Words of affirmation… go a long way

Let me tell you a little bit about my day yesterday!

The morning went fairly glorious.  Kids played for an hour with playdough at the kitchen table- peacefully.  My baby girl took a good morning nap during this time- & I actually brushed my teeth before 10 o’clock.  It was lovely. I was sure it would be a good day like the previous two days.

Somewhere between cleaning up the playdough & lunch my nerves were done.  A two year old that constantly wants & throws fits when his needs are not instantly met can cause a mama to go a little nuts. 

“I wannnnntttt a benana (banana), Mama”

I get the banana- he’s disappeared.

from another room he’s crying because he wants something else- that he cannot have.

He comes back to the kitchen screaming that he “waaaannnntttsss aaaaaa benana NOW!”

Wow- did he really just talk to me that way?

yep.

During all this I have a fussy (teething) 1 year old (to be), a puppy out of her “area” running freely about the house, & a 4 & 6 year old running chasing one another through the kitchen- screaming gleefully.

Don’t you just feel like pulling your hair out sometimes??

Add endless amounts of sleepless nights- for all sorts of reasons.  Too low dose of my fish oils & my app on my phone ringing to let me know that mother nature should be visiting within a day or so.

By the time my husband got home for lunch I was at my wits end. 

Why?! Why?! Can’t I be the mother who is patient, gentle & kind— always.

Why am I so unpredictable? 

I decided to call my (previous) midwife & ask her some “fish oil questions”.  She called back, but had to let me go shortly thereafter to talk to her daughter (who had had back surgery that day- totally understandable).  I basically started giving up.

No one had time to talk to me.

I get very few encouraging words from outside of my home.

I just needed to be affirmed as a mother.  Just something.

I sat down during naps & started youtubing some Sally Clarkson talks.  Sally is my role model.  I love her because she’s not perfect- she doesn’t try to be, but joy floods over me as I read her writings or listen to her speak. 

There was on particular talk that I had seen before, but never watched it.

“The Myth of a Perfect Life” was the title.  And it’s just Sally talking for about 10 minutes or so… about how we as mothers never feel we measure up.   We believe there is a “perfect life”- we have this imaginary image of other mothers out there who have small children as well- who miraculously do everything right.  Their houses are always immaculate, good homemade bread is always baking, children are clean & never get dirty, their floors in their kitchens never look like mine, organized pantries, the list goes on & on… (just look on pinterest- really.)

Her point was – it’s not like that.  We are all struggling.  Life is NOT perfect.  There are messes & there is sin.  This world is NOT supposed to be heaven.  Why do I think it’s supposed to be?! She said, “your kids are not out to get you when they mess up or cry or whine or fuss.  They’re just being kids.  They’re not all sitting around plotting against you.”  Boy, it feels like that sometimes.

I felt some encouragement in listening to her talk in her dear sweet voice- assuring me I was not alone.

My midwife calls me back finally.  We talk about the fish oils & in fact I was about 4,000mg BELOW the therapeutic recommendation.  She then starts saying words of affirmation that I needed so desperately to hear.  She knew little of what my “issues” of late were, but she assured me that I was normal.  That GOD in fact loves me.  And that I’m doing a good job.  That’s so nice to hear when so often those around either say NOTHING or say things they shouldn’t.  And you know what else?!  She asked if she could pray with me right then on the phone.  She began praying- and the words she prayed over me meant more than anyone can imagine.  When I got off the phone- I felt so uplifted.  I felt strength.  I felt like I could make it.

Sometimes we “young mothers” or mothers of “littles” need that affirmation that we’re doing a good work.  That doesn’t mean that you have to approve of everything we do in our parenting.  It means that you believe in us.  This is a very hard time we’re living in. We’re constantly doubting our selves… we need to be lifted up.  Sometimes that means stopping & praying with us & encouraging us.  WE NEED THAT!!!!

Do me a huge favor?!  Tell someone they’re doing a good job!  Call them.  Stop them in the store (or in the line at the post office).  Write them a card.  You have no idea what kind of day she may be having.  It may be the hope she needs to make it through the day.

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Everyone has a story… here’s mine

We all have a story so here’s mine.

There once was a young girl who had been a troubled child.  Her mother had left her when she was young.  Her father was an alcoholic.  She was passed from here to there.  Abused. 

When she was about 17 or so she ran away from home hitch-hiking all the way to Illinois from Texas via truckers.

She ended up in this little town- Milford.

Not sure of all the details here- because I’ve only gotten sketchy inconclusive details of her life in Milford.

She met a friend & ended up moving in with their family.

There was a boy & girl her age who lived in the house she moved into.

Then there was a county fair.

Then there was a positive pregnancy test.

Then they shipped her out.

She claimed that it was their son’s baby.  They denied it.

So, back to Texas she came with her alcoholic father.

Nine months later I was born in a little hospital in Mt. Pleasant, Texas.

To this day I wonder what made her keep me.  I’m thankful she did.  But I wonder…

I can only imagine what it was like- my first few months of life.

The next part of the story is when my mother met my “daddy”.  He tells me he fell in love with me.

I know there was a time that they had broken up or something & she called him crying because she couldn’t buy milk to feed me.  He of course came to my rescue. 

Soon they became pregnant & had my sister. 

Then they got married & had another sister 15 months later.

I don’t remember “happy times” between my mother & dad.  I remember a lot of fighting!  I mean a lot.  But I knew my Daddy loved us girls, but I was never sure that my mother & daddy loved one another.

Then she became pregnant again.

Not my daddy’s baby.

Yet, he stayed with her. After all he had made a vow.

The baby was born, another girl.

There were problems though.

This baby was mentally handicapped.  You see the baby’s daddy was my uncle. My mother’s half brother.  Somehow that doesn’t work well.

But my daddy stayed with her. And kept trying to make it work.

By this time they were in a church.  And were trying to live for the LORD.  Or at least my daddy was.  I found out later that my mother was sleeping around with many in the choir & many of my daddy’s friends.

There was no peace in our home.

I remember my mother would give my sisters & I kool-aide powder to eat because my dad tried to only let us eat healthy.  I guess she thought we were deprived.

I have many memories of that time.  Hot checks were a big issue.

Soon it all came to a head.  One night she was to go on a trip with some ladies from the church- instead she went to someone’s apartment & spent the night.  A male someone.

My daddy was no idiot. He packed her bags & had them ready for her.

Here’s where it gets slightly confusing.

I was not legally my daddy’s child.

I had to go with my mother & the youngest sister (who also was not his).

My two middle sisters got to stay with my daddy.

I clearly remember my mother telling them goodbye at ages 2 & 3. 

She waved goodbye to her life of being a mother simply because she was selfish.

And she drug me along for the ride…

(to be continued)