Today my one year old gave me open-mouth kisses as he giggled. My two-year old ran across a crowded living room and gave me a great big hug. My three-year old explained that the Eucharist, “the little white cookie,” is Jesus’ blood and we can eat that, but we cannot eat blood when we are riding our bikes really, really, really, really fast and fall and get an owie.
Also today the older two did not nap and woke up the youngest way too early from his nap and my middle child had multiple tantrums at the library. I had several things I needed to accomplish this afternoon, from moving the clothes to the dryer before they grow mold to baking birthday cookies for my brother to writing this post. But instead the kids became fussier and crankier. And then they got out every puzzle we own and dumped them all out in the middle of the nursery floor.
Okay, maybe we only have ten puzzles and seven of them are super simple with pegs. But still!
So I turned to Lost. I never watched the show when it originally aired, but am now making my way through all the seasons. When I’m stressed and all the kids are napping I Netflix my next episode while I fold laundry or breathe deeply. But today – today! When I needed it! – what it gave me was Jin’s death! What?!!! I mean, I was having a crappy day, I didn’t need to be crying while feeling cheated.
So the next clear choice was to eat cookie dough and listen to Baby repeatedly.
Finally, something that worked! Or maybe it was the fact that I specifically asked two friends to pray for me. Maybe it was all three.
Let’s be honest here. Every day there are beautiful gifts that come from being a parent. The abundance of love, joy, and cuteness are astounding. I am blessed to be a mom. I’m blessed to have three little kiddos playing and laughing and moving about the house. Children are only a gift and are always a gift.
But sometimes they are difficult, whiney, stubborn, cranky, demanding, and needy. All at the same time! Sometimes, they can drive a sane person madder than a hatter.
I have found that in the midst of days like today the last thing I want to do is pray. When I think of God there is a bit of, “You did this to me!” in the back of my mind. This is why holiness is in the every day. Or as St. Gianna said, “One earns Paradise with one’s daily task.”
Another zinger from Gianna is this, “Why do you not succeed in doing good? It’s because you do not pray enough!” Did you feel that? Zing. Because if I’m being perfectly honest, it’s not the kids’ fault that I lose my temper and my patience, it’s mine. Yes, sometimes kids are really, truly trying. And sometimes I just need to put on an episode of Caillou and lock myself in my bedroom for 20 minutes. But what I need to do then is not stress eat or waste time on the Internet, it’s get on my knees and beg for mercy and help.
What about you? If you’re a mom or dad with a little more wisdom and experience I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!