Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Parenting: A Burden or a Blessing?

Today I worked late and as I was driving home I was silently praying that the kids would already be asleep while wishing that I didn’t feel that way. As I drove home I grew anxious…almost dreading the inevitable…my kids, my WIDE AWAKE kids!! I tried to suppress the impending dread by replacing it with beautiful thoughts of two little people greeting me with BIG HUGS and smiles and love as they normally do. I tried to remind myself that I LOVE them to pieces…I do…I really do…I tried to imagine a peaceful bedtime with no screaming…just stories and sweet lullabies…I imagined a fairy tail, where I am transported to this beautiful land where there is only laughter and happiness, rainbows and sprinkle cookies.

Children are a gift from God. But they can sometimes feel like a burden. They take a lot from us emotionally and have the potential to suck the life force out of us. A few weeks ago Alexis put me to bed…I mean, after 2 hours of tantrums and sheer and utter emotional torture of watching my sweet darling baby go from a baby to a toddler right before my eyes I laid on my bed and cried. I was exhausted…emotionally exhausted. This is parenting.

It sounds completely wrong to refer to your kids as burdens. It almost sounds that if you admit this “fact” it’s like saying they are unwanted…No one ever wants to feel that they are a burden to anyone much less unwanted…And I want to be clear that though it is burdensome, wearisome, tiresome, and emotionally grueling, they themselves are not a burden to us…or unwanted…But tonight…Tonight I just wished that my heart felt differently….tonight I wished that I wanted to see them. Instead, I secretly wished they were asleep…So I could enter my home and have peace. And exhale with a  deep breath and peace and zen.

My son has some type of speech delay and it has been challenging trying to understand him as well as discuss things…like feelings, his day at school, why he’s scared, what he’s scared of. Whenever I ask him questions he gets quiet, mumbles utterances, NOT WORDS, almost to a soft whisper and essentially says nothing…IT IS SO FRUSTRATING! Because I know he IS capable of talking. He IS capable of expressing himself. Yet he freezes up. And my “reaction” does not help. Because then I am frustrated and I say, “use your words, talk louder, I can’t hear you? I don’t understand” etc. etc. Yes I know…Not my finest moment.

Tonight I tried to find out how his day was…And he started with the mumbling of nothingness. I was already in a mental place of not wanting to be here even before I got home…So his utterances coupled with my feelings led me to my tipping point. Jared! What’s wrong with Jayce!? Why cant he talk!? What the hell!? Of course these are not conversations you should have in front your child…Clearly his shoulders drooping was a clear sign that I should stop…But I didn’t…I had to “get my frustration out.” I could not longer hold it in…. “He can talk…He has words…Why won’t he use them!!!?”  After more mumblings from Jayce and fretful sounds from him I declared that tonight I am unable to be a good mother and needed to step out…So I decleared, “husband – I cant do this…not tonight.” I retreated to my room and cried…and cried…and cried…

I feel so guilty…Why didn’t I get help for his speech delay sooner?  You KNOW early intervention is key!! Why didn’t I have him assessed when I first started to think he was speech delayed more than a year ago? Why did I listen to the doctor who said he sounded okay?  These thoughts feed my guilt…

Then I feel anxious…I am going to mess this kid up. I just know it! He is going to have self-esteem issues or not be able to express his feelings because of me! And then he will need therapy for life!?!?!? Think about it…boys who can’t deal with emotions grow up to be men who can’t deal with emotions. Men who can’t deal with emotions turn to drugs, alcohol to help them cope…If Jayce becomes an alcoholic it would be my fault…Or maybe he will turn to Jesus to cope? Yes! YES! He will turn to Jesus…Cause Lord knows I need me some Jesus right now…Jesus take the wheel!!

Pray for me saints, I know I am not a bad parent. I know that even good parents have bad days…Today was just my day…Mommy meltdown in progress...

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