I could blame it on the 10 pounds of cookie cake my husband and I scarfed down like scavengers (it was left over from our anniversary on Monday) because I've cut down on my sugar intake (I only use a tablespoon of my awesome creamer) and no other sugar on most days, so perhaps when I consume 500% more than my daily allowance it hypes me up...
But I think it was something more.
I was preoccupied with thoughts.
And they weren't the best thoughts.
I was rereading a book I bought many years ago, called, Musings from a Catholic Mom. At least, that's what I think the name is, it's actually in my bathroom upstairs and the tiniest little night terrorist is still asleep in my room, so I don't DARE go back up there until she wakes up. At a normal hour.
Anyway- squirrel warning, I've resorted back to earlier post baby birth sleep disorder (YES that's a real condition, PBBSD). I've been getting less and less sleep because of a multitude of reasons I've reasoned myself to believe.
1. The baby is teething. (she's 9 months old and just got her first tooth, second one is on the way)
2. The baby is cold. (my husband keeps the house set on 62. I dress her as warmly as possible, but some nights even I'M freezing.)
3. The baby is having bad dreams. Can they even dream at 9 months?
4. She knows I love sleep.
5. She has decided that waking every hour or so and just letting out a wail for about a minute or two (long enough to really wake me and the hubster up) is the new her...
So there it is. I'm getting little sleep at night and last night after reading a few pages of that book, I laid in bed thinking about what I read.
Danielle Bean wrote the book when she had six little ones (I believe she has 8 children now, the book is 10 years old). She was writing this particular chapter about all the places she had to go one day and all the stares and comments she got. It resonated with me. Eerily, the comments, stares, and feelings she had were almost identical to what I've received out in public.
So I laid there in bed thinking about those things when the strangest thought popped into my head.
"How were you a failure today?"
Excuse me? What? (Don't worry, I do this a lot- converse with myself in my head- it's way better than doing it out loud and causing stares....)
How did you fail your children today?
Wow. Those words really stung and I had to sit there and ponder who was putting this thought into my head- was it my crazy brain or something darker?
But just as quickly as the question was put in my head, the answers to it started flooding my brain. How did I fail my children today?
Oh, let me count the ways, I almost seemed to mock myself.
Didn't get much sleep the night before so I was grouchy. Snapped at the child who dumped cheerios all over the floor. Barked at the child who for the 88th time, asked me to do something for them that I forgot to do (of course, good reason to snap at someone else, right?). Yelled for them to be quiet because once again, the tiny terrorist was getting her best sleep at 7 AM.
Through out the day? I stared at my little black box when I should have been interacting with the two year old. I just watched the tiniest one crawl around instead of talking and playing with her. I avoided two phone calls from people I really need to talk to, just because I was too mentally exhausted to keep up the front that I'm doing Ga-Ga-Ga-G-R-E-A-T!!! (said in Tony the Tiger voice...)
Through out the day I grouched and complained about the messes all over my house left by my children. Shoes I've asked them put up a million times. Toys I've asked to be brought down to the basement a billion times, clean clothes still sitting at the table. Washing clothing that I SWEAR I just washed the day before, they did NOT wear this- they literally just STUCK IT BACK IN THE DIRTY CLOTHES BASKET!!!!!!
When they got home (all but one got home on this particular afternoon, which is a rarity these days) I continued the grouchiness of complaints. Do this, do that, why did you not do this? Why did you NOT do that? What ARE you doing? Where ARE you going?
Dinner was a disaster, bathtime a nightmare. Grouchy momma was in full swing and by the time they all went to bed, it was time for me to head there as well.
So total, I spent ABOUT 5 minutes alone with out any children needing my constant attention (or lack there of). I was spent. Exhausted from zero sleep, exhausted from complaining (hey- it's a tough job) so when this question was put out there in the vastness of my tired brain? I immediately broke down.... I failed my children terribly! How many times did I tell them I loved them? How many times did I tell them I was proud of them? How many times did I ask them about their day and sit and listen to them talk to me about school?
