Today I let Satan steal my motherhood. All seemed to start out well, but by the time it hit 4:30 it was clear that I had pretty much handed it over to him. I obviously hadn't planned on this happening, but slowly and surely my self-talk, my patience, and my entire ability to do this "mom-thing" began to quickly spiral downward.
Motherhood is such a tough gig, because within one day you can feel completely in control and minutes later things turn to complete chaos. This was my day. This morning was filled with the normal day-to-day. The kids were fed, Evie and Sam had baths, we watched a movie, we colored, and we did a craft. Sure, there was the occasional Evie tantrum or Belle meltdown, but things were under control.
I really began to question myself when Sam's napping just wouldn't happen. I'd work so hard to finally get him to fall asleep and within 30 minutes he was awake. I tried to keep a positive attitude telling myself that it was fine and eventually he'd take a long nap, but I was struggling.
Here's how things went for me...
"Okay, Sam needs to sleep. The girls are watching a movie on the couch. As long as Evie sits there she won't hurt herself. Lord, please don't let her try to go up and down any stairs. Come on, Sam, give in already..."
"I should check on the girls. Ugh. I feel so bad that I am giving so much time to Sam and they are stuck in front of the TV. Maybe I should let him cry longer. Although, he is only 12 weeks, and I don't want him crying TOO long. How long is too long? Maybe I should stop the swing and try him back in his crib. I could nurse him, but that would take more time from the girls and he might not transfer well. I could try a bottle, but I should really be trying to keep up my milk supply..."
"Ugh, Sam JUST fell asleep 15 minutes ago. Why is he awake. I'll get him up. Why are the girls fighting AGAIN? How many times are they going to hit each other? I need to be more consistent with putting them in time out. I can't focus on keeping Evie in time out while Sam is screaming. I need to keep rocking him, but she clearly needs some attention..."
The culmination of the entire night came when I snapped at Belle when she asked for a drink before bed. And if I am to be honest, my snapping at Belle including some cussing. At that point I began to cry knowing I was taking my personal frustration out on Belle, and I sat down to ask my sweet girl for forgiveness. She poured on me hugs upon hugs and kisses to make my heart melt. She squeezed me tight and told me that tomorrow she wanted to help me even MORE. She knew her mama was tired.
After a text to two of my closest friends about my downfalls, they reminded my that I was doing a good job because I had a kid who showed empathy to her mother. I was allowing myself to miss the good I was doing within all the not so good. Amidst all of my negative internal dialogue I forgot to thank the Lord for Evie who wanted to snuggle all day, for Belle who offered (all on her own) to dust my TV stand, for Sam who gave me one good stretch of happy smiles today. I forgot to treasure my Evie who cleared her own breakfast plate without me asking. I missed that Belle cleaned up the chalk she got out the very first time I asked. I ignored that Sam sat for 20 minutes watching a Praise Baby today while I was able to actually get some laundry put away. I disregarded that I made my kids whole wheat WITH flax seed pancakes and they devoured them. I had allowed Satan to steal my motherhood.
Today, I write this as one tired and worn mother. I write this as a mom who has spent the past 12 weeks with a sweet boy who isn't much of a sleeper and has given me little down time. I have allowed my exhaustion to make me feel bad for myself and snap at my family. I have allowed myself to beat myself up for what I wasn't getting done, rather than proud of the things I have been accomplishing. Satan has been real good at stealing my motherhood and making me feel inadequate. To be honest, I have been making it easy on him. Things in this home are good. I am really doing a good job, but I'm not giving myself enough credit considering the stage of life I am at.
So, tonight I vow to try better at listening to the life-giver who has called me to raise the three precious lives he has blessed me with. He knows I am adequate and he knows I am the best person to raise Belle, Evie, and Sam. I am going to have tough days like today, but I am going to hold on tight to my motherhood so Satan cannot steal it away. Today it was okay, and tomorrow it's going to be okay too.