I'm going to go ahead and be brutally transparent here, knowing full well that it could make me seem wretched, but praying that those reading know that deep down, I am not wretched.
These days are hard.
The past week or so, quite frankly, I have found it difficult to enjoy time with my children.
They're all going through some sort of phase where their favorite game is to test mommy's limits and find the secret buttons we didn't know were there yet.
My five year-old has started telling me that he doesn't like me or that he's going to run away or that I'm a bad mommy when I give him instructions he doesn't like. I know this is likely normal, but it feels like a dagger each time I hear the words.
My three year-old is back to spitting (blowing forceful raspberries) if he disagrees with what I'm telling him to do.
My two-year old is a bucket full of sass and then some, and she's started to ignore me when I talk and tell me no more than ever before.
I know these are not the sum of my children and their personalities, but they've become more prevalent than I've ever noticed before. To top it off, I'm solo parenting, and it feels like I haven't the reinforcements or the stamina to deal with it day in and day out. I am dealing with it of course and I'm not giving into them, but it's incredibly exhausting.
They've been making so many messes lately, and while I make them clean them up themselves, it seems like all day long I am dealing with the messes or the attitude.
I haven't been really excited about our time together like I know I should be, especially since I work full-time-ish and don't see them the majority of the day. I shouldn't wish to be at work more than I am because I am tired of the fight at home.
It makes me feel so ashamed to admit that, like I am failing them. That I am the worst mom ever after all. It makes me feel like it's my fault, and maybe it is.
I know that there are many times over the last week of these hard days that I HAVE enjoyed, even though the negative tone here suggests otherwise. There's been cuddles and hugs, laughter, games, books, running in the sun, treats, jokes, movies, and meals together that are wonderful. I just feel like the negative is bogging me down.
I really do miss having a side-kick in all this. Someone to come to my side when the fight is on and the kids don't want to clean the living room full of toys before they can run around outside with the neighbors. Someone to say "No, mom is right here, buddy," or "You love your mommy, you shouldn't tell her you are running away," or "She's looking out for your safety, dude, don't run through the parking lot." It's a huge burden when it all falls on me.
I know God is there, He's carrying me through it all, of course, providing the strength to get through each battle, even though it feels like I'm not going to make it through to the end of the day with any shred of sanity. I know this, even though, let's be honest, it's not always easy to feel it.
I've been praying day in and day out for the fights to lessen, the children to obey the first time, and for goodness sakes, to have more than three hours sleep at a time. The children pray each night that God helps them to sleep deep, well, with good dreams, all through the night. It seems futile to continue when so far it hasn't resulted in a full nights sleep, but I can't bring myself to give up.
I wonder what it is that God is trying to teach me in all of this, or whether he's trying to show me all my faults. I wonder if I'm being punished.
I caught myself just this week even, wondering aloud, if it was punishment for not letting the kids' dad have them. As soon as the words flew out of my mouth, it was ridiculous, as I know full well that isn't the case at all, as I tried my best to get him to see them and to be in their lives, I just wanted him to be responsible about it, and he disappeared. But somehow it comes back, creeping in, polluting my thoughts about myself.
I have to choose to believe something good or great will come from these hard days. I wish I knew what it was, but all I can do is assume, and hope that it comes soon.