So, I haven't been blogging much. Turns out adding a 40 hour workweek with a 5 hour a week drive time has really started interfering with my blog time. I mean, if everybody at my house didn't expect to eat every night AND have clean clothes to wear, I would have a little more time. The nerve of these people. :)
I am still greatly enjoying my new job, but I won't lie, reality has set in. The reality that there just isn't enough time in the day. The reality that I have to really set priorities and make sure I stick to them. The reality that I just can't do all of the things I would like to do. It's been an adjustment for everyone. Josh has been totally awesome and cooks supper more nights than I do now. The kids are doing well, too. Kate has been a little extra cuddly and clingy when I'm at home, but I won't complain about that. :)
But, some days are more challenging than others. I do work in a daycare, and while I am thrilled (and knocking on wood) to say that nobody else in my house has been sick this year, I do feel like my body stays in a constant fighting off illness mode. I am pretty sure I've been exposed to everything minus the plague this year and so sometimes, I'm just worn out. Monday was one of those days. Work included a 3 hour drive for me that day and an inservice to sit through and a computer that had crashed. By the time I got home, I wanted to crash, too. Eli wanted to go to the park. I wanted to cry. Okay, maybe I did cry. Because the mom guilt kicked in. That feeling that my kids are being ignored and deprived and neglected. Nevermind that we never went to the park on weekday afternoons before I was working; on this day, I was in full emotional meltdown.
That night Josh had to go make a visit, so the kids and I ate supper and then it was time for baths. As I was telling the kids to get in the bath, I all of a sudden felt like all I do is tell them what to do and what not to do. I just come home and tell them to pick up their shoes and eat their veggies and take a bath. I just knew my kids were going to grow up telling people how all their Mom ever did was make them bathe and brush their teeth and clean their room. And then it hit me, that is what I'm supposed to do. That's my job.
I'm sharing this because yesterday Sarah brought home some short stories she had written that we were supposed to read. One of them talked about her favorite animal being horses. She shared that one of the reasons she loves horses is because they stay in herds. (Is that true? I don't know if it is, but let's pretend, ok?) She said that some animals don't stay with their families and she would hate that because she doesn't know what she would do without her family. She said that I make sure she eats healthy and tell her what she is supposed to do. She said Josh keeps her in line. And she said her brother and sister encourage her to do things she doesn't think she can do. She said that I tell her what she is supposed to do like it is a great thing. And it reaffirmed that thought I just had, that that is what I'm supposed to do. I am so thankful that she appreciates that. Now, if I can just keep her away from all of the kids with awesome moms who not only feed and bathe their children, but also find time to be fun and exciting. :)
It's an amazing thing when your children begin expressing themselves in ways other than laying on the floor kicking and screaming. When you are able to read their thoughts and experience their imaginations. When we got Kate's first report card this year, her teacher said that she looks forward to Kate's laughter and "hearing the stories she tells". I thought that was so sweet. Then I kind of panicked, like, oh my gosh, what kind of stories is she telling??? That thought comes from my own insecurities. That the truth will come out that not only am I not the greatest mom ever, but some days, I just stink at it.
It's the realization that it doesn't matter how hard I try to get perfect family pictures with matching clothes.
It doesn't matter if Josh and I do lots of "good" things for our church or community.
It doesn't matter if other people think we are wonderful.
What matters is the pictures our kids paint. How do they see us and the life we've given them? Do they know that "keeping them straight" and "telling them what they are supposed to do" comes from a place of love and wanting what is best for them? I hope so. I hope that all of the days, the good, the bad, and the ugly, will one day create a beautiful masterpiece in their minds because it is covered in brushstrokes of love.