There's more to me than "Mommy"…but not by much!

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A Wonderfully Weary Wednesday February 16, 2011

Last Wednesday was a “roller coaster of emotion” kind of day.  My husband was so ill that I had to contact his director and call him in sick.  That left me frustrated when I tried to call three different numbers and couldn’t even get a ring on any of them.  I sent an email through their own network (which I didn’t fully understand) and then prayed that I was successful in reaching someone and keeping our sole source of income intact.  Mission accomplished. 🙂

Next it was time to get my oldest to school and find a doctor for Justin.  It’s in moments like these when I’m especially thankful to have family close by to help.  “Mama T” and “Papa C” were willing to watch our younger two while I carted Justin to the clinic.  Insert about an hour and a half, two shots, and a prescription and we’re out of there.  Quick phone call to the parents for an update (and heads up that we’re late…still need to fill Rx) and we’re off to the pharmacy.

So, now picture a NEVER ENDING train.  You locals know what I’m talking about.  The railroad crossing on St. Augustine right before the intersection at Hill Street.  I wished I could worm my way to the front and take the short-cut AROUND the train.  I would’ve gladly rolled my window down and shared the knowledge to the people in front of me if I thought they’d act on it.  I knew that wasn’t a possibility though because a tractor trailer was first in line and he was way too big to be making the “short cut”.   (No pun intended.)  Now this train was seriously long.  That ain’t no joke.  Not to mention that the cars were probably moving 0.01 miles per hour.  They trick you too.  You think, “Oh, finally, the train’s about to clear!”  Then, they stop.  And back up.  My emotions went from impatience, to frustration, to worry that my husband might puke in my van, to concern about leaving my folks stranded with the kids for so long.  So, I confess.  I drove up the left side and around that semi and took the short cut!

While waiting for Sam’s to fill the prescription, we decided to sit in their eat-in area.  It was closing in on lunchtime so I grabbed a quick bite.  Justin got an icee but couldn’t drink it.  We thought it was just cherry but it wasn’t.  Poor hubbie.

We finally have the prescription, go pick up the kids from mom’s and head home.  I had about one hour to get the house in decent shape before getting Jackson from school.  “Mrs. Heather” is his speech therapist and she’s normally waiting for us by the time I get back from picking him up.  So, dishes?  Done.  Tables?  Wiped.  Floor?  Swept and SPOT mopped.  Living room?  Well, atleast everything was up off of the floor.  How am I feeling now?  Exhausted.

So, I pick up Jackson and then drop him off at home while I go to Publix.  That turned into one of the longest grocery runs ever and I can’t even explain how or why.  Maybe my exhaustion?  It doesn’t help that I haven’t been wearing a watch.  Anyway, I realize when I leave there that I’ve got to book it home if me and the kids are going to make it to church.  What about dinner?  Four dollars and forty-four cents gone and I’m in the van with a hot-n-ready pizza!  After what feels like the longest drive home, I finally pull to a screeching halt, practically throw the pizza on the table, tell the kids to eat while I unload the perishables and then get their socks and shoes on.  I even had to let them finish their pizzas on the drive.  That’s how quick of a stop it was.  We looked completely a mess, I’m sure.  But at least we made it. 🙂

After such a harried arrival, when class was over I thought we’d take our time getting back to the car and back to the house so I just drove without my usual “drive”.  Once in the house it was time for the kids to go to bed and boy, was I ready!  Sadie, however, was NOT ready.  Oh, she was tired.  And she didn’t fuss about getting in her bed, initially.  All I wanted was some peace and quiet and she has to start fussing.  (I was not feeling very sympathetic at that moment.)  She complained that her head hurt so I gave her some tylenol.  She was a little stuffed up too so I gave her something for that.  But then she started screaming crying.  It took a while to finally understand her but she kept saying “My ear hurts.  My ear hurts.”  So, I dug out our “Earache Relief” drops from the medicine cabinet and put a couple of drops in her ear.  Within about 30 seconds her ear started bleeding.  Now, I’m not one to panic.  That’s my husband’s job.  But that did scare me.  We tried to call a clinic and did a quick search on webmd.  Webmd is enough to scare a person.  “Well, it could be a little scratch in the ear or it could be bleeding on the brain.”  Great.  Thanks.  So, emergency room here we come.

I pull in to the parking lot, finally get a spot, carry Sadie inside to the front desk (her ear all crusted over with blood) and the lady behind the counter asks if she can help me.  I tell her that my daughter’s ear is bleeding.  Then she kindly asks for our basic information, a photo id, etc.  The whole time I’m thinking, “Seriously?  My 2 year old’s ear is bleeding and you’re not gonna rush her back there?”  Then we sit and wait to be called.  That’s really when the emotions were all over the place.  I was scared, nervous, frantic (on the inside), exhausted, helpless, and getting more and more angry and impatient the longer we sat there.  To make a long story short (too late, right?), she’s ok.  She was the perfect little patient.  She opened her mouth so the doctor could look.  She let them look in her ear.  She let them take all her vitals.  I was really impressed.

God taught me a lot this past Wednesday.  I learned how to have more patience & more self-control.  I learned that I can do with less sleep than I thought I could.  I learned to trust God more and myself less.  I learned that taking care of my family is more important than whether or not the dishes are cleaned or the floor is vaccuumed.  I love them more than anything.  They may make me weary sometimes, but in their case, it’s wonder-filled!



