Don’t you hate those moments when you expect thing to go a certain way, then they turn out AMAZING? Then you expect them to stay amazing, but a wake up call happens that reminds you that your expectations weren’t that far off to begin with.
Welcome to my current situation.
My move to the west has been the most eye-opening experience that has ever happened to me. I have grown so much in the last 5 months and learned so much. However, things have been surprisingly chill. Almost weird. No – it’s been weird. I started questioning why I even doubted we could do this.
Then one night, reality hit.
Harris started sleeping through the night when he was 2 months old. At around 4 months he started waking up twice a night or so. Not bad – probably a growth spurt. All of a sudden, he is awake and nursing fifty thousand times a night, rolling into all sorts of trouble, and needs CONSTANT attention and conversation. Not to mention my toddlers. Both August and Eloise are in “stages”. Ellie is in the typical terrible 2’s. Pushing limits; telling me “no”; sneaking around and getting into everything she shouldn’t. August is my poor oldest. Everytime this child hits a new issue it is also a new issue for me. We are both learning together. He will be 4 in a few weeks. He is smart. Too smart. He knows what to say to get out of trouble and how to tell half-truths. He is also very excited about everything he does and knows how to nod his head without actually listening to a thing I say.
So I have a:
Baby who doesn’t sleep and needs constant attention
Toddler who pushes limits and throws fits
Pre-schooler who is hyper-active and doesn’t hear anything I say unless I repeat it 30 times.
The past few weeks have reminded me why motherhood requires coffee in an IV form.
TOO BAD WE DON’T HAVE A COFFEE MAKER.
I’m so tired. I am also a slow learner.
I saw a quote that said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” This totally make sense to me, because there is no other possible REASON why I take my children to the library every week. I tell myself how fun it will be! Educational! Maybe I will get a book of my own! Instead, it’s like I’ve let 2 piglets loose while having another strapped to me in a carrier. When will I learn?! Ellie is constantly pulling books off the shelves, while Auggie starts putting them back in ALL the wrong places.
Last week, I tried go to story time, which resulted in Ellie screaming for freedom and August sobbing because he didn’t want to leave while I chased his sister. Then August had to go to the bathroom. Story time had just ended and there were toys and kids of all ages everywhere. I held Auggie’s hand and informed Ellie that she needed to stand up and walk to the potty with us. She jumped up and yelled, “POTTY!!” and BOLTED. I jerked August with me and ran after her, jumping over small children and toys. Ellie is super fast, by the way. I saw her stop in front of the bathrooms. She looked at the men’s. She looked at the women’s. She turned and looked to me. I was so close – an arm and a half’s reach away. I looked her right in the eye and said, “No. No ma’am. Stay right there.” She smiled and sprinted into the men’s restroom.
I ran in after her and almost knocked over a man washing his hands. He made no eye contact. I grabbed Ellie out of the stall she ran into and retreated to the safety of the women’s bathroom. As Auggie peed, I knelt down to discuss the situation. I was blocking every one. People and kids were bumping into me while Ellie giggled the whole time.
Not exactly a parenting win.
This kind of stuff has been happening every day.
My hair always has spit up in it and I spend all day counting the seconds before Josh gets home. Chaos surrounds me at every moment.
I have been feeling tired and defeated.
My sister Ashley and I have been going through Ecclesiastes. It’s perfect timing. I have always found the book depressing and odd. As I dig into it, I find it inspirational and full of wisdom.
I have been struggling with other things in my personal life: finding self worth in my adventures; obsessing over social media; discontent with every day life.
As I have been reading this book, it occurred to me that these problems and struggles have been around in different forms for thousands of years. The root of these issues is not new: I have been putting my hope and joy in the wrong places. While obsessing over the extraordinary, I have been missing the joys of the ordinary. I have to regain my “eternal” perspective and see life in a different light. Life is not all about my enjoyment or all about me. I won’t last. My flesh is not forever. My time with my child will change. Nothing stays the same. Everything comes to an end at some point.
In light of this, I took a step back and asked myself, “What am I enjoying?” Am I finding joy in the normal, mundane life that God has gifted me with? The everyday moments away from the “excitement” and what everything online is telling me to enjoy? Or am I robbing myself by seeking bigger and better moments?
I’ve been having to remind myself that my joy comes from Christ. These everyday moments are important! I have been taking for granted the ordinary moments in search of something greater. In the end of the search, there’s regret. “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” -Ecc. 3:11 When I desire for something more than the everyday, I pray I will remember that those desires are a good thing. It is my soul longing to see God! He is extraordinary, and that is humbling. Once my spirit is humbled, the joy comes on its own.
I still look forward to the adventures we will experience as a family, but not at the cost of being discontent with my everyday gifts.
If you are interested in Ecc., I encourage you to check it out. Here is a great video that give a overview. Even if you are not a christian, I think there are great points to look into!