Everyone has been so complimentary of us through all of this. They send sweet messages or call with kind words…
“You are so strong.”
“You are such a good wife.”
“You handle all of this with such grace.”
I feel like a fraud. If only they knew. If only they could see inside. If only they saw the selfish side of the “graceful girl.” The one who groans when the toddler gets up in the middle of the night… again… and she has to get up with him because Brandon can’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for the next 6 weeks. The one who picked up a pizza because cooking seemed too daunting.
My house has been a mess more days than its been clean since we’ve been home from the hospital. I blame it on the two little tornadoes I have, but really, I’m so exhausted I choose laying down over unloading the dishwasher, and today was the first time I washed a load of towels in over a week. I’ve let other people feed our family, and I’ve been really good at pouting and being grumpy.
I actually feel embarrassed that people think I’m handling this all so well. I felt so guilty that I actually apologized to Brandon (twice) this weekend for being such a crank. I knew I was in a mood and having a ‘tude, and it was like I just couldn’t get over it. Part of the ‘tude was the frustration over being trapped inside all beautiful, gorgeous fall perfect-for-apple-picking-or-pumpkin-patchin’-festival-going-or-outside-bein’ weekend long with a sick baby (who literally wouldn’t let me put him down), a recovering hubby, and a very energetic 5-year-old.
If you guys only knew…
I hope I’m not the only one out there that feels like this, but in the thick of it all, it certainly feels like I’m a failure. Like I’m a beautiful work of art with a tiny crack that’s threatening to splinter and shatter the whole thing into a million ugly pieces. I mean, dishes piled in the sink, books and toys and shoes scattered all over the floor, picking tomorrow’s clothes out from the clean laundry pile that’s taken up residence on the couch. Walking past the dish towel on the floor because the toddler is just going to pull it down again anyway. Grumbling that the trash is overflowing, and then realizing that I’m the only one who can take it out for the next 6 weeks since he can’t lift it. Resolving to put my big girl pants on and mow the grass myself in practically the same breath that I’m vowing to let it grow, because danggit we’re going thru a season here, people, and if the HOA has something to say about it, then say it!
A mess. I’m a mess yall. This smile and straightened hair is all part of a facade. Please don’t think I have it all together. Don’t look to me and say “such grace” or anything along those lines, because honestly I feel like a flop. There are days when I semi have it together, and moments where I feel encouraged and like I can conquer the world… and then I spill coffee on my shirt on the way to work.
At this point, I’m just asking God to keep Brandon from getting whatever plague the toddler’s daycare friends decided to share with him, and for matching socks for the kids each day. I consider it a bonus if I’m dressed and out the door on time. Because let’s be real, a lot of times, I’m dressed, but I’m not on time. Like that one time – last week – when MY CHILD GOT HIS FIRST TARDY at school. Yep, mom of the year award. I felt like I was branding my child with a scarlet letter when the school secretary handed over a FLORESCENT LIME GREEN tardy pass for him to carry all the way down the hall. Fact: Paxton asked me this morning if he was going to be tardy again, and if I was going to be frustrated about it again. Oops, guess I didn’t hide the fact that I was a little more than irritated that I made my child late for school for the first time ever. Ugh. Mom fail.
I can’t wait for things to be back to normal… whatever that is. I was off to a good start when I threw 3 ingredients in the crockpot and called it dinner. Yep, I was rocking it. Delicious victory was mine…
But on a serious note, through my cranky-feel-like-a-failure moments, I have come to realize that in my own might, I will fail, but if I rely on the Lord, He will certainly do more in and through me than I could ever do on my own. I am reminded of one of my favorite verses:
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
I think I’ve been tired… emotionally, spiritually tired. I whispered weary prayers to the Lord in most waking moments over the last few weeks, but I don’t know that I’ve fully surrendered the battle to Him. I’ve tried so hard to do so much by myself, but He’s there waiting… wanting to bear the load for me. If you’re tired, you should try it. Surrender your burdens to the Lord, and see how he renews your strength. How you will feel refreshed, and like new. In Luke, we’re told to daily take up the cross and follow Him.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Well that’s encouraging! The one who has overcome the world is on our side and wants to carry our burdens. I feel refreshed and renewed and I hope that if you’ve been trying to carry it all on your own – all your family’s worries and burdens – I hope you’ll be able to lay it down.