I used to judge mothers whom I'd overhear mentioning they could use a break from their kids.
"How can they say that?" I'd think. "Being a mother - the world to one or more souls, their everything - what a gift! What an honor! Yes, it's work, but shame on them for wanting a break."
What a bitch.
I now find myself up to my ears in running a home, working JUST enough to squeak by with health insurance, and parenting an energetic three-year-old. Alone. I don't get to go out with friends for an occasional drink or movie (at least, not without some planning ahead). I don't get to just run a few short errands while Blake's napping on weekends as my husband mows the grass (thank the good Lord that I don't have to mow too!).
I had a hard night last night, talking to big Blake and praying and crying and not being able to sleep, so it just lasted longer than it probably should have. While little Blake and I are doing well and generally happy, I am also lonely and tired and frazzled by everything I have to do in a day. I barely have time to eat ice cream, which I love, so it's no wonder that I rarely find time to exercise, which I do not like...because I'm so busy doing everything else that MUST be done - and the list is endless and I won't bore you with it.
So I called my mother tonight to ask her if she could find time to take Blake for a few days. "Mom, I need a break," I sniffled. "I'm lonely and tired, and he's entering a whiny phase that's unbearable, and we're just squabbling constantly. Can you please help?"
Mom was, naturally, eager to accommodate and bless me, which blesses me all the more. I, however, had to keep from hating myself as soon as the words "I need a break," left my mouth. Ah, the perils of being quick to judge and slow in compassion. My hypocrisy knows no bounds.
I love my little buddy so much that I'm willing to send him away from me, so that I can love him BETTER, and discipline him more WISELY, and give myself the much-needed respite that is so hard to admit that I need. I'm going to putter around the house and hopefully knock out a few mini-projects, review my copy of Don't Make Me Count to Three (my favorite parenting book for this age BAR NONE), and hopefully get more rest (by going to bed early, not sleeping in - that ability has been destroyed beyond repair!). And maybe a puzzle. I would love to do a puzzle that has all the pieces. Or scrapbook. Or go on a hike.
I'm also going to try to admit my weakness more to myself. What I am doing is hard. While I think that I'm doing a good job (it's only by the grace of God), I'm also painfully aware of many of the areas in which I fall woefully short. If you think of me in your prayers, please pray for wisdom, courage, and strength, and for grace to remain single for this time...then more grace for the day a fellow comes along that's worth a second look (I have no illusions that a husband will make all my troubles disappear - if anything, I'll just have a bunch of different things to work through...sharing the garage and closet, for example.).
Also, you Bozeman friends...I'm going to have a bit more freedom from Monday to Thursday this next week. Can I come hang out with you?