This week has been abnormally hard. I could blame it on the fact that I came down with a cold 10 days ago and it's still as deep in my chest as it was a week ago. I'm sure the concrete dust suspended in the air doesn't help out a whole lot - either way, I've been running on low in the health department which is never fun or convenient. To add to it we've been living in a complete disaster. Each day grows increasingly harder to deal with the mess, chaos and distraction that the floors have become. But obviously there's no turning back now and in the end we will be so grateful!!
My patience level is running thin. What was once a soft plea for my children to keep there shoes on all the time has become a full on yell. How hard is it for them to keep shoes on? We are just trying to avoid any serious hazards and shoes is by far the easiest prevention. Even the rooms that aren't getting new floors get dirtier by the day. And no matter how many times I clean the kitchen, every time I walk into it, I feel as though the walls are caving in on me. Like I mentioned- abnormally hard.
But the hardest parts of the week didn't have anything to do with the house. (Although the added stress of the floor project spills over into every facet of life!) Both Steve and I on separate occasions were brought to tears over not feeling adequate in the parent department. Steve is gone all day at work and some days he comes home and has nothing left in him. Of course Hunter is chomping at the bit to play fireman after his field trip but my poor husband is at the point of exhaustion. Steve just wants to be there for them and play with them and right now that's just not working so well. It weighs heavy on him and he's so hard on himself, much harder than the kids will ever be.
I, on the other hand, was kindly reprimanding my daughter this evening for one thing or another. As soon as we had the conversation and tears welled up in her eyes I knew this was not the night to be having this conversation. In regret, I laid beside her in her bed and started to talk to her. I explained myself in a calm loving voice and decided to move the conversation in another direction.
Kara: I'm so glad we're friends.
Hallie: We're not, I'm your daughter.
Kara: You're my daughter and my friend. You're my daughter because I gave birth to you and I will spend my life loving you and taking care of you and teaching you. You're my friend because I love to spend time with you, I love to hear all about your day and I want to do fun things with you.
Hallie: Friends play with each other. You don't play with me.
Kara: We don't play like we used to before you went to school. But I sit at the piano with you and I help you with homework and art projects and we work in the kitchen together and we go for bike rides. Those things are "playing" for older kids.
Hallie: But it's not really playing like friends do.
Ouch. This coming from the girl who at two years old sat next to me on the piano bench and said, "We're best friends, huh mom. Like forever best friends." I was speechless. I sat looking up at the ceiling fighting back the tears in my eyes. I reiterated my love for her and what a good friend she is to me. I told her I would work harder to be that friend for her. I poured out my heart to her and she sat there for second. I asked her what she was thinking about...her reply, "What second grade is going to be like next year." And just like that - the moment was over. She was on to a new idea. And although she switched gears quickly, her words stung and stayed with me.
I know it's not the end of the world, but it caused me to reflect. Where can I steal more time with her to "play". By the time school is out and lessons are done and homework is complete - dinner needs to be cooked, kids need to get ready for bed, reading needs to take place and before I know it the night is done. But the pit in my stomach tells me to carve out that time, somewhere. She is ready and willing to be with me at this age - there's no telling when that will dissolve. I start to get that panic feeling - This is my first time being a parent and everyday is something new...am I doing everything I should be doing, where am I falling short, what in the world am I doing wrong?
And just like that I've talked myself out of being the confident deliberate mother I know I can be.
I just have to remember...tomorrow is a new day. I will counsel with the Lord, and I will work on my shortcomings. I will make sure my children feel of my love, not just hear of my love. I will be better because of the things I have learned. I am a mother and without a doubt I know that's the role I've been prepared to fulfill.