A few days ago all the kids were sick. I was exhausted. I haven’t been sleeping well. I’m over-committed at the moment as most of us are during the holiday season.
Among my normal wife and mom duties, I’ve been preoccupied with my book release, my role in “It’s A Wonderful Life” at the community theater, and the many other holiday obligations that are happening right now. This really was not the best week for my kids to be sick. I’ve been kind of blind sighted in the past when my kids get sick, but not this time. One of the kids started throwing up in the middle of the night on Saturday morning after complaining that his stomach hurt on Friday night at dinner. I kind of expected he might be getting sick, but I had three shows that weekend so it was kind of on THEZMAKER’s shoulders to handle it for the weekend. Secretly I was kind of glad I had some other obligations. Being involved in something for myself for the first time in a long time has been very good for me. I’m loving my time away to rediscover who I am when I’m not being TheZMom. *wink*. That being said, there’s a certain amount of guilt that comes from leaving your sick child, but I really had no choice. I have no understudy and as they say “The Show Must Go On!”
God seems to use these times to show me how important I am to my kids however. I’ve written posts before in the past about how my child has gotten sick and the revelation it brings me to as a mother and how, we really are THAT important to our children. But each time, its a new and different experience which brings up new feelings.
This time, I really realized how desperate I became as time went on. Sunday, he seemed to be getting better and I was confident this was an isolated incident. Boy was I wrong. By Tuesday everyone except the oldest was holding their own special puke bucket. I had stripped beds and cleaned carpets (Which will probably never be the same again) and I was at my wits end.
I took to Facebook to vent about my overwhelmed state, and received a lot of well meaning comments which did help a little bit, but the one thing that stood out came from two moms who I look up to. Both of them have more children than I do, and when in crisis mode, I tend to turn to women who have been where I am at to get some perspective.
That night as I lay in bed, completely torn as a person from the lack of energy and the mental drain of being needed by five sick kids, always being needed at every moment- I reached out to these two women. I typed through text to them…
“I. Can’t. Do. This. Anymore.”
I waited for a response… but when one didn’t come right away, I started to pour out my heart a little more in the stillness.
“Not only can I not do this anymore- I’m not qualified to do this. I’m a failure! My attitude is poor…”
Me, me, me, me, me. Sheesh… Well, yes. We as humans are selfish in nature and honestly I’m sure any mother in my position would have felt the same way.
Finally the responses started flooding in from these two wise woman who both said the same thing to me. Oh these women are SO wise…
“Of COURSE you can’t do this. We are only HUMANS.”
“Honey, you are not MEANT to do this! You don’t need to do this!”
Oh how right they were. At that moment, they said exactly what I needed to be told. My life as a mother is not dependent upon ME alone. No, I’m not in this alone.
I need to keep my eyes on the cross. Why didn’t I go to him?
Maybe sometimes I feel like, he can’t hear me, or he isn’t listening. I fail to remember that I should go to him in prayer for these things. I began to pray for strength and ability. Of course that’s the only way I can get through this. I wish it didn’t always take someone else looking over my shoulder and saying to me “Sweetie, God made you to need him.” How proud I can be sometimes. How awesome I can believe I am when I think I’ve found something that works. I know that is not always purposeful (actually it probably is not ever purposeful) but none the less I do it.
God, I pray that you help me see your amazing blessings- my children- as the gifts they are, even in the hard times.
So often I see my friends with only a few kids and it feels like, I need to keep it together. I need to work harder, I’ve got more kids so I need to show people that I can STILL keep it all together. That I am JUST as capable as they are. The truth is that they don’t have it any more together than I do with six children. The truth is that, God gives us more ability each child we have. He stretches us and makes our love go further. Where we lack, he fills in.
My husband always reminds me that I set out to be a Zingy Mom long ago when I first started this journey. That has never changed. My perspective has a little bit though- because while I started off thinking of a Zingy mom as intentional and put together, and in charge, and figured out- I now look at being a Zingy mom as being intentional- by bringing God into your parenting and just doing your best every day.
That’s really all we can ask of ourselves. Isn’t it?