Gonna Eat My Cookies

Repeat after me, moms. “You’re a good mom.” Repeat it again. And again. And once more for good measure. And if my own mom is reading this, I apologize (again) for every time I made you whisper, cry, yell, or speak this mantra.

Yinz guys, it’s been a tough three hours since I got home from work. I’m finally feeling inspired to write again, inspired to maybe actually pick up that guitar I kept yearning for, and like my running and weight-loss have hit a stride. I’m feeling GOOD at this working on me thing, but see, I think that’s exactly the problem.

I’ll be writing more as the days come, but Greg and I just embarked in a study at our church of “12 Traits of the Greats” (which you can get here and start digging in, too). Long story for another blog short, we focused on responsibility and mindset last night. Our group didn’t get through all of our questions, so we decided to ask each other some of them before bed. This started my wrestling with myself.

The thing is, responsibility comes pretty darn easy to me. I was the oldest kid, a preacher’s kid, who always was striving to be good. I wanted to work hard to get good grades and get into a good school and get a good job. I happened to say to Greg in our conversation that I didn’t struggle with responsibility and that I was anxious to dig into some of the other traits that I do struggle with. But the reality was is, our conversation made me wrestle with something I haven’t taken full responsibility for.

A little over ten years ago, I got a fairly good job and had a fairly good life, but was in fact very irresponsible. I had been living with a boyfriend for just about two years and wasn’t leading a very good, responsible life. The story unfolds throughout these pages, but basically I became a victim of nasty things and didn’t have the strength to get out. I ended up pregnant and took on the responsibility of having my first child. Or did I?

I wasn’t responsible with myself during the month I got pregnant. I wasn’t honest with anyone, not even with myself. I was letting Satan take something beautiful and turn it into something very broken. And the thing was, I didn’t care. Not one bit. I didn’t care so much that I never found out some very important facts that one day my kid might want to know.

So last night, I struggled with this. I wrestled with my spirit and asked God over and over to help me release my anger and tension and anxiety over this, things I’ve carried for almost ten years. I asked him some pretty private, personal, and important things.

So then, of course, tonight was going to go a bit haywire when I was trying to get the now nine-year-old innocent child to do some simple tasks – sit with her sisters while I took a phone call, warm up her dinner while I plated the other kids’, find boots that actually fit her feet. And then this mama lost it.

I didn’t get mean. I just let the Devil take the joy from the room, let him suck the good things that were happening in front of me away. I missed the fact that she’s nine and that she’s probably even more tired of being responsible than I am. I let my guard down and let what I am wrestling with as my personal pain and chains impact precious time with my precious children.

But after some coffee and {keto} cookies and a quick mama time out to get my thoughts out, life feels eons better. I’m going to go back tonight and re-read some of the 12 Traits book and make my knees hit the floor again asking for God’s triumph to unfold. And don’t worry – I won’t eat the other ten cookies that I made. A keto cookie is nothing like the red velvet brownie cookies I’d much rather have right now – but my mindset tells me I made the far better choice.

 Stay tuned for more on this story and more details about the study our church is embarking on. For now, I’m gonna eat my cookies.

Babywearing Still Works

The girls were snoring as the clock turned to 6:45. I stopped working on the (constant) project of reorganizing my office space and decided we should probably get dinner started, even though today had been a late lunch. Isla popped right up when I turned on the living room lights while Ava rubbed her eyes and pouted at me.

Arianna helped me get the girls set up with their “appetizers”, but Isla wasn’t having anything we offered her. She just weeped and weeped. As Arianna shrugged her shoulders at her littlest sister, I fought to get Ava’s legs out from under her bottom and into the high chair seat. This wasn’t going to work, middle sister just wanted to cling to her mama.

Not sure what else to do, I put my brown-eyed-girl on my hip and pulled chicken nuggets out of the freezer. We peeked into the dining room to confirm that Isla was good with chicky and that’s when things went further south than I’d expected.

The stuff hit the fan for all the kids when the tears started for Evan.

“I can’t draw my W’s, they look like N’s”, he said, throwing his blue marker across the table. Looking at the page in his 2015 summer journal, I saw no evidence of an N or a W. Just a blue circle with scribbles through it.

A nervous laugh might just have slipped from my lips.

It was at that moment that the ‘lil boy I thought was so innocent slipped a curse word in reaction to my mothering slip. I passed Ava to Arianna, pushing the bawling that commenced out of ears, and went right to Evan’s eye-level, confirming what my ears heard. While he claimed he didn’t say anything, he dug his face into the table.

“Six minutes. Upstairs. Go. No questions.” I tried to keep my cool because Isla was flinging cheese curls at my back trying to make everyone laugh. Turning around, I caught Ava’s eyes and realized I was going to be the only thing that would keep her calm.

Arianna went to get the ring sling and a smile came over Ava’s face. I slipped the nuggets in the microwave and the baby in the pocket of her comfy place. The tears came to a stop from the oldest twin while they started back up by the younger one, weeping as she begged for the chicken to be done.

As the timer for the nuggets singled both the meat and the timeout were over, I breathed a sigh of relief. The last ten minutes might have been some of the tougher ones in this motherhood journey, but they showed me just how much those four ‘lil ones need (and want) their mama.

Thank goodness babywearing still works.