You won’t believe what I overheard!

After a long day of running kiddos around, helping with homework, mediating sibling quarrels, laundry, making dinner (you know the drill) I was just about spent!  I had no patience left. I was feeling overworked and underappreciated. I was questioning my self-worth as a mother (3 year olds will make you do that ha-ha!). Wondering why it is that I bother doing half the stuff I do or say? Wasn’t it all just in one ear and out the other? It had gotten to the point that it seemed like the dog was the only one listening to me anymore. So I did what any mother would do when they hit their breaking point. I sent the kiddos up to brush their teeth and get ready for bed.

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Since they did not have school the next day we had said it was okay for them to have a sleepover, which basically entails all 3 sleeping on the girls’ bedroom floor.  Not really that big of a deal but to them it is the coolest thing since sliced bread. Lol!

So I sent them up to get ready and a few minutes later the laughter started. My blood started to boil. I made a mad dash up the stairs. I halted suddenly when I overheard…..

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Guide me safely through the night. And wake me with the morning light. God bless, mommy, daddy, grandma….

They were saying their prayers. I stooped down on the step. I managed to get a visual of the children sitting on the floor finishing up their prayers.  I was so proud of my little ones in that moment. With no direction to do so they knew that prayers are an important part of the bedtime routine.  I decided to stay on that step for a few moments longer and eavesdrop on the children.  Real mature, right!? But who knew, maybe I would finally know who dropped their gum between the cushions of the couch or who tore a hole in the leather couch, or who dropped the toothpaste in the toilet, there are quite a few cases still open and it would be nice to finally close them. Ha-ha! So I stood their basically waiting for them to incriminate each other (not exactly mom of the year material…it wasn’t one of my finest moments). But to my astonishment the opposite played out. They illustrated….

Faith-They said their prayers together and asked God to watch over every family member.

Compassion– The youngest tripped and her siblings came to her rescue and share their own stories of tripping on things and told her it would be okay.

Love– Big sis, our 2nd grader, read a book and helped her younger brother to sound out a few of the words and patiently answered her little sister’s persistent questions.

Gentleness– Big sister gently took out little sister’s hair bow.

Compromise– They had a discussion on who would sleep where and made some compromises.

Pure Selflessness– It was adorable. Our little Kindergartener let his little sister have his pillow pet and then made certain she was covered up with her blanket.

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A tear ran down my face.  I had just witness the most beautiful thing. My children illustrating genuine faith, love, and compassion. They didn’t rat each other out or point fingers. They looked out for one another. So maybe the huge hole in the leather couch case will never be closed. But you know what I can close is the case of, am I even doing this mom thing right?  I am sure many moms can relate. You question yourself. You wonder if anything you are saying or doing is sinking in to those little souls. And just when you are ready to throw in the towel and race up those stairs, and lose it the most miraculous thing can occur. Reassurance! Reassurance is what we all want.  And God sends it to us if we are willing to listen.  This means you have to shut off those negative thoughts in your head and be open to the good.

Have you ever found yourself at your wits ends? Questioned your worth as a mom? How do you snap out of it? Or maybe you witnessed a genuine moment between your kiddos? Please share.

Day 5: Ready to throw in the towel, and then…I counted my blessings

The day started off like any ordinary day with breakfast, feeding the cat and dog, doing laundry, tidying, the kiddos played a game of basketball, made a fort, watched a movie (did you know there is a  Leave it to Beaver movie?) etc. 

Then the kiddos inquired, “What else can we do today”? I stood there for a few minutes thinking to myself……Crap!! What can they do? What do we have left to do? We have done it all!! I am burned out!! I wish the children came with pause buttons.  Maybe I could somehow convince them that staring at the wall quietly for an hour was a game?  My brain has no more ideas, I am out! Please, can I tag someone else in, please? Please God, please help!

Ring…Ring…Ring……

Me: Hello

Alison: Go look outside your door.

Me: What?

Alison: We dropped something off to get you guys through these last few days.

Me: No!! You are so kind. Thank you!!

So I opened the door and this is what I was greeted with……

She had left me a huge iced coffee and magazine, the kiddos a fun game, our toddler an Elmo book, our first grader a book she has read five times over because she likes it so much, and a Spiderman activity set for our little man. She left us a bucket full of what I call “sanity”. I don’t think there are enough words in the English language for me to express my gratitude. And the timing, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I felt like I was mere seconds from officially losing my mind.

But that’s not all….for dinner, I was off the hook. I didn’t cook because my parents had arrived back in town and showed up with this…..

That’s right!! Bob Evans down on the farm. It was like a mini Thanksgiving feast, precisely what we needed, what we craved, comfort foods! It was so nice to have a hot delicious meal that I did not have to cook. And for dessert…that’s right, they brought dessert too! Baskin Robbins!! I almost cried, tears of joy of course…the love was so intense.

But wait there is more….

While eating our neighbor stopped by to kindly inform me that our tire was low on our SUV parked out front and he was concerned about me driving the children around town with a low tire. He also brought over treats for our dog that was in need of a little TLC. His bad leg and healing process kind of got pushed to the back burner when the kiddos came down with HFMD. Don’t get me wrong, I still gave him his meds but we were not as attentive after the kiddos got ill.

…and more….

In the evening we put our toddler down to sleep and let the older two kiddos stay up and play Fruit Ninja, the game that was in the “sanity bucket” that Alison had dropped off.  It was so much fun, just the four of us playing a game together; we had never done that before. It is amazing how an act of kindness can evolve into a memory to cherish.

Then, once the children where in bed I checked my email, blog replies, and facebook while cleaning up the day’s mess.  The first comment I read was this one in response to the Day 4 post, from a good friend Tammy…..

You had no idea your kids were sick, please don’t be too hard on yourself! I’m sure the other family understands that if you knew you wouldn’t have been there. You have done a great job entertaining the kids this past week and keeping as much sanity as humanly possible. After the kids go to bed, pour a glass of wine, take a warm bath, play some relaxing music…you deserve it! Nothing needs cleaned or washed that is more important than taking time for yourself.

Precisely what I needed to hear, today my prayers were answered.  I needed someone else to tag in and boy did God listen!! He tagged in my amazing parents who are also amazing grandparents; they have given me the skills, faith, and fortitude necessary for life and that is a gift that is truly priceless. God tagged in and has blessed me with an amazing group of friends who have been so supportive throughout this entire ordeal. Friends who have their own lives, issues, family, children, wedding to plan, family trips/vacations, etc. but yet have taken a moment to think about my family…thank you Alison, Lilly, Tammy, Allie, Jill, Cheryl, Mary, and ALL my dear friends for your replies, texts, emails, and  words of encouragement and support.

I think I know precisely what we can do for the family I spoke of yesterday. The family who contracted HFMD from us, I would like to pay it forward and drop off a “sanity bucket “and dinner for them on day 5, when it is needed most.

As I lay in bed last night I thought about how I almost lost my cool today. How I had prayed to God to please help me get through the day and boy was my prayer answered.  I also thought about all those moms out there who have children with compromised immune systems. Moms like Piper and the Kids,  and a dear friend Allysa whose daughter is undergoing surgery today, who have to endure weeks, even months of staying indoors so that their children’s lives will not be compromised. I don’t know how they do it!  I pray for all those moms today who are quarantined to a home, hospital room, etc. with a child. I pray that they have a strong support system of friends and family.