Monday, July 14, 2014

- Sleepless in Arkansas -

Well folks, we have entered the terrible two's. They came knocking at our door about a week ago in the form of bedtime woes. Jack will be 3 in a couple months, I was sure we had just gotten lucky and skipped over the dreaded terrible two's! Oh how blissful my ignorance was...

Jack has ALWAYS been a good sleeper. From the day he was born, in fact. He has taken great naps every day and slept through the night for quite some time now. We have never let him cry it out, and I take pride in that. However the tables have drastically turned on us. Our perfect little sleeper learned how to climb out of bed, throw a tantrum and down right REFUSE sleep. At first I was concerned at how sudden his bedtime behavior sprung up, but I have been assured by many Mama's that the sudden onset is quite normal. Nap time and bedtime take several hours now, and even once he is asleep we are not in the safe zone, because you can bet your money that he will WAKE UP again.

Anyway, I will not bore you will the details of how awful our last week as parents has been, there are a lot of things I could tell you, but most of you have been there... so I'll just say, it's been ROUGH.

With baby Charlotte's arrival approaching I am overwhelmed with my brand new toddler. I am terrified of what our days and nights will look like when I have another teeny tiny human being to tend to and nurse throughout the night. In fact, I cry every time I think about whats to come. Unlike most pregnant moms I can assure you I am in no hurry for Charlie to get here! She can take her sweet time while I figure out how to manage her older brother!

This week has been a struggle with exhaustion, yes. But it has also been a struggle in my work to glorify God through my mothering. To make each daily task important, and God honoring. This, my friends, is tough! And I failed many, many, many times this week as I dreaded each day with my toddler. My attitude was sour, and I sank into sadness and self loathing. I was stuck there for days, wondering how Moms out there are able to find joy in their Mothering, especially full time Moms like me.

Then church happened. We attend an amazing Church Community in Rogers that we LOVE! After a looooooooong night with Jack, I managed to slap some makeup on my unwashed face, throw some clothes on Jack, wake up Tyler from Jack's bed (yes that describes how our night went) and we all headed to church! The message was on violence and sin. I will not re-hash the whole message, but it was eye opening. Reminding me of the sin that lives inside my heart. I am not, by nature, a perfect mother. It is through Christ I find my joy and fulfillment, and that joy can spill over into every aspect of my life, including my "job" as a Mom. I tried far too many times last week to rid of my sin and selfishness on my own. How silly and useless is that?

So this week I will draw my strength, joy, fulfillment, patience and energy from the one who made me. The one who shaped my Motherly heart, and gave me Jack and a wonderful baby girl to take care of. It is my duty to teach my children to love God and love others, but how can I do that without God's help? It is impossible, believe me, I have tried! First I need to allow God to fill ME before I can pour into Jack.

So I began to pray throughout the day. I prayed for God to fill me with patience and extra cuddles for Jack. I prayed for patience and peace for Tyler. I prayed for Jack and his tired little body. I prayed, prayed, prayed throughout the day, not for Jack to magically go to sleep perfectly, but for my heart to turn and treat Jack the way Jesus treats our tantrums and struggles: with much Grace and Patience!

If you are a suffering Mama who needs some encouragement, reach out!
If it weren't for my friend Kalynn, my Sister Shannon and my own Mama I would have been much deeper in my frustration. There are Mamas who can relate and pour into you. Yes, it's hard to reach out and admit your defeat, but do it for your children, they deserve to have a Mom who is striving to learn how to best care for them.