Saturday, August 05, 2006

Be careful what you ask for

I feel like I've been praying for patience about as often as I exhale these days. Well, we all know what happens when you pray for patience: you're blessed with opportunities to develop patience. Sigh.

I only have two children (very good children, I might add), but ever since we found out I'm expecting, I think I mentally consider myself to already have three to care for. I know, that's borrowing trouble before it's here. But it's hard to forget about the little one in your womb, especially when you're trying to visualize what your life will be like with three children ages 4 and under. How do we run errands? How will mealtimes work out? Can I still coordinate naps? Will I be changing diapers all day? If I ever wanted to travel with them alone, would I be able to manage a bathroom pitstop without help? What do I do with two wee ones when it comes time to start homeschooling Emma?

It's all a bit overwhelming. I'm at a loss some days, blowing around like a leaf in the wind...taken in every which direction, with no clear plan.

I also feel a little bit over-demanded of physically sometimes. It seems like between meals and snacks, I'm always feeding someone. Food can't be cut up fast enough, drinks poured quickly enough. Not to mention I'm a pregnant scavenger myself, searching for food about every two hours. Yet I fear leaving the kitchen, lest I get attacked by...dun dun dun...Mt. Washmore! Yes, the laundry pile is large enough to walk on its own and eat me alive right now.

So there you have it. The honesty of a mother having a trying week, with two children at very needy ages. It'll pass. It always does. You just have to vent sometimes, you know?

21 comments:

Krista said...

Hey Steph,
I know I'm not a mom and so I can't give advice from experience, but I have friends that have and are going through similar things. They have made it through! I think the key to it all is taking it one day at a time. It will come to you as you go. Sometimes the days are hard, but there is always a smile on everyone's face at the end of the day.
I'll be praying! :)
Love,
Krista

Shelley Roberts said...

Remember Steph, God won't put more on you then you can handle, although sometimes you may think he has you confused with somebody else! :) I can certainly relate to your feelings of overwhelming demand and I just have one little one (although the dog and the husband can also be very demanding when it comes to food)! I have all the confidence that if anyone can manage three, you can.

Anonymous said...

a bit of advice...get your tubes tied and send the kid to public school!!

Stephanie said...

Dear "anonymous",

How very sad! To limit God's blessings in the form of children, or to send them off for someone else to raise and train, is not an option for us. After all, if we don't desire to care for or teach our children, why in the world would we have them? To fulfill our own desires?

Children are not an inconvenience to be managed. They are hard work sometimes, no doubt, but we consider ourselves blessed to be given this opportunity.

After all, the hard days will come. But I know my hard days are tenfold more joyous and fulfilling than many people's best days.

I should hope you would think the same thing about raising your child.

Krista said...

I would love to come visit you! Is it possible to do so before Thursday? I can't wait to see how much the kids have grown!

Love ya!
~KQ

Chelsea said...

Anonymous needs to stop giving unsolicited advice.

Yes, having the third child was a little hard. But, you can teach the kids to put away their own clothes and make their own lunches (even a 4-year-old can spread peanut butter on bread and put cheese cubes on a plate). Definitely train them to clear the table after meals. Six-year-old Kendra is now a huge help and changed David's diaper last week. It'll get easier, day by day. Just keep singing "Refiner's Fire" to yourself and keep laughing at your kids.

Amy Hofman said...

Stephanie ~
I want to encourage you in every way that I can. If you ever need help, I am here for you - be it just giving you some company or whatever.
As for the tough times, know that I admire you - the Lord is giving you a strength that will be just what you need for each day.
This past sunday, I watched you with Emma and Garfield and that baby on the way, and it was just beautiful . . . it made me yearn for that day when I will have children too. . . God bless you, my dear sister, you are in my prayers. . . I pray that the Lord will renew your hope and strength. He chose you for this wonderful duty and He will enable you to do it : ) Much Love!

Donna said...

Hi Steph!

I thought I'd check out your blog (finally). You know I don't use this contraption very much. Kim, I promise yours will be next (but I won't promise when ;o) And while I'm at it, I think I need to find out who else has one. Anyway...

