I can’t do this by myself.

April 13, 2012

There are days when I think I’ve pretty much got this mothering thing figured out.

I’m up and energetic, playing trains with Adlai on the floor, making homemade bread, looking put-together in jeans with no stains and full makeup on.  There’s food in the fridge, laundry on the line, and dinner in the oven.

Then there are days like today.

And, if I’m honest, weeks like this week.

Our cupboards are bare.  Our carpet is covered in crumbs.  Our laundry baskets are overflowing.  And my patience is at an end.

On Wednesday, I took a train journey with Adlai to be fingerprinted as part of the next phase of my application to remain in the UK.  It started out fine.  The sun was shining, I was taking pictures of Adlai being cute and waving at the trains, and riding in a big seat like a big boy.

But then we had to queue for half an hour, and he was losing it, and I was losing it.  And I bought him McDonald’s for the second day in a row to keep him happy for a few more minutes.  And then he pooed through his pants.  And I had to buy him an emergency outfit in Marks & Spencer because I didn’t pack any extra clothes, and wrestle him down on the changing table in a handicapped bathroom, and he was crying, and I was crying, and I spoke harshly to him, though it wasn’t his fault.

And then there was today, when we came home from the park and he was hanging onto my leg and I was distracted, looking at the mail, and he fell over and bumped his head on a chair.  And only five minutes later, I was making him a scrambled egg when he fell over again, in the kitchen, this time on the hard slate floor.  And I felt so frustrated, because it was all because he was climbing on a box I had told him not to climb on – a box I should have already taken out to the recycling bin.

There are other days, too.  Ones when I spend too much time looking at my phone, or the TV, or the computer.  Ones when I am impatient and easily angered.  Ones when I feel resentful and sorry for myself for howhardIamworkingandnobodyevennotices.

I do not have this mothering thing figured out.

It’s on these days like today, in these weeks like this week, that I am so grateful for Amazing Grace.

And that I realize just how much I need my Father to change me; to make me the mother, the wife, the woman I want to be.

The one He made me to be.

10 responses to “I can’t do this by myself.”

  1. Michelle says:

    Being a Mom is hard. I think every one of us has days/weeks like this too. Especially with the smallest ones at our feet. Just when I feel like I’ve established a semblance of balance, it flies out the window the following week and so it goes every following week … balance, less balance, no balance, etc. It’s the great struggle! You just somehow develop a thicker skin and become more accepting of it and appreciative of it as the years pass. The days are long but the years are short.

  2. Christa Cox says:

    4 years later, I still don’t have it figured out.
    Remember that it’s a journey, and someone forgot to give us a map. We are blindly following trails, hoping they lead us in the right direction. Sometimes we get upset, and angry, and that’s ok, because eventually we’ll get right back on the path we should be on. Occasionally we say or do things we aren’t proud of as Mums, but it is again part of our journey, and we are lucky because our children are quick to forgive.
    Breathe it out, breathe it in. The crumbs will get vacuumed, the floors will get washed eventually. The laundry will be sorted in time. Give yourself permission to leave it all for a day.
    Good luck Faith. And you ARE the mother, He made you to be, and He doesn’t make mistakes.

  3. Courtney says:

    You’re an awesome mama Faith!…and also a great wife and friend. I can tell by the way you do things with lil Adlai, and how you try to do the laundry, dishes and cooking so timely and with love. (Even if it doesn’t feel like it all of the time.)…and how you write your blog and encourage your friends to be happy and chase our dreams. Hang in there, girl. Life’s a roller coaster ride, and screaming is half the fun 🙂 xoxo

  4. Carly says:

    Wow, your writing cuts right to my heart and reveals the stuff I’m thinking and feeling. Love your honesty, creativity and dependence on Jesus. Thank you.

  5. Callie says:

    Oh my goodness… we all have days and weeks like those! Did you ever read my “Shaken Momfidence” post? Same idea…. http://etzhazayit.blogspot.com/2010/09/shaken-momfidence.html

    • GreatSmitten says:

      Yes Callie, I remember reading this when you first wrote it. Thankfully there were no old Jewish ladies telling me what to do… 😉

      • Callie says:

        That’s the crazy thing about it! Even though we can’t do it by ourselves… sometimes the “help” can make it more stressful or confusing or something! 🙂

  6. Tia says:

    Hey Faith,
    All I can say to this blog is that I completely understand. Believe me when I say this, but every mother goes through it. We are only human, and no matter what person tells you that a mother is always caring and loving and sweet, that is simply NOT TRUE. My son sometimes drives me so crazy I need to put him in his crib for 20 minutes so I can calm down. Motherhood or parenting for that matter is a hard job. Possibly one of the hardest jobs a person can every go through. But in the end, just remember that you are only being the best mother you can be, and that is what counts. And always remember especially that your son will see that too.

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