The past week has been bad for me. I actually haven’t written because as honest as I am, I’m embarrassed at some of the things that have happened. We all have an upper respiratory illness bubbling up, and I am in physical pain from training for a race that I might not be able to complete because of runner’s knee. My patience is running very, very thin for things like Zach’s screaming and Eliza’s incessant jabbering.
Yesterday in the car, Zach screamed for I believe the 6th time at the top of his lungs, and I turned around and screamed, “STOP SCREAMING!!!” (the hypocrisy was palpable) as I smacked his foot (the only thing within reach). Eliza stared at me, surprised and a bit frightened. Last night after dinner, I was D-O-N-E, and I asked Eliza to clean up her Boggle game. She asked “Why?” I said very firmly, “Eliza, the next thing you’re going to do is clean up that game, and if you say anything else before it’s cleaned up, you will get a spanking.” She immediately said, “But mommy … ” and I took her away and spanked her, which made her cry. (Definitely the best way to get in a control battle with a strong-willed child is to do what I did.) Last week, I tried to get a babysitter so I could go to the orthopedist and get X-Rays of my knee, and a few people let me down for help. I called Greg in tears, begging him to work from home so I could have some “sick leave.” I said, “I just need to go back to work. If I were at work right now, the kids would be in daycare and I would just use sick leave to go to the doctor. I don’t get sick days. Whaaaaaa!!!” (Poor Greg.)
When I confess these moments to other moms, they all communicate that they’ve been there. (And if you’ve never done anything like this, you must not have any children older than about 9-months.) I have been feeling more and more like I would like to work part-time, partially to use my brain in a different way, but also to force myself to realize how awesome the time I get with my kids is, and to better maximize it with precious time instead of wasted time, or even worse, time I’d like to erase and re-do.
I recently read a quote in the book “girls!” (which in my opinion, is worth the read if you have any daughters ages 4-12) that struck me. The authors say, “Whether you are a dedicated career woman or a stay-homie, your role is secondary to the attitudes you communicate about your role.”
So, today I thought about this. I didn’t bad-mouth my role, or mutter under my breath about my unhappiness with my kids’ behaviors. I kept my cool in the tough moments. I thanked God for their extra hugs and kisses and cuddles because they aren’t feeling well. And I thanked Him for the gunk (in their lungs and in our lives). And mostly, I thanked Him that I get to stay home, sick days or not.