Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Let them eat marshmallows

I don't think I would have classified myself as selfish in my single days.  Now that I'm a married mother of four I know what selfishness is.  I completely and totally recognize it in myself.  I know why the fruits of the spirit don't include it:  "Now the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, selfishness..."  Uh, no.  When I was single I didn't think it was selfish to eat something without being bothered for a bite, or to sleep all night without being awakened, or to sit for thirty minute increments doing activities I had chosen for myself.  These were just givens in my single days.  Now they are not, and sometimes I find myself a little bitter about that - hence, selfishness. 

Last night Grace was up every hour screaming her blessed heart out, in a considerable amount of pain, but I didn't know what was wrong.  She would fuss and scream and eventually fall back asleep.  She slept on me, because I wanted that sleep to be as long-lived as possible.  Then she would start squirming (writhing might be a better description) and wake up screaming again.  I would get up and try to nurse her in the other room, to allow Charlie some degree of peace and quiet, which she would NOT do (give him peace and quiet OR nurse).  She didn't nurse from 10:00pm until 6:30 this morning.  She wanted to, she was rooting and trying to eat her hand, but she would not do it.  I don't know.  It was a long night and I was thankful for ABC Bible verse songs that I kept singing to her over and over as I walked.

In the morning light she finally nursed and fell asleep peacefully.  Of course, by then her brothers were awake clamoring for breakfast and a movie and not homeschool. And I had to deal with them.  No being short with them.  No going back to bed.  Because there were three little boys who weren't up all night and don't deserve a mama who is testy and grumpy and generally making life miserable.  So here we are.

I want to be selfish.  My heart is selfish.  But I am so thankful for the transformation God has wrought in me.  Because if Grace was my first it would be a whole different story.

So I got up.  Put on my nice mommy voice, and promptly bribed the boys - "yes, you can watch a movie, after you do your chores".  I delegated, "trash day! take out the trash. Move the laundry from the washer to the dryer.  Make your beds.  Get dressed.  Put away yesterday's toys".  I said my pleases and thank yous.  I put on something that makes me feel a little bit special.  Did my makeup and my hair (with a little extra concealer around the eyes).  And planned my day.  I put pull-ups on Daniel so he can start potty-training.  I burnt the oatmeal (Q: who burns oatmeal? A: me, and I can burn about anything else these days too!) .  But it's all okay.  We're just going to go slow and use quiet voices.  At least that's what I am going to do.  Trying to get a houseful of little boys to use quiet voices is like trying to teach pigs to fly.  So I'm not going to expect that of them.  And today, again, I am going to be FunMom.  Because it's a choice.  And I don't want to have a rotten day just because I'm tired.

At the breakfast table I look around desperately at small people not sitting properly in their seats  fighting with each other and banging things on the table.  I cast about frantically in my mind for some small token of fun-ness before my resolve goes out the door..."must think of something fun, must think of something fun....right now!"  ah yes:  "who wants to see what marshmallows taste like in their oatmeal?" And the day begins.

And maybe tonight I'll go to bed early.  But maybe not.


Anonymous said...

Oh I love you Christy. Such a great post. Ohhh yes... no idea how selfish I was until I had children. Or what a hard sin it is to scrape out of my soul.

I hope you get some help with Grace soon and that she feel better, poor baby. Yay for marshmallows saving the morning!


Anonymous said...

Its never too late to start being a fun mom, instead on continuing my day as overwhelmed mom, i'm going to try to do just one thing fun!

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