I woke up this morning to Truett screaming for the 3rd day in a row, and I'm still deciding what my attitude should be. I know it should be a no-brainer, but I have to contemplate these things on a daily basis. I pray a lot about what to do in hard situations like this. I call them hard. Some wouldn't, but I do.
I don't have 5 kids. I have one, and I still think it's hard sometimes. I don't like for my kid to cry, but I am okay with him being fussy and letting him learn to get over some things on his own. I don't pick him up every time he makes a noise because I want him to be able to play by himself. He shouldn't always need my undivided attention. It's called self-play, and it's a wonderful thing for him and for me.
Needless to say, no matter how hard I try to ignore the new constant crying thing he's got going on (and I do mean constant) and just treat him as I normally would, playing with him sometimes (still crying), picking him up sometimes (still crying), talking to him (still crying), singing (still crying), feeding him (still crying), and letting him sit and play on his own (still crying), it's just hard. What is going on?! I really do have a lot of patience, but I don't have the understanding, and oh how that frustrates me. People tell me, "It must be his teeth, oh he must be sick, oh he's tired, oh he's hungry, oh...." No, he's really not. He's fine, and I'm 99% sure of it, because I've seen him in all of those situations and I know that there is nothing wrong with him. He's not sick, tired, hungry, wet, or teething. He's mad about life today. He does have happy moments in between the tantrums, of course, and we'll even sit and read a book quietly together, but for the most part, it's just been hard.
This morning I sat on the edge of my bed holding Truett at 6am after about an hour of his tears. He still continued to cry, so I joined him.
I know some of you would say, "Oh Michelle, call me!" I sure would, but it is almost a catch 22, because although I could call people, it's nearly impossible in the midst of a crying fit that never ends. Although I could go visit people, Truett would puke all over their stuff. It's not a might. It's a "No, he will ruin your couch or your carpet." Although I could go somewhere, him missing a nap on a cranky day like this really is the end of the world to me and not worth the trip to anywhere, plus I'd have to change his clothes about 5 times like usual, and it's just not worth it in the end. They sound like excuses don't they? Yeah, I'm pretty sure they are. But they are realistic. I know myself, and I know it's not worth it to get out of the house too much with a super soaker wearing cranky pants.
Sometimes being a mom is harder than teaching a class of middle-schoolers. People never talk about the bad days. I mean, who advertises that stuff? But I just want to be honest about the ups AND downs of parenting. There are 20 wonderful days for every 5 hard ones.
Today is a hard one. That's where God is my strength, because he always answers me when I ask him to help me. Always. Every time. In the midst of the storms, I will praise him all the more, because that is when I am reminded how much I need him. This morning was the most worshipful moment of the entire week, and I praised God in the midst of Truett's crying fit, because he never left me and he told me just what to do. He is my wisdom and my strength.
So yes, I believe it's possible to be joyful and full of thanks while feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by life. I am thankful today for so much, including each crying moment, each changed outfit, each smile, book, hug, and nap. God is good, all the time.
Call me crazy, but I'd take 10 more kids.