Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Tonight has been rough.
Nothing major happened that doesn't normally happen. Except that last night I didn't feel good so I only half-cleaned the kitchen which meant after work today I was greeted with a half-cleaned kitchen. Then came my son's announcement that he was on red light at school today. And the reminder in his bag of when orders for the school funraiser needs to be turned in, when money is due for the class field trip t-shirt and when the book orders have to be in. Oh, yeah, and the weekly newsletter gave me a list of skills I need to be reviewing with my son every night.
Beyond the school recap, we needed to get supper. I have one child who only wants meat and another who only wants bread and I'd like for them to at least pretend to eat their veggies.
By 6:15 I was frustrated and overwhelmed. Honestly I just wanted to crawl into bed, pull the covers up and let someone else deal with it. It's really not so much stuff. But today it felt like a mountain of un-doable tasks and I snapped. I snapped at my children and at Josh. My frustration quickly became the family frustration. Katie whined. Josh retreated to his computer. Malcolm asked a bazillion questions just to get my attention. Yeah, all that helped a lot.
Suddenly our Sunday School lesson came flying back to me. We're studying about the words we tell ourselves. And getting to the root of our negative feelings, actions and self-talk. And what God really thinks about us.
Why exactly did I feel overwhelmed and frustrated in the face of a bare minimum of requests and tasks? Perfectionism. Self-worth tied to what other people think about my parenting skills. What if we don't sell enough in the school fundraiser to carry our weight? What if I forget about the book order and Malcolm's left out when the other kids get their new books? What if my children turn out obese and malnurished because I didn't insist they eat veggies instead of just providing them? What if my house turns into an actual pig sty?
Silly? Yeah. But when my mind is telling me I'm a horrible, lazy parent who will bring up lazy, uneducated, obese children the "what ifs" don't sound so silly.
In Sunday School we are connecting the fruit to the vine to the root. My fruit is frustration and snapping at my family. The vine is the what ifs and the root is the false thought that my value as a parent is based on how many rolls of wrapping paper and magazines we sell.
How do I fix it? First, I have to start at the root and remind myself that none of this determines what kind of parent I am. Then I go to God's Word. He tells me I can do anything through Him, that He has plans for me and for my children, that He knew my children before I did and He chose me to be their parent. Surely all those things count for something.
I'm feeling a little better already. I'll not think about all the skills Malcolm needs to learn by the end of the first 9 weeks or how we've missed all the revival services this week. God has a plan for us. He put us here as the parents of our particular children for a reason. That's enough to get me through another day. (That and the fact that my kiddos are in bed now!)
Thanks for letting me share my round-about preaching to myself.