Are you discouraged sometimes as a mom? I'll tell you a secret: I am. Today I went through rooms, straightening them up only to be followed by children who would deposit new toys and garbage in their place. I cleaned a kitchen only to find hours later, every counter sticky with orange juice from the orange juice pops the kids had made. For good measure, they also spilled it in the freezer. I took the kids outside this afternoon to do some gardening, but found that they'd emptied my gardening bag and my gloves were lost. I tried weeding by hand and ended up with a handful of stinging nettle. Which, as it turns out, is aptly named. I'm now nursing a nice rash.
Everywhere I've looked today, I've been discouraged. No amount of work is ever enough. There is always more to do. And, when I think I might get ahead, I feel like the kids pull me back at least two paces.
We have too many children in our home for each person to act as if their mess is the only one that will need to be cleaned up. I'm working so hard to teach and encourage a sense of responsibility in my kids. If you make a mess there is no mess fairy who comes along behind and cleans it up. You have to ask yourself, "if not me, who"? Who will clean up the mess if you don't? Usually, it's me. But I don't have enough hands to do all the cleaning, cooking, shopping, feeding, soothing, teaching, gardening, that has to be done to make this household run.
I understand that there's a certain amount of delegation that has to be done in a larger family. But the oldest and most responsible of my children also happens to be a very distractable Aspie. That makes it a little harder.
So here's the point where I break down and have a good cry because I feel so totally overwhelmed by how much responsibility I have. And, you know, I could stay there. I could wallow in it. I could swim around in this little pool of self pity and doubt. But what's the point? It won't help. It won't fix anything. It won't make me feel any better. And what right do I have to complain when I have been given so much? A full house of healthy children, a home, a husband, food, clothing. My great responsibility is due to how much I've been blessed with. What right do I have to be ungrateful?
So, now I know I'm discouraged and it's going to do me no good to dwell on it. So what now? Where do I go? What do I do? I'll tell you. I made the kids help me clean up upstairs. Now they're cleaning downstairs under their father's supervision, and he's going to get them ready for bed. I'm going to go out and do some gardening. Alone. With new gloves I got at Target. I think that will really help me unwind. Especially if I put something encouraging on my iPod.
I'm also going to pray. I'm going to remember that I have a God who never leaves us alone. And I'm going to remember that I have many many sisters who also have days like this and get discouraged too. I'm going to draw from their strength, and the strength of Christ to see me through. I'm going to put my cares and worries on Him and be relieved. And of course I'm going to turn to scripture for something inspiring. May we all be granted peace.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.