Not as much as I complained. Grouched. Barked. Yelled.
So there I was, when I really needed to be asleep, so that the small blocks of sleep that I actually can get won't be lost forever and I turned on my side facing my super hero husband and there the question was posed again.
How have I failed my husband today?
I made his salad for his lunch today....
But that's where it stopped. I was just as grouchy to him because he had to take the giant school bus (ok, it's just a 15 passenger van, but it seems like a school bus) to get the brakes changed and that left me with taking kids to swim, picking kids up from field hockey, and getting kids to bed....all.by.myself.
Let me say that with a bit more whine....
There. Much better.
So laying there, with that question posed in my brain, I suddenly felt extremely guilty for all I had NOT done and all that I HAD done that wasn't so nice to my kids and husband.
'Wow, God. You must be really disappointed in me today....' I meekly thought to myself. Here I am, blessed beyond what I deserve, and yet, I can't see just what I preach everyday. That the grass is greener right where I water it.
But that reminded me of that book I was reading before bed. It seemed to me that Danielle Bean was being bombarded with the questions, the pitiful glances, the harsh stares and was on overload (again, I haven't finished rereading that chapter so I'm just adding my own opinion to this....)
I'm being bombarded with things right now. Perhaps I haven't been watering what needs to be watered....
We've spent the last two months or so, with FOUR kids in consistent activities almost every single day and a fifth kid in a semi consistent activity. So 8-10 weeks of constant business starting at about 3 o'clock every afternoon and going sometimes until very late in the evening. I've had very little family time, very little husband time, and the worst? Very little me time.
I need me time. I know that sounds extremely selfish of me to say, but I am a better wife, mom, friend, sister, daughter, etc, when I get good amounts of me time. Quiet time alone in prayer, a quiet lunch with just me eating and breathing. (I find I don't do much breathing when I'm on autopilot and in crazy mode...) Outings with my friends. Anything where I can decompress and unwind and just relax, and just be me. Crazycatholicmomma.
I know that not many people agree with me. I remember once, getting into a "discussion" with someone on social media about how important it was for me to have that "me" time and the person told me God gave me my family and I should be with them, not selfishly thinking I "needed" me time. It hurt a little, but only because this person assumed they knew me and they didn't. Not everyone needs alone time, or me time or get away for a little time, time... hahaha. That read funny....
I know myself well enough to know that there are times when I have literally tapped every ounce of patience out of my body. Remember my 'drink from the cup' blog last week? Well, just like the many things that come our way that we must drink, we must also recognize when we need to be recharged.
God didn't come down last night and tell me what an awful mom or wife I've been. He didn't have to. He knows it hurts me to be that way. He also knows I can do better. He knows I'm trying and that's so important for me to remember. Not that I need to fall back on that as an excuse-'well, I AM trying,' no, I need to remember that I need to do better. Accept those days when I'll fail, big time, but wake up the next day and try harder.
Now today? Well, I started out rather grouchy, the tiniest one had another really bad sleeping night. I woke up exhausted, and came down and looked rather hairy- literally, but I tried to remind myself that I love these little people with my entire being. I love that big furry guy who is my super hero husband more than life itself. These people are so important to me and I need to not only remind myself, but remind them every single day.
So, yes, it's raining. It's yucky outside. I've had the least amount of sleep I've had since we started this rodeo of seven crazy kids, but I'm going to try. I'll muddle through my PBBSD syndrome (ok, it might not be a real disorder....). I'm going to try to be positive today. I'm going to try and not lose my temper when they do something that bothers me. I'm going to try to correct without snapping.... That's a tough one for me. I'm going to try to rest today without devices around me.... the resting part might be tough, these two monkeys still at home are on completely opposite schedules....but I might let the ole boob tube entertain the two year old during the 9 month old's nap.... Hey, Elmo is a learning show....
But it will all be good. Cause it's another day I've been given an opportunity to be a part of....And I'm going to water it and appreciate how blessed I am!