I had a really rough week. I couldn't get on top of my chores all week long. Every time I decided it was time to go feed the chickens, or work on my laundry, we'd have a diaper blow-out or a fussy little one that needed my attention instead. I have a pile of books to read for reviews that I wasn't getting read, and review deadlines fast approaching. I was frustrated and feeling like a failure!
Friday was the day I finally reached my boiling point. I was sad. I was angry with myself and Steve. I was trying to figure out how in the world I could honor him for Father's Day when I was so mad at him. Of course, he had no idea I was mad at him. Funny how that works. I knew that I was more angry at myself than anyone else, but it didn't help at that moment.
So, I made a long list of all the stuff I was expected to do, all my family obligations, and those outside the home. Then I stared at it, feeling overwhelmed and frustrated and wondering what I could cut. That's when I got really depressed. It didn't seem possible to do it all. Not unless I cut out some other things I enjoy (like blogging). Pity Party Time! Bring on the sighs, the tears, the moping around, the sad voice. Let the whole world know that Mom is having a very BIG pity party!!
It was probably around this time that my teen daughter decided Mom needed some chocolate. She went to the pantry in the basement and retrieved one for me. She went to put it in my dresser, where she knows Mom hides her chocolate. Except, she discovered I was already working on a dark chocolate Dove bar. Sigh. She put the chocolate bar back and only told me about it later, when I seemed in a better mood.
Because this was such a negative week, I didn't really remember funny things that happened in our home. Seriously, I was thinking I was just going to have to write a story that made fun of my own emotional pity party on Friday and my daughter trying to bring me chocolate.
But then I thought about the message that was sending to my kids about me. "Chocolate fixes things." "Mom needs chocolate to be happy." Sigh. That's not the message I want my girls to see in my life. I want them to know that GOD makes me happy and that PRAYER fixes things ... even if it's just my attitude. Suddenly there isn't anything funny about the situation at all. But I'm supposed to be the funny one.
We had moments of laughter this week, of course. You can't live with 8 kids and not laugh.
- We laughed at my 2 year old son's funny way of making sure we don't forget what he wants. He asks for water and ice in his cup, but if we tell him we'll get water he adds, "and ice". So we say, "Yes, we'll put ice in it." Then he adds "and water!" The same thing happens when he asks for hot dogs and ketchup or a bologna and cheese sandwich.
- We laughed when my 5 yo daughter asked us, "Why are you taking away our activity?" as we removed sleeping bags and tent covers from the clothesline where she was hiding under them.
- We laughed as we tried to catch goats that were much faster, smarter, and stronger than we expected. Okay, we didn't laugh the WHOLE time we were doing it ... there were also moments of frustration.
- We laughed at how fast our puppy could run, and how loud she could yelp (as if she were dying) when being chased by the neighbor's LARGE dog. (We made sure to corral the dogs and ensure she wasn't hurt before we laughed.)
- Steve and half the kids laughed as they watched a comedy movie in a tent Friday night, to kick off their camp-out. The 3 oldest girls and I laughed while watching a comedy movie indoors with Baby V while I folded laundry that night.
- Steve and I laughed as we talked about our own relationship, and some of the kids' little personality quirks at different times this week.
- We all laughed as we enjoyed an illusionist's show at a Christian event Saturday night.
- Steve and I laughed at how the John Deere riding mower has the power to put kids to sleep on Daddy's lap. We knew it worked on 1 and 2 yo boys, but we didn't realize it worked on 5 yo girls, too.
Even in the midst of a really, bad, rotten, no-good, stressed-out week ... there were still moments of joy and peace. I know there are moments of joy and laughter as I joked with my kids that I don't even remember now. So, while I still find it easier to focus on the bad parts of this week, I needed the reminder that there was also GOOD in this week.
Rejoicing in Family,