This is not a post complaining about my life, but rather a contrast to the sometimes ‘perfect picture’ we see posted all over social media. Kyle and I have two boys, Nixon who is 15.5 months and Vanek who is almost 3 months, they are a year and 18 days apart. No this wasn’t an accident and I am and always will be extremely grateful for them.
However, just because I am grateful does not mean every day is easy. Every day comes with it’s ups and downs, rewards and challenges, tears and laughter, and then there are days like yesterday where I lost.
Kyle had worked a 12 hour day (which he always does, twice a week), the day had started out pretty normal, but by noon I could sense that things were going sideways and I didn’t like it. Nixon, who is normally quite well behaved, was testing every rule we’ve ever had, defying everything I asked him to either do or not do. Vanek is usually very content with little attention, but yesterday he wanted all my attention, all the time – not possible with a needy toddler. On top of it all, it seemed both boys were on a nap strike.
All I was craving was five minutes of peace and for my routine back. In order to survive a twelve hour day, I need routine, the kids need routine or it would be a mad house. On this day, that routine was quickly slipping away from me and that only added to my frustration. Why could I not get anything accomplished? Why were my children acting out like this? And despite by best efforts, why could I to do nothing right?
By 8:30 Nixon was in bed, and Kyle was home to take Vanek. How was a grown women just defeated by her children?! As I stood in the silence, with tears running down my face I was overwhelmed by a feelings of guilt, followed by grace. I had raised my voice at both boys, more times than I care to admit, I had been more worried about getting our routine in place and getting chores done than stopping and just being the mum they needed today. Most importantly when things started to go crazy, I relied on myself rather than asking God to guide my day. Past experiences tell me that if I had taken a moment to ask for God’s help, things might have gone a little better than they did relying on myself. I don’t mean that the day would have done a 180 and become perfect but I believe God would have given me the grace I needed to handle the situations.
I also realized that because my boys are often so well behaved that I forgot that they are so young and are going to have ‘bad’ days. ‘Bad’ meaning they are going to have meltdowns, be cranky and whiny; basically they are going to be kids. Heck, I’m an adult and I have cranky moments…(maybe some lonnng moments). I need to ease the expectations I have on them and myself. Allow them to be little and have their bad days, allow the routine to go out the window (for a short time) so I can be the mum they need in that moment – not once they’ve gone to bed.
This time with them is short. I am only going to be the solution to their problems for a brief time and I don’t want to look back and wish I had slowed down more to be there for them – I want to do it now.
So I may have lost today but tomorrow is a new day and even if it holds the same challenges, I’m glad I have a God who forgives and will provide all the grace I need to be the present mum my boys need.
Never Stop Adventuring!