I was saddened to see the comment from "anonymous".

What are we on this earth to one another if we fail to encourage one another? To you Stephanie, let me say that in the frailness of our human forms, we may feel weak in many an area as women, but look back into your past and be reminded how the strength of your Lord and Savior has helped you do wondrous things. Your calling as wife and mother is not only God glorifying, but amazing in all it's complexities and accomplishments. To bring God's people into the world and nurture and guide them is something without comparison. It is a gift He lovingly gives us.

To anonymous, I ask you to think about this: I had my time in the work force. I'm not saying it was without it's hard work and accomplishments, but compared to raising and teaching one's children, it was a piece of cake. And what could be easier than sending your child off for someone else to school and train? What accomplishment is there in that? So Stephanie was feeling a bit overwhelmed. So what? Anything worthwhile will have those moments. No, the answer is not to tell our fellow women to throw in the towel. Let us encourage one another and lift one another up to greater things. I hope one day a friend will do that for you. I pray one day you will have the joy and fulfillment that this blessed calling has given so many of us.

tog_mom said...

Stephanie,
You have the grace that I can only hope for. You make it look easy ;-D
And you vent all you want, even your vents are done with grace and joy. I can see your joy even in your frustration. Thanks for being a friend to me and being such an encouragement. I can't wait to meet this new baby Green. When is the expected date again?
Love ya :)
Tracy

Anonymous said...

chelsea is the only one of you that sounds like she is in the REAl world! teach those kids to help themselves!!! if you do not want outsiders advice, then simply do not feel so sorry for yourself. you and your husband alone have placed these burdens upon yourselves, so stop whining, and teach the kids some life skills, and grow up! what are you, some of those weird religions that believe in brainwashing a child and keeping them from the REAL world??

Kim C. said...

Stephanie,
Don't worry - you'll have good days and bad days, just like everyone else. One kid or 8, they take your full attention and you all will adjust. And you *will* learn patience. :)
Trust me - worrying about logistics beforehand is much more stressful than figuring it out as you go. Errands, meals, naps, pitstops: you can do it. You just don't know how yet.

michelle said...

Stephanie,
Everyone needs a chance to vent frustrations, we all have them from time to time. You do make having two with another on the way look easy as does Kim with 8. It is wonderful to see how even when you are venting you are full of love and gracefulness. Steven learned to pour himself juice and fix himself a sandwitch for lunch when he was about 4. I was pregnant with Nathan and Brandon was not quite 2 during those early nausus days. There were times that I was trying to get Brandon to lay down for a nap or was so nausaus that if I got up to fix lunch I would proceed to throw up all away across the house (that is where the kitchen and bathroom was) and then have to clean it up. Steven one day decided that he was hungary and just went in the kitchen from his bedroom and fixed his own sandwich. It wasn't always neat, sometimes it was a mustard sandwich, but is healthy and was then too. A few strange sandwiches never hurt anyone. You are doing a wonderful job even when it seems so hard to you.

Pc3 said...

Hey anon...a couple of things comke to mind reading you charitable and encouraging comments.

1.) No one asked for you advise. Not even a little. Yet you injected it in a manner more akin to whacking a hornets nest with a rock than one of applying a bandage to a sprain.

Which brings me to #2

I hope you don't approach the rest of your life's relationships with the same tone you used here.

I can hear it now..
Anon to spouse "Quit whining you married me. You said I do. You knew what you were getting at the alter"

sheesh

Cindy said...

Stephanie,

As a mother to 8, I can say that God gives us enough grace for each day. Remember the children of Israel? God gave them enough manna for one day. If they tried to store it up, it became rotten. Don't look ahead to how things will be when your precious baby gets here. God will give you the grace when you need it, not before. Cherish this time! Babies are so much fun; we have 8 and are praying for more!

And ignore the anonymous comments. I feel sorry for people like that.

Blessings,
Cindy C

Bethany said...

I'm not a mom, so I can't give advice. :D I just wanted to share my family's story -- my parents have 12 children, and mommy is expecting baby #13 in another month. She says it has gotten so much easier now that we older ones have grown up and are a big help, but at one time she had 4 of us, ages 4 and under. I don't know how she did it, but I know she had very trying days, too. Hang in there, and do your best, with God's help. I feel so privileged to be a part of such a large, peaceful family. I love it, and am so thankful my parents did go through those trying days.