Our Beautiful Family May 18, 2010

My cousin is tying the knot this weekend.  Weddings have a tendency of bringing me back to my own day as a bride.  Since Matt’s death that day has become bittersweet.  Other than my children’s birthdays, it was the happiest day of my life.  All of my family and closest friends were there.  Justin was as charming as ever; and my little brother was giving me away.  I remember feeling like my heart was going to explode…like it couldn’t contain all the love welling inside me.

Our wedding was anything but traditional.  We probably broke every etiquette rule in the book.  A late wedding without a formal reception?  Groom and groomsmen waltzing in to the sound of the A-Team theme song?  So, naturally we didn’t play the typical Wedding March when I walked down the aisle.  Instead, we chose “How Beautiful”.  I remember how nervous I was.  I could tell that Matt was nervous too but bursting with pride.  I tried to tell him what he was supposed to say when the minister asked, “Who gives this woman to this man to be joined in holy matrimony?” and in typical Matt fashion he cut me off and replied, “I got it, sis.  I already know what I’m gonna say.”  You can imagine how nervous that made me.  What is he going to say in front of all these witnesses?  In front of my soon-to-be in-laws?  As we strolled down the aisle, my mind wondered all over the place but focused mostly on my groom.  I nearly forgot about the “surprise” response my brother would soon make.  His answer:  “Her family and me, her little overprotective brother.”  (No doubt meant as a warning to Justin.)  That was Matt.  The protector.  He was the same way with my mom, my sister and all our girl cousins.  Nobody better mess with us or he’d be in their face…respectfully, but still in their face.

On Mother’s Day, we sang that now so special and precious song during church.  I didn’t realize it immediately but after the first line or two, it hit me like a wave crashing against the rocks.  I couldn’t stop the tears.  Just trying to write about it is putting a lump in my throat and water in my eyes.  I don’t think it was coincidence that we happened to sing “How Beautiful” on that day.  After all, Mother’s Day often leads us to focus more on family.  Marriages are the foundation of family.  And once again we were reminded that Matt was now a missing part of that family.  I like to think that God was listening to our hearts that day and sent us a glimpse of heaven and a tender touch of hope.  After all, Matt’s not really dead.  He’s just asleep, but always alive within us…because we’re all a part of God’s beautiful family.

Thank you, Lord, for your amazing sacrifice and unfailing love.  Thank you for the hope of a brighter tomorrow and the promise of a time when all tears, pain, and sorrow will end forevermore.  Thank you for the promise of an eternity spent with You and for calling us Your own, for calling us family.  May Your kingdom come quickly, O Lord.  Amen.


Order! I will have order in my house! April 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephaniesings @ 5:16 pm
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Chocolate syrup on the mattress.  Broken window.  Crayon markings on the walls.  Clutter EVERYWHERE!  Never ending laundry and dishes.  And the disorder is not limited physically.  Sibling rivalry, tantrums, me constantly sounding like a broken record, potty training challenges (which exacerbates the laundry condition, not to mention the nerves).  AND I’d like my and my darling husband’s relationship to include more than being mere roommates.  (In no way am I suggesting this is his fault.  He is wonderful.  Our marriage is quite solid which is why I’d like more time alone with him.  Life just is what it is right now.)

Typical responses from others that are not helpful:  “Keep a positive attitude.  Concentrate on the good.  Be patient; it will get better with time.  Don’t lose your sense of humor.  Justin should be helping you more.  This is another reason why you don’t need to homeschool.”, etc.  Advice about what I’m doing wrong and how to fix it; criticisms or judgmentalism about what an untidy house I keep or my kids’ behavior do NOT help.  It’s not funny anymore and I don’t have the energy nor willpower to improve my attitude.  My patience is gone.

There is a time and a place for suggestions but I don’t want to hear it right now.  I already know that I’m a contributor to the problem and I could do better.  For instance, I could refrain from writing this and get back to the task at hand.  I need more self-discipline, I admit it.  Just let me vent for now, PLEASE.

I’m a mother of 3 children ages 5, 3 1/2, and 2.  Just when one begins to lessen the frequency of an inappropriate or annoying behavior, the next one picks it up.  I love my kids.  I like having them at home and enjoy spending time with them.  They bring me great joy and are as sweet as pie.  I just feel like other families “have it all together” and here I am drowning in chaos and hanging on to a thread of sanity.

The stress level in my house (not to mention my mind) is enormous and overwhelming.  I feel like I’m being hit from every side and have had my fill of it.  Something has to change and fast.  I keep thinking if I could just get the house under control PHYSICALLY, then I could take control of the intangible problems we’re facing.  But there always seems to be some “fire to put out”…appointments to be made or kept, errands to run, applications to fill out, dinner to cook, laundry to do, kids in need of something at the most inconvenient times.  {Even as I’m typing this, one is running through the house while another begins to cry under toe (our little drama queen)}.  So, the physical aspect doesn’t improve and projects that I hope to undertake wait yet another day.  I’m tired of being the hose…or is God the hose?  Yes, I suppose God is the hose.  I’m tired of being the fireman.

So now I’m labeled “the complainer” or “the downer” that no one wants to be around or the one who needs serious help.  I DO need serious help but not in the form of mere words.  Come walk in my shoes for a day, nay, a week and then tell me what I should do.  But that’s another thing, why do I care what other people think?  Why do I compare myself to others who “have it all together”?  Give it to God, you say.  I know.  I’m a huge advocate of that advice and I’m trying to heed it.  But for now, I’ll pound my gavel, do what I can to improve…and pray, pray, pray.