At one point yesterday Dan said, as a couple of our children were running around near us, “I love our family.”
We spent yesterday (and last night) at Dan’s parents. I spent much of that time watching my sons, enjoying their cuteness and silliness, and pondering my own attitude of the past few months.
I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed, to put it mildly. This doesn’t mean that I actually AM overwhelmed all the time, I just FEEL that way. And it’s been crippling in some ways. I’ve struggled with motivation to do simple things… like get out of bed with a joyful spirit, to take the guys to play at the park… and sometimes just plain enjoy being with my kids. Instead, I get frustrated that I’m sweeping the floor for the 7th time today, or that there’s water all over the bathroom floor again, or that “you are complaining and arguing AGAIN!” while all the while I complain to God.
Parenting is humbling, at times excruciatingly so. From age 12-23 one of the primary ways I spent my time was babysitting. I love kids, and I took care of a lot of them. I thought being a mom would be a walk in the park… and then I became one.
I couldn’t understand why God gave me such a strong-willed firstborn. The boy is still a legend in our church nursery for the, um, passion, with which he screamed there… every week… for over a year. The only babysitters we could leave him with were our parents, because we trusted that they would still love him even if all he did was wail, which he usually did. Eventually I realized that perhaps God gave me a “harder” baby because I’d see that I couldn’t do it without Him.
Then 19 months later came #2, also rather fiery. 17 months after that was #3, who thankfully was a bit calmer, though much more mischievous than the first two. Another 19 months and we were given our sweet and peaceful baby. But now he’s almost two and is into everything, which is compounded by the fact that he’s also trying to keep up with his older brothers.
Then there’s me. I’m just one girl. And some days it seems like these 4 boys are out to fight me at every turn. And I get tired. And I struggle.
But then I take time to look at them, to really see them, and I realize again, like my husband, that I love our family.
I’m thankful. For my encouraging, godly and funny Dan, whose hugs infuse me with strength. For my smart and silly Will, who challenges me on so many levels, but who comforts me when I’m hurt. For my wild and wacky Aiden, whose imagination makes me wonder. For my quiet and quirky Josh, who makes me laugh with his crazy faces. For my sweet and smiling Noah, whose precious grins could make anyone’s day better.
This is my family, and I love them.