new beginnings

So, as you can see, the blog has a new name and a new look! I designed it myself because 1) I'm really impatient, 2) I'm broke and can't pay for a designer, and 3) because I wanted it to be something I imagined. It's simple and clean and quiet here now. And I could use a little quiet in my life. It's pretty loud in my head most of the time.

Which brings me to what's really on my mind today.

This morning, my husband and I got up, got dressed, and took care of Lucy just like we usually do. I had my coffee made, my lunch packed, and all of Lucy's stuff ready to go. We made it out the door on time and I was feeling really good about today.

But then Lucy started crying in her car seat.

And crying. And crying. And crying.

She doesn't mind when we're driving on the interstate, but she'll scream at the top of her lungs when we stop  at a red light. I've almost perfected the art of using my go-go-gadget arms to reach back, retrieve her paci from the depths of her car seat, and put it back in her mouth. Sometimes she'll calm right down. But sometimes, like this morning for instance, she'll spit it right back out and keep on screaming. 

Often times I can tune out her cries if the morning show I listen to is on their game. Or if my favorite song is on and I sing really, really loudly. But not today. No, today I had a bit of a meltdown. Today, I kind of lost it.

It's always a terrible feeling when your day gets off to a good start but then one small thing flips everything around and, suddenly, you feel like you just got beaten up by life. It's even worse when that "one small thing" is actually a very important little person who can't explain why she's unhappy. So the fact that you (read: I) feel so close to screaming just makes you think you're the worst mother ever because, hey, it's not her fault you put her in this stupid car seat. And it's definitely not her fault that you chose to bring her into this world where things are sometimes uncomfortable. And it's most certainly not her fault that you are letting one moment (albeit a prolonged moment) ruin your entire morning. Don't you know that sometimes things aren't always rainbows and sunshine? Don't you know that your sweet little girl has emotions, too? And if anyone in this equation should be keeping their shit together it should be you because you're the adult

But I didn't keep my shit together, you guys. For one second I let myself fall apart and I shouted, with my hands gripped tightly on the steering wheel, for Lucy to shut up. 

And then I cried because isn't that what always happens?

She probably didn't even hear me over her own screaming. And she definitely doesn't know what I said. But I'm sure she felt my anxiety and frustration and that's what hurts my heart. That's why, when she finally passed out just two miles from her babysitter's house, I looked in the rear view mirror at her tiny, peaceful expression and told her I was so, so sorry. 

So far, I've prided myself on my ability to keep my patience since Lucy was born. I'm not normally a very patient person (at least not with adults), but God knew that already and it's been one of His greatest gifts to me as a mother. Unfortunately, I'm still human and my patience finally ran out this morning. Worst of all, it ran out over a situation I've already experienced countless times because my daughter always cries in the car...and it ran out much faster than I would have liked. 

Before I left the sitter's house, I held Lucy for a long time and repeatedly whispered how sorry I was. She has a little cough right now and isn't feeling 100%, but I couldn't help thinking her refusal to smile at me was because I'd lost my temper. It couldn't actually be because she's under the weather or because she was worn out from crying. Nope. It must have been about me.

And that's what I have to let go of. Right now. It's not all about me. 

I keep thinking that I have to be the perfect mother, but she just doesn't exist. I spend more time agonizing over how to do that (and beating myself up when I don't have the answers) than I do enjoying the time I have with my child. It's a constant battle between the Spirit and the flesh, between the desire to be perfect and the inability to do it on my own.

Thank God I don't have to. Thank God He has given me the grace to start over every day. And thank God I'm not just me anymore. The war has been won.

I am His. I am forgiven. 

I am already perfect.

(But I'm still sorry, Lucy Goose! Mama loves you more than words.)

1 comment

Liz Luscomb said...

I've always said that God gave me children to teach me patience!