Tuesday, November 12, 2013


last week was kind of a rough week. joe worked early mornings (out the door before my alarm even went off every morning) and several late nights. plus he was gone all night friday and all day saturday for the state podiatry conference. we'd been in sioux falls the weekend before visiting joe's older brother and his family so we started off the week feeling a little out of sorts as it was. on top of that, bennett has been exceedingly crabby lately, so dealing with him by myself was a challenge.

i know i've been more emotional lately (hello, hormones!), but honestly this last week really had me questioning whether or not i could handle two kids. i was also questioning whether or not i have what it takes to be a stay at home mom. it's hard not to feel like a failure when your child is crying and melting down most of the day and nothing you do seems to make it better. how do you not take that personally after a while? and when you don't have much of a break it's easy for patience to wear thin and emotions to run high.

i tried to meet my mom for dinner one of the nights joe was working and that resulted in ben having a meltdown in granite city and having to take my food to go and head home in tears. our attempt at a nice saturday morning trip to the library resulted in another meltdown and carrying a crying, squirming child out to the car within minutes of arriving.

what bothers me when looking back over our tough week was that there were some highlights i mostly ignored, instead choosing to dwell on (stew in) the hard moments. bennett and i had a BLAST together at music class on friday morning. he participated more consistently throughout the class than he ever has before and seemed to really love his time there. ben was so snuggly and sweet all week, constantly giving me hugs and kisses. we had a very successful trip to target (no small feat with a 16 month old, i assure you) where i was able to get all the groceries i needed while bennett rode happily in the cart. he took great naps all weekend and i was able to get some rest in, too.

holding hands with my little man
saturday morning cartoons with his best buddy, george
coy smile
(don't mind the mess in the background...)
on sunday i finally discovered why bennett has been excessively fussy! sure enough, a little tooth is working on pushing its way through. if it's anything like the first time we went through a teething spell, there are a few more teeth coming in too and we have a ways to go til he's back to his normal self. if you're not a parent it might be hard to understand, but i felt unbelievably relieved to see that little tooth. i was able to explain his mood with something other than "i guess my child hates me." i know that might sound dramatic, and it is. but seriously, any mom would be lying if she said she didn't have that irrational thought- albeit subconscious- now and again.

it's so easy to focus on the hard times, the challenges, the "failures." it's easy to feel defeated, frustrated, and burned out. there's a level of mommy guilt that inevitably comes with the territory. whether it's feeling guilty for being a working mom, guilty for not breastfeeding your child for a year+, guilty for not throwing the perfect pinterest-inspired birthday party, guilty for wanting (and taking) "me time," guilty for letting your child watch a little too much tv, guilty for hiding his favorite book because you can't bring yourself to read it one. more. time. (wait, no. i wouldn't do that.)... the list goes on. at some point i believe every mom wonders, "do i have what it takes?"

in short, the answer is a resounding YES. if you have a child, God has called you to parenthood. when God calls us to something, He also gifts us and equips us to handle the challenges that accompany that calling. the series at our church this fall was called "labeled" (you can listen to all the messages in the series here) and talked about getting rid of the labels we're given by ourselves or the world and embracing the labels that God gives us: chosen, blessed, strong, alive, filled, gifted, new, protected. i need to remember that no matter what kind of day or week i have as a mom, God has chosen me to be a mom. He's chosen me to be a mom to this feisty, strong-willed boy in particular. and He has given me all i need to fulfill that calling and bring Him glory through it. instead of doubting myself and dwelling on my frustrations, i need to turn to Him and ask Him to fill me with his love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). the best part is that He will. i just have to stop long enough to ask.

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