Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Sweet Dreams

I had a lot of rainbow and unicorn dreams when I became a Mom.  Especially when it came to bedtime.  It’s so poetic to think of a family hunkering down after a delicious, gourmet, home cooked meal.  In a clean house.  Maybe with popcorn in front of the fireplace.  Or everyone gathered around a board game.  Then tucking bathed children into fresh beds with a cozy story, bedtime kiss and quietly whispering “sweet dreams” as the drift peacefully into sleep.  It’s all so sweet and glorious and… NEVER happens.

Sometimes bedtime goes more like this. 

Get in bed right now. 

I’m serious, get in bed.

Maybe you didn’t hear me when I said GET IN BED!!!!!

Can I….?  No. 

Can You … ?  No. 

Do you…?  No. 

I love you.  Go to sleep. 

I really love you, but don’t get up unless there is blood or smoke or daylight.

Tonight was one of those nights.  I was so glad to put them to bed.  I seriously don’t want to see anyone again until morning.  What kind of bedtime is that?  What kind of mother ends the day with those words?  Definitely not that stuff dreams are made of.  I also haven’t showered yet and would like to take a bath.  I’d like to do the dishes.  I’d like to eat more halloween candy.  And maybe have just five seconds of peace!   

One problem is that I’m constantly scrambling right now.  I feel like I am always five steps behind on everything.  Organization, cleaning and meals.  Bible study, exercise, you name it!  So I’m already edgy and frustrated by that.  I think I should be able to do it all. I was already crabby when the kids came home.  It was a rough night of doing dog chores, homework and piano lessons.  By the time bedtime rolled around, I was in a less than snuggly mood.

Today I stayed home all day.  I know it’s such a novel idea for a homemaker to stay home and do house stuff all day, but that’s my plan for getting caught up. I got nothing done though.  Well, I did do 8 loads of laundry, gave the puppy a bath and some human baths, exercised, made dinner, brownies and a grocery list.  I also ate a lot of Halloween candy.  I just didn’t get everything done I thought I should, like taking a shower.  The day went too fast.   And that’s ok.  I know I can’t whip the whole world or even the whole house into shape in one day.  But I sure would like to.

When things don’t go smoothly Mike might get annoyed or frustrated.  But I take it as a personal offense.  There is nothing I want more than to do a good job as a Mom.  So when things are hectic and crazy and filled with bickering, I take it as a direct slap at my self worth and my purpose.  I just don’t think bedtime means as much to Mike.  To him, it’s a bad night.  To me, it’s a repudiation of me.

So I suppose it’s normal.  Motherhood is not always peaceful.  Sometimes it’s a battle.  Sometimes it’s an all out war.  There will be good nights and not so good nights and miserable nights.  Nights filled with basketball practice and piano lessons and fights and doggie baths.  It’s not logical to take that as a sign of my self worth or lack there of.  But sometimes motherhood is not logical either.

I fully realize that I can’t take bad nights as a personal attack, even if someone may yell something that might be considered one in a court of law.  But I have to separate who I am as a person from how things go in mothering.  Being a mom is no doubt a huge part of what I do and who I am, but the circumstances surrounding it do not define me.

Here’s what does:  I am loved by God and don’t do anything to deserve that.  I don’t have to.  He loves me because He is love.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11

I am forgiven by God. Tomorrow is a new day!

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

I am equipped by God.  He teaches us and makes Himself known through His word.  I better read it.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

That is where my purpose and self worth need to come from, not crazy dreams of a happy (not so) little family.  Not how much I can or cannot accomplish in a day.  Not how smoothly bedtime goes.  The more I can rest in God’s love, forgiveness and teaching the better.  Hopefully our nights will be better too.  If I can allow myself to be filled with God’s love, that will overflow to my plans and my family.  It doesn’t get any sweeter than that.


VA said...

Did you now that you are pretty amazing? Because you are. You SO are.

DWin said...

God's timing is perfect! I really needed to hear that today. And maybe everyday for a few more days.

Sarah, Nathen, Aiden, and Evan said...

I loved this post :)

Peter and Nancy said...

You have plenty of company! Especially on my solo nights when Peter has a class or rehearsal, it can feel like the death march to bedtime. :o) I also use the line about bleeding, and sometimes add puking . . . in which case they'd better be running for the bathroom, not for me! Give me more patience, Lord . . .