Hey Mom, Remember

Lately its turned into that hot, disgusting kind of Texas summer, when it’s nearly impossible to remember the joy in taking my children to do anything outdoors – whether it’s in the backyard for any great length of time or just taking the dogs on a decent length walk to get a breather from being inside all day. By late afternoon, we’re going crazy with boredom, which causes me to be that cranky mom. When dad gets home, in his efforts to give me a break, he offers (or I nominate) to take the youngest on a walk, or takes them all up to the playground/basketball court across the highway. 

Outside Activities

They haven’t been able to do a lot of that, in regards to my son getting to go play basketball, because it seems as if the surrounding areas where he usually plays, all have some kind of issue with the hoop, or the court itself. My daughter’s thrilled to be out of the house and to do anything for whatever length of time by this point in the day, which is usually close to the sun starting to go down, so that gives them a tad more opportunity to enjoy themself without ending up panting from the humidity.

Now, of course, this just happens to be the time when my sister-in-law and my nephew are staying with us, until we close on their home in the next week or so – my brother’s in the military, and out of the country for a short-while longer. So, with this being the first that we’ve all lived in the same city in adulthood, I can imagine the first impression that they’re getting, particularly of their niece, being the youngest.

She has some major meltdowns occasionally, if I’m being honest. I get pretty embarrassed though, as she has one of her bossy moments, that may be pretty standard for our crew to deal with but to others can be fairly appalling.

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Hopefully they’re not going to judge me, but I don’t know if that’s true when I can hear them practically counting the minutes to make it out of our driveway. Ha. Pretty sure most people would be doing that. 

On the weekends, we’ve fought the weather in our attempt to go to this or that event around town (which is outside, obvi), and we’ll stay for an hour or two, until we feel like we’re going to pass out. A 5-year-old in the midst of the steam room we call our city, with hundreds of others present, will inevitably be the first to lose it!

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THAT’S MY GIRL, HURLING herself at our legs. But you know what, I feel her tantrum, I respect it even.

Though it ends up making me have one of those “guilty mother” moments, for even thinking it was a good idea to take them out there. We don’t want to go to McDonald’s, since we practically live there during the week.

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The alternative seems to be dressing in the most weather appropriate attire, and then hoping for the best. We’re usually pretty excited to get out.

The kids are happy for us to all be together and do something, plus, if we’d done any of the regular, boring activities done inside, which are typically the defaults, she’d have still melted down at some point anyway. Then, it would’ve been the sign needed for us to wrap things up – no biggie, right? However, in these moments – of our hitting 100-degrees easy in the summer, after grasping at straws trying to make the weekend enjoyable for us all, that’s when it causes my ego to feel a bit bruised. Then the self-criticism kicks in, while I’m looking around at all the others, to observe if they’re having any success, while questioning my own ability to ever give my kids some memories to remember when we’re all relaxed and smiling. 

Here We Are

So, here we are: Twenty-eight days into the summer, juggling being a mother and a Realtor; a trillion days into ornery, bored babies; a kajillion days into being the expert multi-tasker that I am. Like always, my list of things to do each day starts by getting the little one out and about, in the cooler part of the day. After that, it’s not unusual for my daughter to bring up how she’s missing her friends from school, or her teacher (one of the subjects that breaks my heart to talk about), then she starts anticipating the new year to begin in August, the same month of her birthday…My hope is that she’ll have another sweet person to spend her school days with. Let me correct myself – my plea is, her first grade teacher will be yet another gentle soul, because every single prayer got answered with the teacher we received in her Kindergarten year. 

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Here we are, in the dead of summer, stuck inside and my son would love for the school year to quite frankly never return (all of a sudden, those dreaded days are here for HIM), and my little girl just wants to jump back into the routine. But for me, my spirit’s kinda numb, and I’m not 100% sure WHY.

There’s not really anything that’s CAUSING it. But I can assure you, there’s gotta be a cause. 

Quit That!

When my thoughts try interjecting with my heart to cease feeling so much, my question is “why not just let everything that will be, be?” Are my concerns about being able to provide a happy life for the kids really something to get myself worked up over? My negativity about my being this kind of person – an emotional, silly woman – now takes over. How come I just CAN’T seem get it together?? is what runs through my mind.

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Obviously, there’s way more to it than whether I’m a good mother. If someone’s not coping very well, with whatever they’ve got going on at the time; when they’re emotional because life’s just going by at lightening speed, the tiniest thing will cause them to be pushed right to the edge. 

Right then, the lightbulb went off: while I was encouraging myself to go to McDonald’s for one of them new Rollo McFlurry’s I’d seen, so I could inhale it, while figuring out when my buyers would be able to close on their new home, and what new marketing I could put out for my sellers…Wham!, a verse from the Bible came to me (most definitely God knocking some sense into me), echoing ‘But you who follows the true way have come to the light. Then the light will show that whatever you’ve done was done through God’ (John 3:21). Well that did it, yep..easy peasy.

