Last night, #4 couldn't sleep. I'm still not sure why he couldn't sleep; there was no fever, no runny nose, no cough, no evidence of illness. But it was obvious his internal organs were in pain because he could not sleep and could not get comfortable. From 11:30PM until 4:00AM, I wandered from his bed to our bed; I took him into our bed, I took him back to his bed. After that, when my exhaustion was spent, Brandon brought him into our bed and comforted him. I was able to get about 2-3 hours of real sleep. This was good because today is a crazy day --two performances for the Elementary Fine Arts Choir (I'm their accompanist), four piano lessons, one practice, and all the other stuff moms are supposed to do.
I tried not to let the exhaustion get the best of me, but I was confronted with slow children, lost shoes, a husband going out of town last minute for work (he'll be back tomorrow night), a house I haven't cleaned in over a week because of my non-existent motivation, the stress of knowing that the shoes were lost because of my non-existent motivation, still wondering what was going on with #4's crazy tummy (indigestion?), and I freaked out.
I yelled at the kids because of the lost shoes; my oldest left for school in tears.
I do this all the time.
She bears the worst of my meanness.
She doesn't deserve it.
And yet, there I go, yelling and berating at her because she "should understand" and be "more responsible" and more "grown up" and I forget she's only seven years old.
She's Seven Years Old.
Sure, I could blame my verbal abuse on disobedient kids. I could blame it on my depression. I could blame it on my exhaustion. I could also blame it on the economy and the cold weather. But it doesn't matter. I'm a verbal abuser and I need to own it.
At the school this morning, my two daughters were in the audience watching the Fine Arts Music Concert. I waved at both of them --my oldest showed no sign of sadness or anger. Her immediate forgiveness never ceases to shock me --and chastise me. How simply and easily children forgive! One day, #1 called me from her friend's house right after school (a common occurrence). She asked if she could stay and play and I asked her why it took her so long to call me (the call was almost 10 minutes late). She said she and her friend had gotten in a fight after school, but now they were fine.
See? Easy. You fight, you get over it, you forgive, you move on.
After seeing her in the audience at the school, I took the time (after the concert, obviously) to write her a quick note of apology and had the office take it to her classroom. I know it won't make up for the continual damage I do to her self-worth and sense of love, but maybe it's a start.
You know, dear reader? It's so hard for me to do the right things. I look at my home and I know --I KNOW --with all my heart that if my family is to be happy, then I have to be the one to make it happy. Me. The Mom. As I was telling a friend on the phone yesterday, I think I rely too much on my husband to make things better. I also rely on my kids to do more than their share. I expect others to help me (why haven't my visiting teachers felt prompted to come over? Where's that one friend when I need her? What about MEMEMEME?) and I wallow, wallow, wallow in my self-pity and despair.
Remember this post? About putting the smack down on self-pity? I think I've come full circle again. Because the self-pity hasn't been smacked down enough. And I'm sad all the time again. And I don't seem to care. Thus the need for the therapist.
And 'round and 'round and 'round we go...
But I'm tired of it, you see. I'm done (again). So, I'm seeing my home differently this morning. I'm seeing it as I'm supposed to see it. It needs to be a place where my children are free from yelling, rudeness, vulgarity, selfishness, self-pity, despair. It needs to be a place free of that stuff for my husband. And for me. But how is it going to happen? Who is going to make sure it becomes this way? Me. It's my responsibility. My sole responsibility? Perhaps not. But my husband is a busy man, and if I wait around until he's available, then I'll be waiting a long time. I need to decide now to get my house in order and be the type of mother and wife I'm supposed to be --I want to be. The words seem trite because I know it's a lot harder than words on paper. In fact, it downright sucks most of the time, and pretending it's easy doesn't help, either. I have to put away my natural tendencies to do things only for me and start focusing on how to bring about peace and love and the Spirit. I'm the most selfish person in this household, you know. I mean, look at this blog post. Who's it about? Yeah.
Hopefully the therapist will help? I'll let you know when I actually get one. Until then, go kiss your kids. Do the dishes. Enjoy some time with your family and remember that you don't have it so bad. You could be in a hole of despair and verbally abusing everyone in your family like Cheryl does.
Not a place one should be. Not even me.
P.S. Sorry for all the blah. I had to get it out, and hot darn! I already feel a bit better. Maybe I'll go clean up last night's dinner mess. Or was that Monday's?