In the midst of motherhood, there are times when the days and nights run all together. Sometimes I can’t decide which is more unbearable, the days or the nights.
When the nights are so long- for example, last night I literally only got thirty minutes of sleep- I feel like I just cannot do it anymore. I can’t be a mom. I can’t be a wife. I just can’t do it anymore. The darkness comes in like a crashing wave and knocks me down over and over again. I pray in the darkness for whichever kid is having a hard night to please just be able to go to sleep for just a solid hour. I pray for God to help me be able to cope with no sleep. I plead for sleep, rest, and peace for just a short while.
But sometimes it just doesn’t come. Ryder’s pain was too great after eating the tiniest amount of dairy and she just couldn’t settle down, just couldn’t get comfortable. I quietly sob in the darkness that is engulfing me, remembering our journey and how hard it has been. I sometimes say in a pleading tone, “why can’t she just catch a break? why can’t she just feel good?”. This precious child of mine, the most pleasant toddler on the face of the earth, who has dealt with more pain and prodding and procedures than most people will ever go through seems to be in a constant state of discomfort with no real answers as to why. As much as I feel sorry for myself and the absolutely-no-sleep that I’m enduring, I can’t help but let the tears fall down my face as I’m soothing her and letting her sleep on top of me because it kills me that she is in so much pain.
When daylight starts to come in and I realize all hope of any more sleep is dead, I start to sob. No sugar coating it, I have myself an all-out ugly crying pity party. I think of ALL the nights I have done this with Rory and occasionally Ryder or both and how its just not fair that my kids don’t sleep. It’s just not fair that everyone else has kids who sleep all night in their own beds and sleep past 6am. It’s not fair that I don’t get to ship them to daycare and go to work.
All of those things are sinful and selfish, but I won’t hesitate to tell you that I did think them and I struggle with that all the time. No sleep and my natural born sinful nature just aren’t a pretty combination.
I come back into my room after I’ve sobbed all the tears I can out of me and think terrible thoughts on how bad the day will be because we will all be tired and grumpy, but something stops me in my tracks.
There they are, my two precious girls, snuggling each other in my bed. They are both saying, “Good morning!”, to each other with such joy and love. They don’t care that they didn’t sleep much, they are just happy to be there together. When they see me they hold out their arms and Rory says, “Let’s snuggle a little!”, and all those selfish, ugly feelings start to fade.
It is in those precious moments that God speaks to me the most, pulling me back toward Him and showing me what He has called me to do. He has called me to THIS mission field of motherhood.
So in that moment I have to take a deep breath and make a decision I can either CHOOSE to be happy and determine how our day is going to go, or I can CHOOSE to be a selfish butt all day.
And I’m not going to lie- there have been many days after long, sleepless nights that I have chosen to be a butt. MANY DAYS.
But today I chose to be happy.
I decided before we even ate breakfast that TODAY would be the day I didn’t let my temper and loss of sleep rule me. Today I would show mercy. Today I would choose to not raise my voice. Today I will say yes to my kids when they want to color, play tag, play dress up, watch a movie, or whatever it was that would be fun and not cause damage (ha).
And guess what- it was a wonderful day. We snuggled and watched movies which was special because of our new-ish no TV rule. We played tag in our princess dresses. We colored and drew funny pictures. We laughed. A lot.
Tonight I am able to crawl into bed and breathe a sigh of relief that everyone is sound asleep in their beds (including Andy who is currently sacked out with Rory but I don’t have the heart to disturb him) and I am able to smile and say that I DID A GREAT JOB TODAY.
It isn’t every day that I can say that, but today I can. Today I chose joy and chose to show mercy as God shows me every day, and tonight I will sleep well (if the heifers let me! ha!) knowing that I am a good mom even through all my failures and selfishness.
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” – Lamentations 3:22-23
PS- If you are a mom/dad/wife/husband reading this- you are doing a good job too. Choose joy, I promise you won’t regret it.