I felt the tears welling up in my eyes, however my heart, all of a sudden, felt very full. Partly because of the Rollo McFlurry.

But more so about remembering who it is that I am – while curling up on the couch, eating the ice cream for whatever quiet time I was being given; overlooking the messy floor, the piles of clothes needing to be put away, I was being provided what it was that I yearned for the most, a mental shutdown. By this, it halted that process of giving myself another guilt-trip. 

To Summarize

Ladies, this is the deal: Sometimes everyone is going to treat us like caca, our children are going to piss and moan about every little thing and people will judge us for this when we’re out in public, there’s no one who we can think of to listen to our own bitching and moaning, and we become fairly certain we’re the biggest reject to ever walk the earth. Sometimes we’re going to set some pretty unrealistic goals that we’ll actually try to accomplish..rearrange the entire house, be a better wife, get fit by day 30 (remember, it’s already day 28) of summer.

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Sometimes we’re not going to want to get out of bed, we’ll be a bitch, lose our shit, cry, isolate and be depressed – and yes, it’ll all be done together, in one day, some of the time. Sometimes, we’ll be pushed really close to the edge, and not be able to quite put our finger on why. 

Remember, though, God’s got our back. 

How hard it is to remember this little nugget of truth sometimes, though. However, our ice cream, the get fit in less than a week fantasy, that extra-large margarita, massage, texting someone who loves us and is willing to listen, curling up for a soap opera marathon, WHATEVER it is that brings us peace – it’s what’s going to change our course. It’s dire for us to remember and take care of ourselves once in awhile, whether it’s just for 10 minutes, or for two glorious hours. We must pay attention to the verses that jump into our heads, that helps us to remember to breathe, to be at peace. 

Ain’t Life Grand?

Then, when we have those times where we’re at our best, and we can’t imagine living a better life than the one we’ve been given..it’s dire that we then be that source of peace for someone else. By providing a smile towards someone who appears to be stressed out, or providing some words of wisdom to that mother we see, who’s at her wit’s end – I mean, what better way to show another person the light. 

Remember, we’ve been shown the way. We must also remember to show it to those who are still in the dark. Just remember to also get an extra McFlurry.

But you who follows the true way have come to the light. Then the light will show that whatever you’ve done was done through God. John 3:21

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Consumed Thoughts

Letting your thoughts become consumed with your needs is a sure-fire way to be drawn straight into the worrying trap.

I have dealt with anxiety. So, with that being said, I know exactly what it feels like to be a “worry-wart”. I’ve also learned some of my triggers that sets the anxiety up. It has everything to do with a little thing called “ME-syndrome”. (I made it up, so don’t bother looking in WebMD.)

If I want to get drawn straight into the worrying trap, alls I have to do is allow my thinking to get consumed by the things that “I need”. Oh, and everything I must do in order to meet those needs! 

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Ah, the worrying trap..we’re old friends. Do you know of it? That place where you’re tormented by your own awful thoughts? I think I’ve seen a few of you frequenting it in my own visits, no? Good ol’ Anxiety Blvd. Neat place. 

For kicks, while I’m visiting, I then like to grab ahold of myself, plus whatever issue is going on, and make some attempts at taking charge. Like the lady boss I am. Ahem. A piece of advice? Such a bad idea! 

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What I didn’t realize, during this particular time of my life, was that my worrying was just a symptom of my faith that was lacking. I was way too busy questioning everything I’ve known to be true – such as, the promises given to me in Scripture. What it really came down to, was that I doubted whether God would actually come through for me. 

I don’t know who would ever choose to keep living there on Anxiety Blvd. Thank goodness, I found a solution on how to get the heck out of there!

In order to overcome the anxiety, what worked for me, was shifting my focus off of what I “needed” and instead casting those concerns onto the One who already knows what all of my needs are. 

It’s Comical When I Think Back
During some of my biggest scenes of worrying, I recall talking to myself became kind of my thing. Super exciting conversation! IF you enjoy those rides where you spin around (and around) on them, going absolutely nowhere – except in a hunchback position preparing for what you’re about to up-chuck. 

Living in a constant state of worry was suffocating all of the life right out of me. Chaos, at its finest, was taking place! And I much prefer experiencing a life of peace. 

If that’s true, if I really crave that sense of peacefulness, then there really was no question of what I had to do: I needed to get on my knees and start praying! 

Now, I have always prayed. Daily, actually. But at this point in time, what I needed was to take it a step further. Which, for me, was kneeling in a quiet room and laying it all out there for God. 

I began to also learn to spot the telltale signs of chaos attempting to worm its way in. Then, immediately redirect them suckers. I had gotten to a place of refusal. There wasn’t going to be one more second I allowed my anxiety to steal the show. 

And again, the key was prayer. Giving every “but what if” to God in honest, heartfelt, on my knees prayer. Sometimes repetitively! And I’ll keep doing it, too! When you find a tried-and-true method to overcome something, letting it consume you again would be, well, chaotic… 

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