May God bless you for your efforts, and congratulations on the new little one that God is sending you!

perry2 said...

Anonymous,

Please, oh please, get YOUR tubes tied (if you haven't already). The last thing this society needs is more folks who think like you!

You know, no responsibility. Just bitch, moan, and complain about others and then when your kid (oh wait, you may have aborted he/she) treats everyone else the way he treats you, then you can complain "it's the school's fault!"

Are you writing from ignorance or guilt?

Thanks for posting. You remind us Christians of the worldview that is creating havoc in this country. "A good root bears good fruit."

You ain't one of them.

Chelsea said...

I am mortified!
One, that Anonymous seems to have complimented me for living in the "real world." I'd really like to know her definition of "real." I live in a sinful world, and I'm a big fat sinner, so maybe that's what she perceives.
Two, that I gave you unsolicited advice a millisecond after I told Anonymous not to! [Hanging head in shame.]
You're a GREAT mom, Stephanie. If I live in a more real world than you, it's not for the better. I'd rather have your peaceful spirit anyday.

Anonymous said...

First of all take a big deep breath and remember how easy it is to get upset/overwhelmed when one is pregnant. Let me comfort you by saying the God who gave you these children will help you. As a mom of 6 expecting #7, I will tell you the hardest transition for me was from 1 baby to 2. As for most of the little details of daily life, you may need to wait and see about baby #3's personality and needs. There are some things you will just have to use trial and error to figure out. Do you know a mom with many littles personally? Ask her for her best tips. Follow the thinking behind the tips and see what you can apply. It sounds harder than it really is. Also, ignore unsolicited rude advice. If the mom isn't joyful or atleast happy about children in general you don't want/need that kind of advice. Many moms prep snacks and sippy cups during other meal prep times or when their littles are occupiedor napping. Some also prep in bulk. Children who are hungry are generally at their least cooperative so being ready to feed the instantly is a sound investment of your time. When you come to daily situations that are a constant source of frustration, ask yourself 1. What went wrong? and 2.What can I do to keep it from happening tomorrow?
Take it easy and rest when you can - being tired makes everything seem harder. -Melissa

Michelle said...

I just came over here from Life in a Shoe, having read that you had a drive-by...ugh...brainwashing? That's a job for the government schools! We'll just teach our kids to love learning and let them be kids, thanks!

Wanted to let you know that it will be okay. Hormones and exhaustion don't make great partners, but they don't hit you like this forever, either. ;-)

I got my driver's license when my third was 3 months old. I was so nervous about driving anyway, but taking all 3 kids anywhere terrified me. My little guy turned out to be about the most content baby ever and made it so easy for mommy to get her sea legs behind the wheel. I now regularly haul 5 kids anywhere we need/want to go and hardly think about it. It all works itself out when you're not even looking.

(((Hugs))) for better days ahead!

Momma said...

I'm sorry for that thoughtless remark from Anon. She just doesn't know when to keep quiet, does she? I am a mommy of eight, aged 10 and under. In my experience, two was the hardest, three was almost as hard and by four, it was so much better; it's a different stage in life! Be encouraged, train the oldest ones in little helpful ways, like dressings themselves (and staying dressed!), putting away flatware, getting diapers for you and putting used ones in the trash, etc. {{{HUGS!}}}

Texas Confederate said...

Anonymous, if you knew Steph you could never write such cruel words. She is one of the kindest people I have every met. Your words lacked compassion, and they were designed to tear down rather than build up. David wrote in the Psalms, "LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God." David fought his enemies; he didn't cut and run. However, there were times when David acknowledged his limitations before the Lord, the same way that Steph did. Frankly, I admire her honesty, because she will be the first to admit that she struggles, yet her hope is in the Lord. Rather than hiding behind your anonymity, taking pot shots, why don't you reveal your identity and have the courage to engage the intellectual merits of a woman who could run circles around you with logical, well chosen words.