It was one of those days. I was weepy, hormonal, cranky, and generally out of sorts. I felt like I was going to scream because I’d been cooped up in the house with two kids, I had a work deadline breathing down my neck, AND I could feel a sinus infection coming on.
It had all started pretty well. That morning, seven year-old Jordan, two year-old Jackson, and I were cuddling on the bed and Jordan said, “Jackson is so cute I could die!”
Then it went downhill. Later that day, he and Jax were playing with (washable, of course!) markers. At one point, I looked over and Jordan had scribbled kick me on Jax’s lower back above his diaper. I had to laugh, but I also had to work at getting the marker off with an unscheduled bath.
As for the now-tattooed toddler, his day was spent screaming at the top of his lungs, taking off his diaper at any opportunity (and then laughing hysterically and running away from me as fast as he can), protesting a nap to the fullest extent of his small body, and saying, “poo-poo head!” really loud.
Since waking up, I had said weird, random things, like:
- Your diaper is not a storage facility for raisins.
- Don’t drink the bath water.
- Don’t lick the carpet.
- Your nose is not the place for popcorn.
- Yes, the people on Pluto probably do have lunch plans.
- How come you can spell “perpendicular” but you can’t remember to flush?
By two o-clock, I was done in. And I still had a deadline!
When the baby’s naptime FINALLY came, I tried to work, but Satan kept reminding me of a negative writing review I’d received, using it to bug me about not being good enough. I told him to go away! (It helps that I recognize it now–I used to cave in with insecurity and not fight it.)
And then I realized that this was one of those times that I needed to just be still. Turning off the computer, I poured myself a cup of hot Chai tea, sat in my favorite chair and I opened my journal. With a smile, I saw that my life hadn’t changed much in the past few months. One entry read:
Jordan brought me two dead crickets, a fake silver fingernail and (oh yes!) some crumpled rose petals from the bush in the backyard last week. He also recently told his dad, “When I was two and three, I peed in the bath.” When Carey looked at him incredulously and asked why in the world he would do that, Jordan said, “Well, it was too warm to get out when I had to go.” Yikes! And when we were in the drive-through at McDonald’s, I heard him say to his one year-old brother, “You’re supposed to toot when I pull your finger.”
Oh, my. I’m in for a long haul, I’m afraid. It reminds me of what a friend told me recently. Her high schooler (a boy) said, “Mom, you’d better check up on Matt (his younger brother) after he showers.” When my friend asked why, he said, “All through middle school, I never used the soap.”
And I started to chuckle. Hey, I thought, I don’t need sitcoms, or the funny papers. I have two boys!
Continuing in a quiet—and slowly improving–mood, I opened the scriptures.
The book of Isaiah is a particular favorite when I’m feeling insecure, frustrated and unsure. I turned there, as I had so many times before, and read, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3, NIV)
Once again, I was comforted and encouraged by the Word, and by being in God’s presence. I didn’t hear any audible voices or bells ringing , but like I told my husband later, “The crazies went away.” I was able to regain my sense of sanity and realize that it’s okay to feel nuts once in a while. God loves me anyway.
Time with God in the midst of mommyhood helps me to realize I’m doing the best I can in the roles I’ve been given, with God’s strength, wisdom and help. And that’s enough!
I need those moments with my Maker to remind me that my boys are not just burdens to be born—they are my biggest blessings! And after I spend some time with God, I remember that more often. In the midst of the chaos that swirls around me, He helps me keep my perspective—and a sense of humor.
He also helps me find GREAT places to hide the markers.
Dena Dyer is a mom of three boys, ages 2, 8, and 35. She loves to scrapbook, read, and write essays and books. She attends MOPS at Lakeside Baptist Church in Granbury, Texas.
©2009, Dena Dyer