I lay between my two sleeping sons listening to their soft, shallow breathing and looking up at my bedroom ceiling. There is the still fan over the bed with an empty light socket. I see something familiar there not because I'd seen it a thousand and one times before...but something that I could relate to at that moment. I wasn't comfortable with what I saw and what I was currently feeling and how the two somehow intertwined within me.
The past 2 days had me grading myself a D - at parenting. Do you do that too sometimes? Grade yourself as a parent? I remember as a little girl with a diary writing my entries and then grading my days. The best day ever A++++. The worst day ever... F - like there is such a thing.
Or epic fail as my five year old would say.
Over the past couple of days I've shouted and hollered and lost patience with sharp tones and a sharp tongue. And though I am certainly no perfect Mother this is also not how I usually roll as a parent. If I were an outsider listening in...I wouldn't like what I was hearing. I'm feeling burnt out as a Mother...is that a thing? Upon closer internal questioning about why, I think I've figured out out my limit. We're coming to the end of the major travel period for my husband's work and I've worked out that about 3 months away in 8 is about that limit. It doesn't even seem that bad written down...but clearly...it's too much for me. I'm about ready to jump in my truck and drive to the farthest hotel with the most comfortable beds and sleep for 3 days straight. Just to have time alone...ALONE for more than two hours that only occur bed time when you're already so tired you probably should just be sleeping anyway. What a Mother would do?! Anyway. Obviously I've met my breaking point but then...
After bath time the boys laid beside me slightly restless but clearly exhausted. I wanted to start my day over again more than anything.
"I yelled too much today guys..." I began softly, "I'm really sorry. I'll have to remember to take deep breaths when I feel like that. Do you forgive me?"
There were tired groans as they rolled in closer to me and laid their heads on my shoulders. I took that as an affirmative. Of-course they forgive me. Aren't children the most forgiving people on the planet? Heartbreakingly so.
"Hey Fin. What are you grateful for today?" He tilted his head up from my left shoulder with a question in his eyes and I realized this was something we hadn't done before but only something I had done with Adrian. "Do you know what grateful means? It means thankful...thankful for something that makes you feel good, that makes you happy."
"Ketchup." Ah yes. Well why not?
Adrian spoke up quietly with a serious face his cheeks still flushed pink from the warm bath, "I know what I'm thankful for too."
I was ready for a bathroom humour reply that involved stinky butt farts or poop. But no.
Instead he said, "I'm thankful for you."
The thin callous that seemed to have developed around my heart these past two days instantly vanished and I almost began to cry.
"Really baby? That is so sweet. I'm thankful for you too. Both of you. I love you guys so much..." I began to get all mushy, overly talkative and emotional-like kissing the tops of their damp heads over and over again.
Finley spoke up, "But I like you but you got angry."
"I know baby doll but it's not because I don't love you. Mommy's just tired and low on patience. Never ever think that I don't love you."
He leaned in and gave me a good smooch on the lips, "I like you Mommy. I love you."
But if that isn't the best compliment that I didn't deserve.
Adrian turned over with his usual request for a back tickle while Finley pulled a pillow over his body and promptly fell asleep.
I think I got a good start on tomorrow.
And for that I am thankful.
It may be about that time to put a light bulb in that void socket tomorrow too.