It’s easy to be proud when everything is sunshine, rainbows, pots of gold and Lucky Charms. When your children are behaving and your baby is sleeping and your mother cleaned your house and you’ve had a decent amount of sleep.
I was feeling pretty good about having three kids.
I felt like everything was working and my life was in order. I felt like a good parent. I felt like a good wife. I felt like a good housekeeper.
Then my mother went on vacation, and my husband went back to work, and life hit me.
The water was cold and shocking. It came at me full force and hit me in the eye. My baby started eating every hour. My boys starting “acting out”. I started to feel hysterical…so I laughed.
A few days later, I stopped laughing and started crying. It had been several days of no sleep, no SLEEP and lots of holding the baby. I was holding on for dear life. I had already said goodbye to my sanity, but I needed to hold on to the Something that keeps you from dumping cereal on the kitchen floor to make a statement. Not that I did that. Not that I can remember what I was protesting with the cereal flooring. Not that there is even such a thing as cereal flooring. Anyway, I was holding on. Sort of.
Actually, I was crying on my nursing pillow on the floor next to the crib. I had planned on falling asleep there, but instead I found myself crying…because the baby had started crying. I had a headache. I had cereal on the floor. I was a mess.
It took violence to suck me out of my hormone induced pity-party.
Small People had been arguing about cars in the play room and suddenly I heard the slightly panicked voice of my husband, raised to an alarming volume. He never sounds like that…so I rushed into the living room and saw it. I saw blood gushing from one little person’s mouth and everyone was crying hysterically.
A person had been bitten.
On the lip.
Over a car the size of a pack of gum.
Chaos ensued. I stopped crying about my life and my cereal. I started worrying about my kids…and my parenting skills.
I was sinking, they were sinking, so I prayed.
And I meant it.
And I have no idea what I said. I think it was something like, “Help!”
That night I got a good four hours of straight sleep. The baby’s eating jag was over, and I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to face another day with my beautiful family…
And more violence ensued.
Luckily the bloodshed has ceased.
I’m trying really hard. I’m reading the parenting books, I’m making sure I carve out time for everyone (even if it’s with an axe!), I’m staying hydrated and going to bed early.
Things are still messy over here. I was so proud of myself a few weeks ago. Everything was in order, my children were well behaved, my toes were painted, I showered regularly.
My toes are still painted.
I’m doing all the right things (as far as I can figure) and I’m still getting shady results. Life is like that sometimes. I would love to be proud of myself, but I can’t, because really? Things are hairy right now.
Then I remember the reason I love following Jesus: I don’t have to be good. I don’t even have to be competent. I can leave that to Him.
I can jump off into the deep end of life, I can have three kids (or more!) and they can be biters. I can feel like a terrible parent. My sister can visit and find food in my hair. We can wonder what kind of food it is, and never solve that mystery.
I just have to surrender, humbly, and ask God to take care of things. Because He will. Just watch.
And? If I ever seem like I have all the answers, please remind me of this post. Anything good in my life comes from Him. The cereal dumping hissy fits? That’s all me baby.
“but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by his doing you are in Christ Jesus, who because to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” – 1 Corinthians 1:27-30