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Mothers Day reflections.

I have a mothers day confession. This past month has been really hard for me. About this time last month I got sick: first a stomach bug, then a cold, then a migraine that lasted like fourteen days. I was also struck down by an even worse affliction: a really bad attitude.

Here is something I wrote a week ago. I didn't publish it on the blog because even I have standards of anti-whining:

I feel like things were easier when Zion was six months old... now he's old enough to throw tantrums and fight with his brother, and given two kids who always want to play with the same fucking lego and now also bite each other, getting a load of laundry from upstairs into the washing machine seems a colosul task. Sometimes I think to myself: I will unload the washer when Dan comes home. And then I think, I need babysitting to do chores? I need a break time TO DO CHORES? This life is so fucked up.

Doesn't that sound like someone you'd like to invite over to your home? A gracious wife and mother who's gentle to her children and a blessing to her husband?

No, it sounds like a selfish brat, motherhood edition. I'm so sick of my own whining. I have this idea of all this free time I should have, all the rest time and crafting time and internet time I deserve, and when my children intrude by needing juice or discipline or two legos connected together I get madder and madder until I slam a door or get a migraine.

I am over it, this version of me that acts like I'm a martyr because I'd rather be working out than pushing a double stroller. I LIKE pushing a double stroller. I LOVE my children. But I've got totally bent out of shape focussing on all the things I can't do. I'm doing something I like and whining about something I might like more. I'm sick of this ugly version of me. I'm missing all the fun time I get to enjoy with my kids because I'm thinking of all the FORCED time I HAVE to spend with my kids. It's stupid. And I am ready to do something drastic about it.

Until I can get through a day without resenting my job of mothering, I'm giving up sewing, knitting, and basket weaving. I'm giving up soap making. I'm giving up any other stupid craft projects I might think of. I'm giving up on trying to "accomplish" anything outside of mothering. I'm going to sit on the floor and play with those legos and LIKE IT, and when the kids are okay playing by themselves for a minute I'm going to clean the house.

Of course I'm still going to blog, but I'm not going to read as many, and I've already culled the craft blogs from my RSS.

I have also been reading some books, books about modeling good behavior to your children and dealing with your anger.

I'm trying to chuck out all my ideas of what external thing would "solve" my frustration for me. I'm not going to say, "I need Harvey to stop whining! I need the kids to stop fighting!" Instead, I've made a list of positive goals for family, things that, if they become true, could really open up a lot more space in my life.

Here are my big dreams for the next four months. In order of importance.
- Zion takes the majority of his calories from solid food.
- Harvey goes to kids' church.
- Zion sleeps three hours at a stretch at night.
- Harvey pees in the potty.
- I find some workable form of birth control that isn't abstinence within marriage.
- Harvey poops in the potty.

If necessary I will exchange "peeing in the potty" for "peeing outside on the ground." I may be willing to exchange "Harvey goes to kids church" for "Harvey acts like a perfect angel in the sanctuary," but only if we also find some way to have regular play dates with real honest to goodness children.

So it looks like I have my work cut out for me, but at least I've opened up some space to be focused.

Lest you think I'm overreacting and I don't need to worry, here is what happened this morning. All the mothers at our church got tulips during the service, but I didn't collect mine because I was in the side room nursing Zion, and I was SO MAD that I didn't get to pick one out. But my friend Bridget snagged one for me (yay!) but then I took the boys out of the service for being loud and Harvey grabbed the tulip and broke it and I was so furious because THIS IS JUST HOW YOU TAKE AND WRECK EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE. Yeah, I need a mothering makeover.

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