Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Finding joy on a hard day.

There are just some days and things that happen in those days that are better left not spoken of. Yesterday was one of those days. It was pretty bad from start to finish.

Braden woke up whining down the hall. He wouldn't lay down with me, only scream in my face that he wanted to "go downstairs." All the while, Mabel had just gotten to sleep next to me so I really had no choice but to get up with him to keep him quiet. This is how my every day with him begins and it's exhausting.
Not refreshing. Exhausting.
I already feel frustrated, irritated, aggravated and every other 'ated' word you can think of.
I hate that because ideally I would love to wake up, have a few minutes alone with the Lord and start my day patient and calm. Instead I feel like my head is going to explode and the anxiety of his voice sets in almost immediately. This is nothing new; it is how the entire 3 years of Braden's life have made me feel. Every day. Same ol' story. His voice is abrupt, aggressive and determined and at 6:30 in the morning it's super annoying.

Without going into alot of extra details that all feel like a blur at this point, the day was a complete disaster. He threw massive fits-most of which involved him banging his head on the floor, his face turning red, biting himself or hitting me. He couldn't get along with Nora to save his life and he doesn't care who is around, who it affects or what he can do to to stop it. I know he's 3 but I also think he enjoys torturing me a little.

This boy of mine.
I think every mom needs a boy. At least one boy.
Maybe just to understand the dynamic change that happens in you as you try to mother him, to learn a great deal about patience and to occasionally feel extreme guilt as you question why you think and feel a certain way about this child sometimes.
It's heavy. And it's hard.

And I don't want to fail at this...raising my boy. Therefore, I plug on no matter how difficult and exhausting it may be. I would much rather give up and give in to his behavior if I'm being honest(and lets face it--I AM being honest.) But I refuse to do that because there is a calling on his life that is evident and he needs me to channel his behavior and to shape it so that he can be effective for Christ someday. Otherwise, there is little hope-because the truth is, the enemy is out for our children and I believe, especially our boys.

Yesterday Nora and I tried to do school work but Mabel wouldn't sleep. That was awesome too. Anyway, we were reading about Jacob and how Rebekah told him to basically lie to his father, Isaac to receive a blessing from him. Jacob's own mother encouraged him to lie. She encouraged his bad behavior. And that spoke volumes to me. I will not enable my son to do wrong or encourage the behavior that could ultimately lead him to destruction. I will do my best to fight this fight with him and for him every single day. He needs me to stand in the gap for his salvation while he cannot do it himself.
And I'm his mother.
So I will.

I may end up crying. I may end up calling his dad home early for lunch to deal with him. I may need his nanny to come and get him for a couple of hours so I dont have to look at him anymore. I may have to put him in his room. I may just have to accept those things, get over the guilt and get through the day. Sometimes it just needs to be that way and slowly I'm learning that it is ok.

So on top of the day that exhausted me to my core, Mabel decided to stay away for most of the night. I was beyond tired already and she has slept all night from the time I brought her home from the hospital, yet on the one day when I truly needed my rest to restore me for today, she decides to stay awake.
And nurse. And nurse some more. And then nurse a little more.
Because they can't get enough of mommy.
It's as if they all conspire and say "How thin can we stretch her today..."
Pretty thin, I might add. Because although I was frustrated about being up all night, I did still nurse her. I did still nourish and nurture through all hours of the night. And managed to get up when Braden showed his face at 5 am.
Oh. Joy.

So on a day that I wanted to start new and fresh, it feels like a repetition of frustrations from yesterday. But I refuse to let it be. So I hugged brother and had him climb in bed with me. I squeezed Mabel and stroked her soft black hair.
I purposed patience in my heart.
And we started the day before the sun did.
So I'm feeling tired, worn down and a little irritable probably for the first time since I brought Mabel home 9 weeks ago [which I think is pretty good, I might add.]

On top of all the other things I feel after a day like yesterday, guilt is always at the top. Yesterday I spent so much time managing Braden and tending to Mabel that I got very little time with Nora. I did sneak away on a long walk with her which was wonderful but it still didn't feel like enough. I almost never feel the effects of there being too little of me for all of the children. I feel like I balance my time with each of them very well. But yesterday was different and I hate it.

Loving on Jesus and my children today. Thanking God for a life that is hectic, chaotic, tiring and yet exhilarating. I know all too well that our days are numbered and never guaranteed. I don't want to waste time feeling frustrated with my children. This is the life I was created for, after all. So I always pick myself up, dust myself off and move along. I refuse to dwell here in this place of aggravation. There is joy and humor in it all somewhere and I am determined to find it.
The glass, my friends, is always half full.
Take my word for it.
Today is a new [beautiful] day.

Now...I need your suggestions!:
This dark haired lady won't take a bottle. I NEED her to take a bottle. How nice it would be just to pump and leave her with daddy for a little walk without having to hurry home to feed her. Because ALL the child does is eat. If those big doe eyes are open, they are crying out for food. I don't want to give her formula but it isn't the substance that she doesn't like--it's the bottle altogether.
Oh and she won't take a binky. I also NEED her to take a binky. I mean...honestly.
Honestly. She needs a binky.
HELP! How can I get her to take either? I've never had this problem before...
And now for your viewing pleasure, here are 2 of the pictures I took of Mabel in the mailbox. The first one is the picture we chose for her birth announcements that are beyond adorable.

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world!"
John 16:33


Anonymous said...

I have always had to leave the house when my babies took a bottle for the first time. Even if I was just sitting outside. AJ was the worst about it. We just tried different bottles and you need to make sure Daniel feeds her before she is actually hungry. Because once they start crying they won't take it. Chelsea had a hard time too at first. My mom and Brad had to hold the bottle so she was laying across their chest like I fed her and Brad even used the boppy when he fed her. So maybe she just needs that familiar smell of your pillow and the same hold?? I hope that helps. I know how you feel because Chelsea did the nurse all the time thing for 2 months straight all night!! It was exhausting!! I hope you get a break today because we all need one and do not need to feel guilty about it!!

THE FOUR OF US! said...

I too have a newborn...and a toddler! I was totally able to relate to your post! Yesterday...it seems we had a very similar day. I wanted to offer a suggestion for your bottle dilema. We have to use playtex drop-ins. He seems to take that bottle the best. The other suggestion would be to have your husband try to feed her before she actually fully wakes up. When she's frantic...well...she's not going to calm down in order to take the bottle. My first child took a "bobo" (pacifier) just fine. My second, not so much! I REALLY wish he would. So...can't help you there! Sorry!! I feel your pain though. Good luck...and hope today ends up being a BETTER day!

It's not unusual to be loved by anyone said...

Ramee you are such a strong lady and i am really looking up to you.
I only have my kids at work which are aged between 3 and 10 and when i have them around for 10 hours ..every day...every week...i know where you come from. It's different to a mommy-job but i know that they can be very loud,active and annoying.