Help is on the way
Last night, the sound of the kids, their constant screeches and squabbles, pushed me to the edge of the world. I wanted to jump into the abyss and give up on it all. Instead, I did what any mom would do. I barked at them, slammed dishes around and made tacos. Actually, I'm sure only I would act like that. Every other mom would brush off the annoyance, smile sweetly and make a five course meal with lots of vegatables.
It's been a difficult few weeks. My husband has taken a bunch of overtime shifts and it feels like he's been gone for a month. As I'm sure any mom reading this knows, it can get pretty lonely and exhausting when your husband is gone for longer than usual. I'm used to him being gone six nights a week and catching up for a couple hours in the morning and evening. I bide my time until the end of six days then he's home for a long stretch and I can do things like take a shower without someone crashing through the bathroom door because the green marker lid is missing.
As I gruffed around the kitchen, lonliness and exhaustion wrapped around me like a weighted bib used when getting an x-ray at the dentist, my daughters, without a word from me, began to help. They got busy with their tasks while I tried not to cry into the taco meat. They set the table, shredded the cheese, and kept Bubby occupied. They even cleaned up all the toys around the house. The floors were clear enough to vacuum...I probably should have taken advantage of that.
Finally, the smell of cilantro and lime brought me to my senses and I could comprehend what was going on. I slid out of my weighted bib of despair, wiped my eyes and was amazed. It seemed like a miracle. My children actually helped prepare dinner and tidy up the house. I was proud.
The help they gave me did not just happen. They knew what needed to be done because of practice. A couple months ago I came up with Job #1 and Job #2. These jobs are done around meal times and are posted on the refrigerator with a magnet that indicates who does what job that day. Job #1 is to help cook, set the table and clear the table. Job #2 is to load the dishwasher, wipe the table and sweep. I have also been having the girls pick up all the toys each evening and unload the dishwasher in the morning. Normally I have to harp, nag and stamp my foot to get them to lift a finger. Then they moan and groan and suddenly have much more important things to do. However, I've stuck with it (most of the time) and I am finally able to see that consistency might be paying off.
Praise the Lord and pass the tortillas!