Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mommy Meltdown

This weekend, Mommy had a meltdown.

Not in any obvious sense - I wasn't screaming and yelling (this time!) - but there was a slow internal decomposition, until I ultimately found myself curled up in a ball on my bed, crying. Being a mommy is such a role of absolute, total servitude. Very few thanks. Very few acknowledgements of all the little things you do. Very little (if any at this point) understanding by your children of how much you sacrifice to help them grow up well. Not quite enough comprehension by my husband of how utterly exhausting it can be. And this year, not even a mother's day card to boot.

I was feeling very sorry for myself. Why, oh why does my husband get to play badminton at a party while I nurse a baby, fix a boo-boo, cajole a 3 year old into eating more than cake for dinner, then try to eat my own dinner with one hand, while the other hand bounces a tired baby on my knee? Will I ever get to leave the house alone again, without wondering if said house will still be standing upon my return? Will I ever have time for just me? Why does my husband get a nap when I'm the one that's up at the crack of dawn with the baby? Why, oh why am I the one doing all the sacrificing around here?

So I found myself calling out to God, a little belatedly I must admit. And he had a surprising revelation for me. I didn't hear His spirit whispering "I'll fix it" or "Your husband needs to change" or any such thing. Instead, I felt the Spirit saying. . . STOP PLAYING THE VICTIM!

Excuse me?

That wasn't what I expected. What, God didn't want to join into my pity party? Guess not . . .I think He just wanted me to face up to my problems and do something about them. Take action and stop whining. So, I started by telling my husband that I felt overwhelmed. That set off a chain of events which included him suggesting that we get a babysitter next weekend. Then instead of walking and jostling and rocking the baby till he fell asleep, only to have him awaken five minutes later, screaming - I decided to have a quiet sleepy time routine, and then put him down. After one long 2-3 am hour, he gave in and fell asleep on his own. Today has been much more peaceful as far as sleeping goes. AND, I started planning activities to keep my 3 year old busy and away from boredom. So today, while she was at a playdate, I actually sat down and wrote in my journal for the first time since the baby was born!

Not that everything is all better, or that I will never feel sorry for myself again. But to give myself some grace, it WAS a busy weekend including one birthday party and two separate extended family visits over three days. Lots to do on top of the normal chaos. BUT, perhaps next time, I will take control of my problems and find a way to take care of ME while I take care of everyone else. After all, I too am a member of this family :)

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