10.17.2010

Juggling Children

It is hard to distinguish Sunday from any other day in our household due to my husband's work schedule.  Obviously, the only thing that differentiates Sunday from another day is going to Mass.  Many Sundays I go to Mass without my husband.  I sit in the very back of our very small church and juggle my three children the entire time. 

Today was an especially interesting day.  Before we even got into the church, my girls were giving me grief.  We had planned to go visit my parents after church with a stop at Dairy Queen for ice cream.  In no less than three minutes, I had both girls outside and I informed them that they had lost the privilege of ice cream.  For a while they thought they could just be good and change my mind.  When they figured out my mind was made up, then real trouble began.  My eldest was crying silently while my three-year-old began to cry loudly and repeating her desire for ice cream.  I ended up outside with her while she screamed.

The funny thing about the whole episode was that after they realized they could not manipulate me, we ended up sitting very closely together.  They each kept hugging me and loving me.  I kissed them and caressed their hair and for the rest of the day, we have had a relatively nice, peaceful time together.  In fact, at this moment they are coloring and singing about how much Jesus loves us and loves everybody.

This incident reminds me of The Cornbread Crumble.  There is something to setting a boundary and holding strong that makes my children nice.  That being said, I believe my strength and patience to endure their behavior, in both instances, did not come from me.  I felt as if I was on the edge of losing it and screaming but I kept my mind and soul still by a constant conversation with God.  Supernaturally, I kept calm and even loving while they fell apart in their own ways. 

My silent prayers went something like this: Lord, give me patience.  Help me to be the mother I need to be to raise these girls the right way.  God, give me the strength to endure this today and for the rest of my life.  Jesus, I give you my heart.  I am so weak, give me your strength. 

I really am weak.  My sin is always before me (Psalm 51:3).  I feel so inadequate to keep up this task of mothering and yet, it's what I must do.  I must not give up and with the help and the strength of the Creator of these children and of me, maybe we will make it through okay.

Note:  During most of this crazy hour, a nice grandma in front of us offered to hold my baby son.  He sat happily on her lap and didn't make even a peep.  Maybe the angels were entertaining him.

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