Because some days when just getting out the door to walk to the park with my 3 kids has me teetering on the brink of insanity, I wonder what I am doing in this profession. The job of raising loving, respectful, kind, God honoring small human beings. It is so daunting. And never ending.
For my other profession I studied and trained for 6 years. 6 years!!! And even then I had moments of feeling incompetent in my job. So the handful of parenting books I have read and the mere hours I have spent listening to parenting experts (via radio, MOPS, etc) is just laughable. No wonder I feel so ill prepared!
So back to the park. Or more accurately trying to get the park! First I unearthed the stroller from amongst the mountain of kid toys in the garage. In that place where a car should be parked but never will due to an over abundance of strollers, trikes, ride on toys, kiddie pools and the like. This was followed by multiple trips in and out of the house getting the stroller prepped and ready to go. Sun hats. Water bottles. Diapers. Wipes. Sunscreen. Big kid snacks. Baby snack. Mommy snack. Sand toys.
Stroller loaded and I was adequately glowing from my full body layer of sweat. Awesome. The kids however were NOT ready. Despite my multiple instructions to "Get your shoes on. GET your shoes ON. GET YOUR SHOES ON!" They were all still shoe-less! Not to mention the fact that no one had used the potty like I had strongly suggested. And of course the baby needed a diaper change. Go figure!
Soooo many tantrums, tears and stern words later we were finally shoed up and out the door. To GO TO THE PARK! I mean this is supposed to be fun, right?! By the kids lack of cooperation you would have thought we were going to the doctor's office...to get shots! Nope. Just out to play.
We didn't even make it to the end of the driveway before Charlotte threw as many fits as candles were on her last birthday (cup)cake! Conveniently the neighbor directly across the street was also in her driveway strapping her crew into a stroller to presumably go on a walk. This child laden neighbor moved in recently. I haven't met her yet. But somehow in the middle of the nonsense that is trying to reason with a raging 3 year old that she can NOT walk down the middle of the street that is FULL of construction vehicles and equipment, well that just didn't seem like the time for friendly introductions. I mean I was also kind of busy trying to convince my son that it is OK to ride his bike over the bumps in the road. That is what training wheels are for, right? Needless to say I lost both of those battles. An unreasonable 3 year old was strapped into the stroller. And the 6 year walked his bike until we got to the sidewalk! I kept my head down and plowed ahead avoiding all eye contact and counted my blessings, namely the fact that the baby was not screeching like a banchee at the moment! She was too busy chewing her sandal. Tasty:)
Eventually we DID make it to the park and the kids had a great time playing. Together! However I was physically and emotionally exhausted by that point. And all we did was WALK to the park! Which gets me thinking that I am not prepared to be a mother. This mother to these three children. And more importantly, as clearly exhibited by my lack of skill at peacefully and efficiently accomplishing such a mundane activity with my kids, I am not doing a very good job at raising these little people.
And then there are these unexpected moments. Little rays of hope. Hinting at the fact that I must be doing an alright job in this whole parenting business. That I haven't completely failed my children. That this profession is the right profession for me at this time in this stage of life for our family.
Moments like yesterday, while cooking dinner I overhear Charlotte singing, "God is my best friend. God is my best friend. God is my best friend!" while playing independently.
Or Isaiah pointing towards heaven when I asked him who he loves the most in our family. Smart kid. Even if secretly I was hoping he would pick me.
Or Hannah sleeping through the night every night. While that may seem trivial it always makes me feel like I am doing something right as a mom. Sleep. It really is a beautiful thing. Especially when it is uninterrupted.
Like a wise friend of mine once said, "Since becoming a mother, each day is a mixture of my worst nightmare and all my dreams come true." I agree completely.