The other day I read this facebook status from a friend of mine:
"Because I am a mom...I can change multiple diapers a day, make multiple meals, and sing a variety of children's songs. I can nurse while playing cars, reading books, Christmas shopping and even grocery shopping. I cook, clean and launder everyday. I play, kiss, comfort, hug, discipline and snuggle everyday. And everyday I go to bed knowing it wasn't enough, and everyday I feel like I am failing."
Isn't it hard to fight against that feeling? That nothing you ever do is enough? I don't feel as though I'm failing, but I am keenly aware right now of some gaps - behaviors that need to be addressed, habits that need to be changed, and yet I'm also very aware that this is not the time. New expectations for my kids (or for me, to reinforce them) on the eve of a new baby? Not a good idea. Still, it's hard to see what needs to be done, and consciously choose not to do it. It's hard to let that be okay.
In other news, Silas has been up at 4:30 every morning for the past week. LOUDLY up, that is - making sure his brother wakes up with him. Asher is desperately tired by now, but - like his mom - simply cannot go back to sleep at that time of morning, regardless of how tired he is. This is not good for morale or for behavior, either. This morning I was just too tired to do anything else, and immediately rolled out of bed and turned on the television. Another morning bites the dust.
Also, my Advent intentions have been a wash. My friend made this fabulous Advent calendar for all of us, with daily preschool-friendly devotionals and a way for young children to serve someone else every day of Advent. It's such a great idea, and they really enjoy doing it. In the past thirteen days, we've done four. FOUR. But at least they know what Advent is now - I couldn't have said that last year at this time. And there's still 12 days left - if I put my shoulder into it, we might even finish a week's worth.
But all of this is okay, right?
Because we're almost there. And my kids are loved and well-cared for, even if we are entirely too familiar with the pre-dawn line-up of Nick Jr. And yesterday my mother-in-law and I spent an afternoon making Christmas candy. The irony here is that neither of us can eat the candy for health reasons, but it's a tradition to have it on the table at Christmas, and we didn't want to give that up ... so we spent the afternoon baking and dipping, while Asher watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas and played in front of the fire and Silas took an epic nap (which one needs, when one begins his day at 4:30 a.m). It was all very sweet. And I am having contractions (though they aren't fruitful, obviously, because I'm not yet holding a baby), and that's encouraging, strange as that sounds. It's a reminder that this is temporary; regardless of how we feel, we are moving forward here.
Plus, Mary traveled - by foot or by donkey - this pregnant. How's that for a little perspective?
With that, I'm off. I think I see the sun over the horizon.
Good Monday morning, all.
7 hrs later -
Well. After all of that willing myself not to gripe, and only partially succeeding, we had a great morning. Asher discovered the joy of playing under a dining room table, and Silas - though GRUMPY and clearly tired - discovered the joy of making cupcakes. And not one person all morning complained about staying home or asked, "What are we going to do today?" Once again, time to just hang out as a family was the cure for what ailed us all. Now Silas is down for an early nap, Asher is piddling in the backyard (after much negotiation over jackets, because dude it's 31* out there! Does anyone else's children hate to wear clothes as much as mine?), and I am sitting on the couch for the next 37 minutes, before tackling the day's paperwork.
Praise God for days that get better.