Posted in At Home, Blog

Mama’s Tired

When I was about ten years old, my parents took me to Canada’s Wonderland. By the end of the day, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. My face feels like that right now — only it’s not from smiling. It’s from all the stress I’ve been holding in my jaw the last few days.

My husband is away this week, and I am tired. Every sentence out of my mouth is a reprimand:

Fix your shoes, please, they’re on the wrong feet.
Don’t put that in your mouth.
No.
Don’t push your sister.
Don’t put stickers on the baby.
I said, don’t put that in your mouth.
Gentle, please!
I have told you already, fix your shoes, please.
Out of your mouth!
No.
Don’t play with your food.
Listen, please.
That stays outside.
No.
Feet! Shoes! Now!

Play that back three thousand times, and you have the soundtrack of my entire conversation over the last few days. Oh yeah, add some math drills. Don’t forget the math drills. I’m a regular barrel of laughs, I am.

I am so bone-tired of correcting, redirecting, and yes, even yelling at my children.

Just before bedtime, we all settle into the boys’ big bed for Leading Little Ones to God. This is supposed to be a quiet moment of prayer. In my expectations, I read to my raptly-listening children, who interrupt only with pertinent and important questions of doctrine. I answer each question with solid Biblical wisdom and maternal love. We pray together. This will become a beautiful memory that my children will look back on someday as a cherished time with Mama.

That is my nightly expectation. The nightly reality is somewhat different. I try to read, interspersing the text with “listen.” It’s like I have a verbal tic: listen! They bounce around the bed, roll into each other, complain that their sibling is rolling into them, and just generally ignore me.

Usually, I get through this routine with varying levels of patience. Not tonight. Tonight is the third day in a week of single parenting. Tonight, my voice got higher and higher pitched as I struggled not to yell. I sounded like Minnie Mouse — until I exploded into a mini-drill sergeant.

Sit there. Backs against the wall. Don’t move. Don’t touch each other, don’t look at each other. Eyes on me. Now listen to your bedtime story, and enjoy it!

Some memory the kids are going to have of Bible Time with Mama. They listened, wide-eyed, while I read to them about how kind and patient God is. Nice one, Mama.

As I write this, three of four are (finally) sleeping quietly. As always, Encyclopedia is last man standing, after the others fall quiet. He just came out to tell me he misses his Daddy.

I miss Daddy. Somehow, everything is better when Daddy is here.

I know you, do, honey. I miss him, too. Everything is better when Daddy is here. Even me.

Of course, I know what blessings my children are, and I thank God for giving them to me. I also know what a blessing my husband is. I don’t like it when he’s away, but I try to be grateful to God for these opportunities of single parenthood, to realize how much I take him for granted, and to grow in my appreciation for him.

And now, it’s time for me to take to bed with my Bible, and get refreshed for the day ahead. It’s going to be just as long, but my goal is to lean on Jesus, and have more fun moments with the kids, and fewer stressful ones.

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Author:

Christian wife and homeschooling mother of five children, ages 1 through 9 years. Recently diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos. Trusting in Jesus for His plan for my life, and for my family. He was gracious to save my husband and myself 5 and 6 years ago, respectively. And really, He saved me just in time. Because how could I ever have handled this illness without Him?

2 thoughts on “Mama’s Tired

  1. oh girl, we have all been there – well, at least, I can say, *I* have been there … that is when I break down, run to God and realize the JOY of the Lord is my strength! Never have I seen it like that until I was bone tired, exhausted, running on empty and still needing to do 1,000 things with no end in sight and no daddy coming home from work for what seems like weeks and I had NO joy… you can’t do it alone – but you CAN find joy and strength in God.
    In those frantic moments, why not sit back and watch a Bible movie in stead with the children? Just a simple thing to make your night easier … not saying give up devotions but once in a while, just give yourself a little break – literally. xo
    ((hugs))

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    1. Thank you so much! It is so nice to have a comment like this, and know that I am not alone in this feeling. It is just HARD without our husbands, isn’t it? I have so much respect for single mothers, who don’t have the nightly reprieve that we (usually) do. You’re right, we need to lean on Jesus.

      It’s funny, I was just talking to our friend L.E., and saying that I haven’t been in my bible enough lately. And then Hank goes away on a work trip, and I have no choice but to get back into my Bible, or go nuts from stress! It’s funny how God works things out in His timing for what’s best for us, eh?

      Like

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