Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Running on Empty...

Sometimes, as a mother, you get to the end of a day and feel as if you have nothing left to give.  Today was one of those days.  In fact, it has been one of those weeks, and one of those months.  My tank is on empty pretty much physically, mentally, and sometimes spiritually as well.  Sometimes, when I think of all I have to do in a week, I get so overwhelmed that I literally want to curl up in my bed and pretend it will all go away.  It's totally my fault, I admit that.  I try to do too much, and get frustrated when I can't accomplish all that I want to.  I feel like I have to be so many things for so many people...it's so hard to keep up. 
I am the mother of a toddler, who needs to be fed, (literally...the kid won't eat anything, so you have to sit and feed him), changed, read to, nurtured, sang to, and generally just loved to pieces.  He is a night owl, and would stay up all night if I let him.  He gets into our bed most every night, I think because he doesn't get all the attention he needs during the day, and he is making up for lost time.  I don't carry him back to his bed anymore...I snuggle in, and realize that this kid is my last one, and there won't be another opportunity to snuggle up with a toddler.  Pretty soon he will be a teenager, and he won't want me to touch him.
I am the mother of a kindergartener, who is struggling with insecurities, and trying to get my attention in all sorts of ways.  Sometimes it takes her breaking down into tears to get me to stop what I am doing, focus on her and love her.  Sometimes she gets pushed aside, especially at night, when I am tired, and I need to try to get Jack to bed.  Sometimes, no one tucks her in at night, or sings her a song, because by the time I get done with the toddler...she is already asleep, and the moment is gone.  Sometimes, because I am so busy, I am only half listening when she tells me about her day, and when she tries to tell me a joke.  I pretend to laugh, but miss out on some of the joy of the moment because I am focused on other things.
I am the mother of a CRAZY almost 8 year old BOY--who is all BOY, and nothing but BOY!  I struggle to understand him, since I didn't have any brothers growing up, and this is my first try understanding the mind of a young energetic boy.  I fear that I am always getting mad at him, instead of celebrating his uniqueness, and his energy, and the way he makes us all laugh by saying or doing the funniest things at just the right time.  I wish that I could have just a portion of that energy, and maybe I wouldn't be such a grump all the time!  I am feeling the weight of responsibility to make sure that he is ready to be baptized.  Does he really understand what it means?  Have we taught him well enough?
I am the mother of a 10 year old girl, a 5th grader, who struggles with her self image, and her confidence.  I struggle to find ways, and find the time to convince her of her divine nature, and let her know how many gifts and talents she has blessed our family with.  She is a true middle child, and sometimes gets lost in the shuffle.  I wish there was more one on one time with her, just her, so she would know how truly loved she is, and how special she is to me.
I am the mother of a 13 year old girl, in junior high--a truly scary place if there ever was one.  The things that kids in junior high struggle with are so much different than they were when I was her age.  I wonder if I have taught her well enough.  I wonder if she will be strong enough to withstand the temptations that will come to her?  I wonder if I could have?  I wonder what is going on in her head--because heaven knows she doesn't really share things with her mother.  It makes for a little worry, and a lot of concern.
I am the mother of a 14 year old, her first year in high school, who is just beginning to come into her own.  She is finally starting, with the help of a beautiful patriarchal blessing, to grasp just a glimpse of her potential--but she is also realizing that Satan works hard to make sure that people like her feel frustrated, and discouraged.  Life is hard, and exhausting, and she is learning that she will have to do hard things.  Dating and driving are just over the horizon--and I feel like it can't be possible that my baby has grown up so fast!
I am the wife of a husband who is amazing in every way.  He is such a hard worker, and has always made sure our needs were met.  I struggle to find ways to show him my appreciation.  It feels like so much of our time is spent on the children, and activities, and church callings, that our relationship gets lost in all of that.  I remember when we were dating, and how it was almost physically painful to say "goodbye" at the end of the night, and how I would lie awake thinking about him, and how I couldn't wait to see him again the next day.  I still look at him and feel so lucky, and so blessed that he would choose me...and I still feel so unworthy of his love.  After 16 years of marriage, I can honestly say my love for him hasn't changed--but sometimes I struggle with finding the time and the energy to SHOW that love in a meaningful way. 
I am the cook, the chauffeur, the scout leader, the blogger, the news junkie.  I am a sister, a daughter, a friend, a neighbor.  I am a team mom, and a PTO member.  Sometimes, I am someone who tries to be ALL of these--ALL in one day, like today.  And sometimes--like today, my tank is on EMPTY.  Yet, as I sit here and blog, (and have a little pity party for myself) I am reminded of Todd's cousin, who a few weeks ago laid down her 4 month old baby for bed, and 30 minutes later went in to check on him and found him cold, and lifeless.  I am reminded how fragile life really is, and how we never know what might happen next.  I think about each of my children, and my husband and how I would feel if tomorrow, one was taken from me.  In contrast, I have another friend who's daughter is getting married this week, and what a joy it must be for her to know that she has raised her in such a way that she is worthy to enter the temple.  What a glorious day--it is the reason that ALL of this is worth it!  It makes me want to be better.  It makes me want to concentrate more on the JOY of motherhood, and not the DUTY of motherhood.  It makes me want to get up tomorrow, with a new outlook.  Fill up my tank, and start fresh.  Tomorrow will be a better day!


Heather said...

Tami...I feel your pain! It's always nice to hear someone else say the stuff you are feeling as well. I only have 3 kids...but just being a mom can be so overwhelming! I wish I could express myself like you do! You're a great mom and so many people love you! Keep your chin up!

Huston Family said...

Can I just say...DITTO! I often worry if I am doing what I need to to make sure my children know I love them and if I'm teaching them everything they need to know. And something Pres Jarvis told me many years ago when he was a Bishop always comes to mind. He said, talking to the Relief Society, "Sisters, you're doing better than you think you are." And then went on to explain how Satan tries to convince us we're not up to par. You're a wonderful mom with so much energy and such a great sence of humor. Your family is blessed to have you.

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