Tag Archives: mommy

Mom’s losing it!

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I’m not a perfect parent.  Actually I would hate to meet the perfect parent because I would probably hate her or him out of self preservation instincts.  I’m not a perfect parent.  I just screamed at my 5-year old… then she made me laugh.

Today I woke up at 5 a.m. as usual to get ready for school.  We left the house 5 minutes late, and we arrived at school 5 minutes late.  I taught all day long.  After school my daughters had gymnastics, my son had an orthodontist appointment, and I had teacher paper work to do.  We got home at 4 p.m.  I made a snack for the girls, put on a movie, and changed into something more comfortable.

I started making dinner at 4:45, but the power went out. We ate at 6:30.  Actually this is just about the normal amount of time to make dinner because in Latin America EVERYTHING is made from scratch.  No “semi-homemade” or frozen dinners here so it takes an hour or more just to make a normal dinner.  After dinner I started the girls’ baths while my husband cleared the dishes from the table.  After baths, I will put Lucy to bed and start taking down the Christmas tree… and write a blog.

So this was my day.  I’m tired.  I’ve been dealing with kid drama all day long.  For example, as I was making dinner I heard screaming- like blood curdling screaming- from Lucy.  I sprinted up stairs and urgently examined the child for blood.  Nothing.  No, she has an owie on her finger from a few days ago and it still hurts.  That’s what the screaming was about.  So by bath time, I’m out of patience.  Yet she dawdles.  I finally scream, “get over here and get your jammies on!  I’m losing my patience with you!”  Actually it was already gone by that point.

So the child, wrapped Yoda style in a towel, hops over to me and submits to being clothed.  Her hands are on my shoulders while I wrestle damp feet and legs into “footie pajamas”.  Then she looked right in my eyes and said, “Mom!  You’re eyes are so beautiful.  They’re BOTH blue!”  The scowl wrinkles on my forehead smooth out as I laugh off the tension of the last 5 seconds.  Then I tossed the child into bed and she was asleep before I could say prayers with her.  She was one tired Kindergartener and I’m one tired Mommy.  Hopefully someday she will forget all the times that Mom lost it.

Sick

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I miss my Mommy.

Ok, I know I’m a grown woman with children of my own, but when I’m sick, I really miss my own mom.  Fortunately I don’t get sick very often.  And when I do, I’m one of those people who doesn’t notice that they’re sick until they’re nearly dead.  Doctors hate people like me.

“So how long have you been feeling this way?”

“What way?  Oh THAT!  Ummm, I can’t remember how long that’s been going on.  Maybe a week, maybe a month?”

When it comes to my own health, I’m very dismissive.  I seriously use the advice, “just drink a glass of water” for nearly every complaint known to man-kind.  Someday they will discover that water cures cancer, I’m sure of it.  My kids hate it when I say that.

“Mom, I almost cut my finger off with a rusty piece of metal I found in the street.”

“Oh you’ll be fine, just drink a glass of water.”

Last summer I was so sick.  I don’t remember when I started feeling sick, but I do know that we had a team here.  That means I’m pulled in a million different directions all day, every day for 10-12 days.  I am the back up system.  I run errands, drive secondary vehicles, make meals, manage the logistics of moving people and equipment around.  I am “there for” my kids by maintaining their daily routines as much as possible.  I am “there for” my husband like the best personal assistant a missionary could ask for.  I am “there for” the team, always ready to handle any emergency and crisis… just please don’t ask me to preach in Spanish on the spur of the moment when the preacher doesn’t show.  I’ll flat out say NO!  So being sick during team season put a huge wrench in our well oiled machine.

I was out of commission.  Josh would call and ask me to bring something out to so-and-so for the such and such event.  I would drag myself out off of my death bed, run the errand, and collapse.  Finally at day 7 of vomiting and the “other stuff”, body aches and fever, I went to the doctor.

She googled my symptoms… guess that’s why we pay her the big bucks, she has internet.  And she concluded that I either had Dengue Fever or Rotivirus.  She send me to the lab.  After waiting until I had feverishly sweated through the vinyl couch I was sitting on, I was called into the cubicle to give my blood samples.  I was too dehydrated.  They poked and prodded my veins until I was black and blue… no exaggeration.  I looked like I had been mauled by a vampire.  But they finally got a vial’s worth out of me and sent me home.  I stopped in the bathroom on my way out and threw up again, just for revenge.

Two days later, I woke up perfectly fine.  Very weak, but not sick anymore.  I called the doctor to tell her “never mind” about the hideous tropical virus thingy, I was going to pull through.

I was fine.  But I missed my mom so badly when I was sick.  I wasn’t sure if I just wanted someone to take care of my children and make them meals while I lay sick in bed, or if I really needed someone to lovingly cool my forehead with a wet wash cloth and bring me another glass of water.  I don’t know, but moms have that magic touch and just having your mom near you makes everything that much better.  Now I am the magical mommy that kisses away boo-boos and owies and cools fevered brows.  I am the mommy with the magic touch.

