Friday, 8 April 2016

Mom Guilt, Grace and Lattes

Sometimes I wonder how I got here. How did I end up being the angry mom that loses her patience? 

Last night I sat with a good friend sipping tea- well, hot water with lemon and honey for me because this baby insists both tea and coffee are not acceptable. She is one of those friends that you can not see for 6 months and sit down and have meaningful, real conversation as though no time has passed. We talked about the good and the bad and the nitty gritty hard parts of parenting and how Jesus is present in it all. I left her house feeling refreshed and filled up and sure that I would be a better, more patient mom because of her wisdom.

And then I was woken at 5:20 this morning by a kid that seems to have forgotten how to sleep until 6. Yes, that's right, I would be so pleased with 6. My sore throat and cough seem to have evolved into a sinus cold and my head was pounding. Of course Tylenol does nothing and I can't take anything else. 

Sometimes it's hard to tell who feeds off of who's negative mood more, but either way it's safe to say that Elliott and I were both having a rough start. Things went downhill fast and by 9 am I had already resorted to taking him upstairs and plopping him in front of Peppa Pig just to give myself and the dayhome kids a break from his rampage. They can only take so much of his pushing/hitting/tackling, and I can only pull him off, redirect and give time outs so many times before we all go batty. Mostly me.

It wears on you, you know? Constantly correcting the same behaviour over and over. You've read the books, you know it's a cry for attention and maybe it would help to give him some focused one on one, but the truth is that at this point you're pretty sure he's doing it just to get under your skin and you kind of just want to call him an asshole. Please excuse my French. It's been a long morning. 

So how do you do this? How do you handle his mood when your own is declining at a rapid speed and you've cried four times already? Your headache is pounding and you even blame that on him because he woke you up so early. 

At one point he went to hit another kid and I literally lost it. I just saw red. I picked him up and put in in time out (buckled into a booster chair) and minutes later when it was snack time I just turned the chair towards the table where his snack sat. He picked up a fistful of crackers and crushed them in his hands. It may not have been deliberate disobedience, but man did it ever feel like it in the moment. I scooped him up, ran up the stairs and set him down, wailing in front of his Dad. Without a word I ran back down the stairs, made sure the kids were settled with their snack and ran to the laundry room to cry. 

Ohhhh, the mom guilt. 

I rushed up the stairs and scooped him into my arms, sobbing and apologizing. He was already fine- happy as a clam to be upstairs with his Daddy. 

"Why sad mommy?"
"Mommy's just having a bad day honey"
"I'm not sad. Daddy not sad either. Auntie not sad. Jonah not sad. Rezrae not sad."

Ugh. My heart. 

At one point in all this I had the thought that I should pray, or read my devotional for the day to recenter myself, but I just didn't feel like it. I've had days like this before. I know for a fact that I can't do it on my own strength. Still, I just didn't want to. I barely let myself finish the thought before pushing it down, defiantly. 
No. I don't want to ask Jesus for help. I just want this kid to stop.

And then Chris made me a latte- a risky move seeing as coffee gives me heartburn, but the headache and heartache was just too much and it seemed well worth the risk. He handed it to me and gave me a big, sympathetic hug. I sipped on it and let Elliott play a game on my phone, and a feeling of total grace washed over me. It was such a simple small thing, but it really just felt like an extension of God's love. Like he was saying "It's ok if you can't even muster up the strength to turn to me. Just take a little sip of my living water and remember what it tastes like."

So thankful for grace today. 

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