Some parenting days, my flesh wins.

16 Aug

Confession time: Tuesday was a HORRIBLE day for me.  I got up that morning, not seeming to be in any sort of bad mood, nothing major going on, and no reason to have a rotten day from the start at all.

I started the day in my normal routine. I read the Bible while I ate cereal and drank coffee, played on computer, helped kids get breakfast and changed for the day, and then started whatever I had planned for the morning.

On Tuesday, the morning activity happened to be picking (more) green beans and then canning them along with tomatoes.  I have been canning every couple of days.  And our garden needs picking of some sort every day.  Even without rain, God was very faithful to give us a good yield of crops!

Alright, so I went outside between 9:15 – 9:30 to start picking beans.  After just over an hour, I was finally done.  This, this is the very moment my day started going down hill.  My back hurt SO bad.  My back always hurts.  Yes chiropractor are awesome; no I haven’t been going because who can go with 4 kids when they are open the same hours your husband is at work.  I can’t afford a sitter and the doctor bills, especially when you need to go 2-3 times a week for a few weeks.  In the middle of picking, I was doing my very best to pray and thank God earnestly for the food He has blessed us with and the answers to many prayers for a healthy garden this year, along with just singing praise songs.  And still somehow, my mood was rapidly declining.

To the house I go to start snapping and washing beans.  Mind you, my kids were all playing wonderfully together. I started between 10:30 -10:45 and didn’t finish snapping until 11:45.  Boy, that was fun!  I just love to snap beans!!

Lunch time. I fed all the children, cleaned up the mess, and washed my jars to get them all ready for the next step.  After laying Marisa down for her nap, the boys all helped do beans and tomatoes.  They’re all really good at it honestly.  And right now, they love helping.  They are joyful and willing and so curious…. how and why did I end up spiraling deeper into a nasty funk??

We finally finished all the canning just after 2:30.  Between then and 3:30- the children seemed to destroy the house.  Strawberry milk spilled on the freshly clean carpets, cheese crackers crushed and smashed all over the couch where the couch cushion had been removed for some sort of game (even though the kids have been told one million times they are NOT to remove the couch cushions), toys were all over the floor, and my worst pet peeve of all time, clothes and shoes covered every bare space that was left.  You see, my children think they need to change their clothes about seven times a day each, and they just throw the outfit they have on where ever it will land in their hurry to get on the next thing they want to wear.  And it doesn’t seem to matter that they’ve been corrected on this as many times as they’ve done it, still, they feel the need to continue in this pattern.

I don’t think any other parenting frustration gets under my skin as much as repeat offenses, EVEN AFTER being punished for the problem.

Back to Tuesday- I lost it.  All self-control that I should possess just vanished in thin air.  I started yelling like a crazy woman.  I don’t know what I was hoping to accomplish but I couldn’t stop yelling.  I remember even thinking, this won’t un-do the mess.  Just calm down,  get it together, it isn’t that big a deal, remember how much you  love them and all the really great talents they each have.  But nothing was working.

By the time Josh got home from work, I was exhausted. Physically and emotionally, I was drained.  And the evening wasn’t fantastic either.  I still just felt, well, depressed.  I think by that point, I was dealing with thoughts that were attacking me.  The ones that say, “I’m sick of this.  I don’t want to do this anymore.  I want to wake up to a clean house and go to bed to a clean house day after day only needing to vacuum once a week like I did before kids.  I don’t want to fill another sippy cup the rest of my life, or change diarrhea diapers from cutting teeth.  I want FREEDOM!”  And then the thoughts that say “You’re a failure.  Why would you scream at your kids like that?  You’re so ungrateful for the blessing God gave you.  You really think this life is about your freedom and happiness over the call and ministry you’ve been given?  You’re pathetic.”

Lets just say, I was happy to close my eyes that night and end the day.  Wednesday was better.

And that is really all the practical application I can give.

I don’t yet know how to force myself not to get overwhelmed.  Some days, I handle it MUCH better than others.  Yet some times, that dying to self daily process is just bigger than all my emotions and I mess up big time.

When that happens, all I can really do is apologize, seek forgiveness, and start fresh the next day.

I hope to one day be perfect, and never have issues with wanting to satisfy my own desires, but today is not that day. Congratulations from the bottom of my heart, if you’ve reached that dream of mine!

If you want to even the scales here, I’d love to hear about a really bad day you’ve had, or prevented yourself from having and what tactics and tips you found successful!

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