Just because I felt like this guy… “I don’t want to go on the cart!  I’m not dead yet.”  Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail:  Bring out yer dead!

Odd Mommy Chores

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While most of the time I don’t even give a second thought to the millions of little tasks I automatically perform when in full Mommy mode, this morning I paused to consider how odd some of my chores are.

This morning I folded up all the umbrellas that had been left open to dry on the patio all week long.  I collected up all the shoes and clothing that my youngest daughter (the nudist) had abandoned in the yard and patio all week long.  I restocked the glove compartment of the car with sunscreen.  And I have big plans for scrubbing down a few outside walls that have started to mold during the rainy season (hopefully that will give me some allergy relief).  I have assigned my oldest son to spray the yard with flea killing chemicals… if it doesn’t rain today.

I also hope to fill the humming bird feeders again today.  I had neglected them when I noticed that we were getting a lot of bats flying around the house.  Considering that we have no screen windows or doors and the doors are left open whenever we are home, I don’t want a bat accidentally flying into the house one evening.  But the other day, a humming bird came right up to my kitchen window where there used to be a feeder.  It was like he was reminding me to make him some sugar water. While that may not seem like an odd chore to some people, it does feel odd to me to be taking “orders” from a creature the size of a pack of chewing gum.

Speaking of chewing gum, one of my past Odd Mommy chores has been scraping gum off the seat of the van and washing face paint off the seat belt straps.  I have washed chalk scribbles off of walls and marker off of couches and boogers off of nearly every surface imaginable.  With little ones the house, there is no limit to the odd things that must be washed regularly.

So now it’s your turn.  What Odd Chores have you performed in the line of duty as a parent?

Reaching the World from a Rocking Chair

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When I got married, I made a deal with God.  I told him, I’ll take as many babies as you want to give to me until I’m 30, then I want to be done having kids.  He didn’t directly agree to this, but at least he knew my preferences.  “You can be God for 10 years, then I’m taking over.”  Well, you know God just had to show me who’s the boss.  We had two children in 10 years and there were years of tears in between them.

Josh and I talked about my plan, but when I hit 30 he started hedging.  “Did you mean the beginning of 30 or the end of 30?” he quized.  I knew to just drop the subject at that point.  Josh wasn’t one to make hasty decisions.  Plus our life was pretty crazy at the time.  We had just landed in Costa Rica for language school and our lives were turned inside out and upside down.  Now was not the time to be thinking about having more children or closing the genetic door.

While we were in language school our youngest child, Emma, started Kindergarten.  For the last 10 years I had been a stay-home mom who home schooled during the day and held various part time evening jobs in addition to helping my husband with the youth ministry at our church.  So the idea of having both of  my children in school was really exciting to me.  I started envisioning myself with more free time in the near future.  I started making plans to be more involved in ministry on my own terms.  I started breathing again.  The future was looking bright and rosy.  Then a cloud rolled over my sunshine.

In August, I started feeling sick.  I thought I probably had a parasite.  After a few weeks, another thought occurred to me.  What… if… I’m pregnant?  There were 5 years between my two children and the youngest had just turned 5 last month.  Oh NOOOOOOO!  I didn’t want to think about being pregnant again.  I didn’t want to image morning sickness, weight gain, labor and delivery, midnight feedings, sleepless nights, groggy days, diapers, car seats, baby gear, losing the weight, and all the other hard things that make the first few years a blur in every parent’s memory.  I knew what was ahead of me (I thought) and I was terrified.  We were expecting a “bonus baby”.

I slipped quickly into a deep, deep depression.  I couldn’t bring myself to actually tell anyone that I was pregnant.  My husband, on the other hand, was elated!  He told all our relatives and friends.  He even told total strangers!  I couldn’t even smile about it.  I was going to be once again chained to a rocking chair just when I was on the brink of experiencing freedom for the first time in 10 years.  My bright future now looked gloomy and depressing.

One day I was lamenting to a missionary friend of mine that I was anticipating the bondage of a new baby instead of reveling in the freedom to be involved in ministry again.  My friend shared a story with me of a time when she too felt chained to life when she wanted to be free to work along side her husband in missions.  At a time of prayer after a church service, she poured her frustrations out to God and he answered her.  He said, “The Apostle Paul wanted to be a missionary too, but I chained him to a Roman guard so he would write the majority of the New Testament.  If it was good enough for Paul, it’s good enough for you.”  That’s when it occurred to me that God is not interested in my busyness.  He’s not impressed with what I can DO for him.  God had just given me another blessing- a child to care for and to raise and to love.  He was putting me back in the rocking chair not to punish me, but because he loves me and wanted to give me something good.  With these thoughts renewing my mind, I decided that it might be possible after all to Reach the World from a Rocking Chair.  Who knows what this child will become, and it is my privilege to be Lucy’s Mommy.