Every mother knows what I'm talking about. You wake up with a stiff and sore neck because you spent the entire night with the pillow wrapped around your head just trying to squelch the ear-piercing snores coming from your beloved, the kids all wake up "in a mood", fighting about every little thing that could potentially be fought about all day long, the coffee is too weak, you forget to take anything out for dinner, the two-year-old gets into literally everything that you have ever proclaimed "off limits" (spilling powdered baby formula all over the bathroom floor, "digging" in the coffee creamer, unrolling an entire roll of toilet paper, emptying the whole soap dispenser to wash her hands), your attempts at occupying the kids with art projects goes awry when you take one two-minute trip to the bathroom and the two-year-old paints herself, the kitchen table, and her now-screaming three-year-old sister's hair with finger paint (and then drips finger paint all the way down the carpeted hallway to come tell you "Mess, mama"), the four-year-old spills every single drink poured, no matter who the owner of the cup is, and the three-year-old spends the entire day picking up the cat (which, of course, you've told her umpteen bazillion times in the last three months NOT to do) and taking away every toy the two-year-old tries to play with.
Yesterday was one of those "Calgon, TAKE ME AWAY!!!" days for me. By 7pm, I was ready to run away. Thankfully, though, the little balls of mess and energy do go to bed. And thankfully, only ONE woke up coughing and crying in the middle of the night. It was just "one of those days".
Thing is, though, for some odd reason, once you have the third child, people become far less sympathetic. One of the weirdest things I've noticed is that mothers of "many" (whatever that means) are expected to NEVER have "days like that", and when we do, it's inevitably blamed on the number of children. "Bless your heart, you've just got your hands too full," or "Well, of course you're overwhelmed, there's SO MANY of them," is the typical response. Why is that? You know, I've really noticed that my inevitable awful days aren't really a reflection on the number of kids in the house, because I'd have "those days" even with just one child. Kids are kids. They need training...and the days when I completely lose control over everything that is going on around me is more of a reflection of ME--I lose control because I've failed in some aspect of training. I see that with my teenagers so much more as the days progress--their rebellion doesn't have to be considered "the norm", because that "norm" as society knows it is a relatively new development. It's a result of a very child-centered way of life; give the little guys everything their little hearts desire when they're teeny, and what on earth else could you expect but teens who expect to have that same treatment?
Maybe I'm just ranting and raving because I'm reaping the "rewards" of the new way of thinking with regard to child-rearing. It's days like yesterday when I really do wonder how moms like Michelle Duggar, Marilyn Boyer, and Teri Maxwell do it. But then, they did things MUCH differently when their children were younger.
Praise God, "those days" don't come in direct succession. I get to take a long, hot shower after the girls are in bed, spend some time in prayer and studying life's "owner's manual", and I can hope in a new day...one that looks more like this: