Aug 21, 2013

How This Mother Loses It.

This has been a grueling ten days or so. Last weekend I traveled down to see my sister & sing with her in the Assembly Hall in Salt Lake City. I was tired every night because we kept making 30-45 minute trips in the car after making a day-long trip in the car. Each night I was so tired, I felt kinda sick. I came home feeling the same way.

The week after, I kind of didn't get a break at all. It was full of trips to the lake with my kids, extremely hyper Young Women activities & ice cream afterwards later into the evening, back to school shopping, a long temple date-night friday night including going out to dinner (which was fun, but by the end of the meal I was leaning my head on the table wishing I could sleep right there as Jeff finished up and paid the check) and my birthday, which I spent all day cooking for (that's my birthday present to me. Sushi & my favorite casserole, Chicken Devine, & my favorite pound cake. Which was delicious. But maybe I shouldn't have over-reached so much.... saved it for next week... something). That Saturday night I attended the wedding reception of some dear friends with my children. And then when we came home, I finally flipped to the Young Women lesson I was supposed to prepare for Sunday and found it was on Dating & Standards (touching on chastity). I figured Heavenly Father knew I'd not had a spare moment all week, and that I was exhausted... I prepared the best I could, asked if one of the bishopric members could sit in since that's kind of an important lesson, and prayed hard for inspiration. It went well, I think. The bishop touched on it during BYC and bore his testimony about how glad he was we talk about these things in YM/YW. And I came home kind of on a spiritual high--what a great experience it was to teach something so important to the YW and feel the right words came out & they understood.

And when I woke up the next morning, I could not bring myself to get out of bed. I was so tired. I felt sick. I'd had a cold slowly coming on all week, I felt it in my head and chest, and I... was so tired. I did go downstairs to help with breakfast and ended up snapping irritably at 2 children, and realized I really did need a time out. I was not adding anything good to the situation in my exhausted state.

Forgot to mention (on here) I'm 19 weeks pregnant.

I spent the day mostly in bed. I got up to prepare snack & lunch, to moderate & mediate loud arguments, to direct children to do their chores, to come down once in a while to make sure people were happy. I left my door open. But I stayed in bed. Toward the evening I started feeling a little better, but still too tired and irritable to venture into the noisy, popcorn-strewn living room for FHE where they were watching Shrek Four. I just needed to sleep. I lay on my side and edited my manuscript until Jeff came to bed, instead.

The next morning I woke up feeling more refreshed, still tired, but capable of doing stuff again. Also feeling guilty (of course) for spending the previous day in bed. I walked into the living room, smiled at my kids who were shrieking and laughing and dancing to the demo music on our electronic keyboard turned all the way up, and called, "OK guys! Time to do your morning chores!"

One of my children who shall remain nameless pouted theatrically. "Whyyyyy," she moaned.

"Well, what would happen if I said that?" I told her jokingly. "If I got up and just said, "whyyyy do I have to do all my jobs?"

her response: "You don't very much at work at all, Mom."

I think I could have let it go... brushed it aside, if weren't still so tired. And if it weren't for the smirk.

You know. That smirk.

I waited ten seconds, then walked up to the child, took her firmly by the arm, and lead her to my bedroom, where a giant pile of the kids' clothes resided in the middle of the floor. "You can sort these," I told her. "By yourself." And then I shut the door behind her.

The rest of the kids quietly and obediently filed downstairs and went about their morning chores (tidying up the dining room, dishes in the sink, table wiped & cleared & floor swept) while I unloaded the dishwasher and started on the morning dishes.

About half an hour later, errant child ventures downstairs. "We left your job for you," I informed her, pointing to the table & counters strewn with remnants of breakfast. "Do not wipe them on the foor or you will be responsible for picking them up off the floor."

When errant child announced she had finished, and I observed to my satisfaction the counters & table were gleaming, I nodded & pointed down the hall. "Go and tidy the library now," I said.

Child's lip was trembling a bit at this point. But she walked into the library without complaint.

When she came back into the kitchen saying she had finished the library, I had a paper ready for her, with a heading, numbered from one through twenty five.

"Now sit down and fill out this list," I said, setting it on the clean surface of the dining room table and sliding a chair over.

Wordlessly, child sat and filled out the paper.

About 20 minutes later, child showed me her list and threw away about five crumpled kleenexes.

And that, folks, is how this mom loses it.

(afterward we had a long, serious talk & I gave her a hug. But you'd better believe i'm saving the list for next time.)


Sarah Dunster said...

Not mentioned in original post, the word, "brat" may or may not have escaped my mouth initially, then been apologized for later.

Rebecca said...

Well done! *applauds*

I need to remember this the next time I'm about to lose it.

To run the risk of sounding stalkerish, I have read several posts on your blog here and have enjoyed all of them. Your writing style is both honest and engaging!

mom2ky said...

You are amazing! :) Truly. ;)