at the end of the day when I go to bed I think how come I am so tired yet it does not seem like anything gets done. The west coast can sap you of your energy from lack of sun, I find vitamn supplements help, Vit D , omega 3 and Vit b complex and I keep reminding myself of somethng a friend said that her mothering started about trying to do everything and do everything well, now she says its about realizing that she has the strength and determination to do everything but she does not have to, to be the person that makes her happy. keep writing and I will keep reading. You are a saint for pumping that long.
    cayley

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  5. Hi Laura...
    I've been meaning to comment here for a while. I have really enjoyed your blog. I find it fresh, honest, uplifting and hilarious... By linking your site, I'm confident a few more momma's will be encouraged like I have been.
    I especially love how you share your heart and thoughts on having a little one with downs. He melts me, by the way.
    I had a special little guy in my life for about 7 years. Ha passed away last summer and has left a huge hole. Matt was my first child (even though he was not my biological son) and lived with us between 14 and 20 days a month. I can so relate with some of those incredible feelings/ experiences you describe. Having Matt my life taught me so much about our Jesus.
    http://carleighdavey.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/jesus-could-you-pass-this-note-along-to-matt-for-me-he-just-arrived/

    anyway! thanks again!

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  6. I just happened to run into your blog through a random search I did and although I don't have children, I uncannily know how you are feeling in this post. Like someone commented before me- while reading this, I shed tears of relating. It feels so good to know that someone else has felt how I've felt. Thank you for sharing. Thank you. and your children are beautiful.

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make no mistake, I am smitten with your words. please say hello, or pour something out - you will make my heart happy.

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