Last week at church, we were told that it’s okay to be honest and raw in our prayers to God. We were asked to take time and write down one of those honest prayers.
I grabbed my sheet of paper and held onto it for a minute. I started to write something down, and then abandoned it.
I thought about it all night. What would my honest prayer be? God is the only person in heaven or earth that I know I can truly trust. What would I have to say to him that he doesn’t already know?
Then Sunday rolled around. I fought with my kids all morning. I’ve come to the conclusion that most of our biggest struggles come with the kids are tired, sick or hungry. I saw one of those big struggles coming on and quickly went to make lunch. I set lunch on the table and Isaac and I had it out. Randall walked in the house just in time to hear me crying to Isaac, “I don’t know how to be your mother!” I didn’t stop there. I kept talking, surely scarring my kid for life. Asking out loud if it would be okay to stop being his mother. To stop doing his chores and cleaning his clothes and making his food. If he gets to choose not to obey as a son should, could I choose not to obey as his mother? I answered the question. It’s just not an option for me. I wish it were not an option for him to treat me as he does.
I tell you this, so that you will feel like a better parent. Surely, you’re not as bad as me. But I also want to tell you my honest heart so that if any of you have felt like this before, you know you’re not alone. I want to know I’m not alone in this world! Please tell me someone else has felt this way.
I sat down after lunch (avoiding Randall’s eyes at all costs) and got on my computer. I typed this up:
I’m tired of cleaning up after ungrateful kids.
I’m tired of making decisions for other people.
I’m tired of yelling.
I’m tired of screaming.
I’m tired of no one listening to me.
I’m tired of not knowing how to parent my child.
I’m tired of discipline.
I’m tired of rewards.
I’m tired of holding back four letter words.
I’m tired of filtering.
I’m tired of constant loud bursts of gas exploding out of mouths and other orifices at all hours of the day and night.
I’m tired of boys.
I’m tired of tears.
I’m tired of whines.
I’m tired of being mom.
I’m tired of the headaches.
I’m tired of the early mornings and early bedtimes.
I’m tired of homework.
I’m tired of synchronizing calendars.
I’m tired of my seat getting kicked in the car.
I’m tired of the interruptions.
I’m tired of stepping on legos.
I’m tired of sticky walls and sticky floors.
I’m tired of smelling urine when I walk near a bathroom because someone has found a way to pee in crevices that cannot be reached.
I’m tired of scraping toothpaste off the mirror.
I’m tired of forcing my kids to apologize or to say please and thank you.
I’m tired of hearing my son tell me he doesn’t love me.
I’m tired of suppressing the feeling that I don’t like him much either.
I’m just… tired.
I put the computer down and went on with my day. Randall and I actually had a very nice (and greatly needed) date that night. We left before dinner and spent the whole evening together. It was lovely. I didn’t even realize at the time that the ranting above was my honest prayer. But God answered it. He does that a lot; answers my prayer before I even knew I had prayed it.
The rest of the week went by and it was a good week. Not all flowers and roses. No rainbows or unicorns. But a good week. My boys and I made some memories. I got more hugs in one week from my oldest boy than I have in months combined. I wonder if he’s afraid that if he doesn’t hug me, I’ll quit on him…
Or maybe God’s working on his little heart, and mine.