Saturday, January 19, 2013

Being Brave

Many a morning when Thomas was a newborn and I'd been awake all the dark hours of the night, Ross would hug me goodbye and in a very uncheesy way, tell me how brave I was being. I almost always translated this to mean "please don't be in such a bad mood when you exit this bed that the devil would cry."  But he used that word, brave, many times throughout those early weeks.

Lately, Thomas had decided to relive the glory days and we've really struggled with him since Christmas. I am doing everything "they" tell you to do. Earlier bedtime, more milk during the day, first tastes of oatmeal (today. he hated.), lots of water and some new milkmaid tea for supply, a nap schedule- you name it, we're trying it. And at 3:30 this morning, I had tears rolling down my face because never have I felt like such a failure as I have during this trial. We're back to Ross using that word daily.

Except, I don't feel brave. I feel exhausted and overwhelmed and convinced that I can never parent another small babe again. And yes, I know I am not supposed to analyze anything while in the throes of exhaustion. But here I am, feeling very unbrave.

This morning I dropped off a meal for one of our MOPS moms and stopped to get Ross coffee. At 7:30 am, awake since 3:00 (because 4 month old Thomas doesn't go back to sleep after a feeding the way 2 month old Thomas did. I liked 2 month Thomas very much), I drove, praying for the patience and energy to get through the day. No amount of that oh so awesome Super B complex vitamin (thanks Grace), can make up for 6 hours of sleep missed. As I was praying/whining to Jesus, the song "We were made to be courageous" played.

I took a deep breath and resisted the little ugly bird telling me I am being a whiny brat. I resisted the world telling me to suck it up. Jen recently wrote a wonderful post entitled "A meditation on the shocking idea that maybe we're actually not just lazy whiners." Have you ever read a better title?
She's right y'all. Yes, most of us most certainly have first world problems. Most of us have a million more reasons to be grateful than we have to be overwhelmed. But it does us no good to ignore the overwhelmed. It's okay to say, "okay, we need a new game plan."
Because dammit, it does take courage to mother these minions. It takes a brave person to step out of the bed each day after 1.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep and face a toddler who demands Mickey yogurt instead of Dora, who will whine ad nauseum should Curious George go to commercial. It takes courage to discipline bad behavior that only comes around when she sees you nursing the baby, knowing full well that unlatching Mr. Razor jaws to relatch him after her consequence makes me want to eat a razor. It takes courage to put that pacifier back in his mouth 245 times because after 4 months and 44 paci's tried, he still can't hold it in his mouth for more than a few minutes. It takes courage to read Sweet Pickles to your sweet girl when all you want is some mindless television and a Swiss Cake Roll. It takes courage to ask your husband how his day was when you really want to spew a litany of all the things wrong with yours. (I am terrible at this, p.s.) It takes courage to take the 2 minutes to say a blessing, reteaching the Sign of the Cross for the 2,405th time before each meal when all you want to do is fast track the heck out those awful meal times. It takes courage to mother, to parent with love and some semblance of Godliness. Whether you work inside or outside of the home or do a combo of both, whether you are rich or poor, whether you have great babysitters (and the funds to pay those angels) or not, mothering takes a freaking lot of courage.
It is Saturday, and for a stay at home mom, Saturdays are the same as most days. Yes, we have the priceless extra 2 hands but those 2 hands have things to do also. So most of Saturday looks like all of the rest of the week. And that is daunting. Weekends are more of the same and that takes courage to step into it and try to make it different and fun and to enjoy the time as a family of 4, instead of a family of 2 wild beasts versus one indefensable mom.
Are we slightly dramatic and overly exhausted, yes. Yes, ma'am. But I am reminded today, thanks to Jen Fulwiler and Casting Crowns and the Holy Spirit's little whisper, that I am brave. I am brave to parent these precious gifts and to be open to more (please Dear God, a little time though). I am brave to put my feet on the floor each day and to absorb the trials and the triumphs that each day with little people brings.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to every.single.word of this post. Seriously. The Mickey vs. Dora vs. Cars yogurt (battle every morning), the whining, the paci, the night wakings and the monotony of a stay at home Mom's day. I sometimes wonder if this will be my last baby b/c I am not sure I can do this again! I have to remind myself though...we are doing great. We are great mothers and have great babies. These days are just hard. I am also pretty sure we will be tired for the next 15 years. Sigh. Wish we could compare more notes over coffee!