I am overwhelmed. I am certainly not alone in this regard. Sometimes, we just need a win.
The setup my husband and I have to run our household is difficult for both of us. I work full-time during the day and he works evenings and weekends. We do this so that our children can stay at home and to ensure that we can pay the bills (this is how we came to this decision). This means that many nights I am coming home from work and then handling the dinner and bedtime routines by myself. It also means that my husband is handling the morning, lunch, and nap time routines alone. It is tough, but we believe it is worth it.
Last evening, I felt so exhausted on my drive home from work. All I wanted to do was change my clothes and lay on the couch. I can’t even remember the last time I was able to do that. When I got home, Jeff was about to leave for work. The dishes were washed, the toys were picked up, and the laundry was started. I failed to thank him. All I could think about was sitting down. As soon as I hit the couch, the boys woke up. It’s not that we had a particularly bad evening or that they were any more energetic than usual – it just hit me that I was burnt out.
The funny thing is, when I reach these points I can always find something within the chaos to smile about if I allow myself – sometimes I am too stubborn to see what’s there beneath the surface. My oldest threw a temper tantrum at dinner because he didn’t want to eat and we were having pizza. Pizza, for goodness sake!!! How dare I try to make him eat the most awesome food ever created – a food he normally loves. I let him work it out and calm himself down and then decided to take the boys for a walk. Both kids insisted on crawling out of the stroller. I wanted to just keep walking because I wanted/needed some exercise. But all those boys wanted was to pick some flowers out of a field for me. So there we were along the side of the road with my boys picking a flower and bringing it back to me. Grabbing a weed and giving it to Mommy. It was their idea and they were so, so proud. Thankfully, I had the wherewithal to make a big deal out of it. Suddenly, I felt less tired and the evening was fun.
As with most parents, I am normally spent by the time my kids go to bed. On this night, Jett was getting fussy so I took him to his room to read to him and rock with him. He is really starting to love books and he gets so enthusiastic about it! When it was time to put him in his crib, he laid down and grabbed my hand to put it up against his face. He snuggled his cheek into the palm of my hand and said so lovingly, “Mommy and Jett.” He kept saying it over and over again. The amount of love I felt in that moment was unreal. I started crying and I picked him up to give him extra hugs and kisses. I’m crying now just thinking about it!
So on this day when I didn’t think I had it in me, I received two amazing memories. I will always treasure the sight of my kids picking me flowers and the joy on their faces. Then my littlest man – who is just learning to talk – gave me something unforgettable just by saying a simple phrase, “Mommy and Jett.” What he was telling me is that these things are special to him too. It may seem like just another night when I get home from work, but it’s really so much more than that. All of these seemingly insignificant evenings are adding up to become my legacy as a parent. I can choose to make it great. I can choose to see the positives and see that God has given me so much. When I lose sight of all of that, that’s when I feel overwhelmed. It should come as no surprise to me that when I focus on my faith, I feel much more at ease.
I got my win and so much more.