Ever have one of those days where EVERYTHING seems to bring you down? Where all the 'little' things that bother you are pushed down and down and down until there is no more room and they explode, all at once, right back in your face?
THAT is how my day was yesterday. I had hit my limit. Corynn hasn't been given a spanking in AGES, because she hadn't needed one. Yesterday, she was given four. FOUR. After months of having none at all!
Parenting can be such an insufferable task. I have always likened it to a rollercoaster...
Children who are diligently directed eventually learn the rules and happily abide by them. That's when you are flying, hair whipping about you and belly laughs resounding from deep within, DOWN the rail mountain. But then, children grow just a bit bigger; their bodies and minds are both more capable of experimentation so, they again start pushing the limits, trying new things, and needing (again) reinforcement and direction. That's when drudgery comes, and crawling inch by inch up the huge mountain, praying and looking forward to the wonderful thrill you will have once up there again.
(This is all an analogy of course, and speculative at that-because I HATE rollercoasters and would NOT find plummeting to your death an enjoyable activity...)
They grow a bit, become disciplined and obedient, then they grow a bit more and have to learn MORE lessons. So it goes, for years and years. Corynn and Andrew are both in the 'growing up' and testing new things stage.
Corynn broke her watch yesterday. The second watch she has broken in four months.
She was a squirmy-worm during schooltime yesterday. I mean, she didn't stop MOVING. She grabbed her sock and pulled her legs about, bounced up and down. It was infuriating. We finished early because I had had enough. My temper was growing more and more thin. I knew in my head that working at the table from now on (we were on the living room floor) would probably lessen the 'squirmies', some children need that...but in my heart I kept thinking (and still it is tucked away in a crevice where I can't reach it and pluck it out) that I am not cut out for teaching. Patience is not my strong point, and something I need to do a lot of work on.
Perhaps most importantly of all, not having a huge support network (or even large, for that matter) is also trying. I am going against the flow in staying home with my children, in the discipline of them, in not working outside the home, in not sending my kids to be socialists in the public daycares, in homeschooling, in encouraging Corynn to wear dresses and be feminine and the list goes ON and ON and ON. I feel very lonely and isolated, and like I am a disappointment to those who I am SUPPOSED to be able to look up to.
It is trying when many people think that you contribute only to your family in dollar signs. Of course, I don't have a job so I don't bring home dollar signs. I remember wailing that fact to Matt last night, "So and so brings in thousands of dollars for her family and I only bring in 50 ECB's!!! (those are extra care bucks for you non-cvs'ers).
There, of course, is a lot more to it than all that but all of it combined overwhelmed me and erupted the self-pity volcano.
The moment I put the children to bed, I went downstairs and threw myself at Matt's feet, my head in his lap; my tears cascading from swollen, red eyes and soaking his sweater nearly to the point of dripping. He kept stroking my hair as I blubbered on and on and he listened to me with sympathy (except when I wailed about the ECB's-a laugh escaped him then.). Then, when I was finally able to catch my breath, he spoke to me. Quietly and wisely. He was apologetic, he was encouraging, he was thoughtful and loving.
A friend wrote about her husband and how he was, in a sense, like Christ personified here on earth. I read her post on it yesterday and thought it was a lovely sentiment and true in essence, but only last night did I come to fully appreciate the truth in that statement. Christ refers to himself as the bridegroom and the the Church his bride. In a sense, our husbands are to embody Christ's own characteristics; meekness, self-control, leadership, forgiveness, ecouragement and wisdom (to name a few).
She wrote: Often it is the arms of my husband that
I am SO very thankful that I have such a devoted and wise husband. One that leads our family, strengthens our family and builds us up. One that I can turn to when I feel more frustrated than happy and who can turn my feelings around. A man that can show me how to be more Christ-like, through His example. I know just how very precious a gift that it is.
He reminded me of my high calling as a mother, he reminded me of our goals in raising our children to be godly, he encouraged me and told me he was proud of the work that I do, and he reassured me that He didn't want our lives to be any other way. He asked me why I need the approval of men when what matters most is living a life that is pleasing to God? What a blessing he is to my life and how much better I feel about my situation this morning!
Praise be to God.