I Can’t Do It Alone

Yesterday, I was having one of those days. 
In fact, I’ve already posted about it.
(A good way to spend a few minutes if you’ve got it.)

We were cleaning up, and Jordan started stewing about something.

Merriam Webster defines “stew” as:
to boil slowly or by simmering heat

The Slacker Mom Dictionary defines it as:
a boiling of emotions that continues to simmer over additional, less important events or actions, often leading to a boiling over of anger.

He was really bugged about something Rebecca was doing–or not doing, it’s hard to remember. I remember thinking he needed a break before we started summer school, or it would be a disaster. Gradually, his mood improved, and we went to pick up the school room. 

Crayola Washable Kid's Paint 10-Pack -  Crayola - Toys"R"Us
I immediately noticed the new paints I had bought spread out over the table.

Lakeshore No-Spill Paint Cups & Brushes

One of the paint containers was full of paint–and water. 

Lakeshore Heavy-Duty Brushes
The paint brushes had been put away, still heavy with drying paint.

Easy-Clean Craft Trays - Set of 4
The trays were still out, covered with finished art work and paint drips. 
I exploded. This was the new paint I had just purchased to go with our paint supplies! One entire bottle of paint–wasted. I demanded that the guilty parties clean it up immediately. 
One of them went to wash out the wasted paint and the paint brushes. 
When she came back, I told her angrily it wasn’t good enough.
{all of my kids are awful at cleaning out paint brushes–I’ve probably tossed 2 dozen and had no desire to toss these!}

Then it dawned on me:
I was stewing.

Like Jordan, I needed a break. I sneaked out of the school room and went to my bedroom. Knowing my kids would come looking for me after 37 seconds of my absence, I uh… 
I hid. 
I laid down next to my bed on the floor by the wall. My room is very very small, so any determined child could have found me… but they didn’t. 

I laid down and prayed. {Kneeling would have given away my location.}
One thing that stood out to me–very clearly–were the words,

I know that He didn’t want me to spend time with Him just for His sake but because He knew I desperately needed it.  I was weary and I needed Him to give me strength that only comes from waiting on Him.”

I simply couldn’t do this day without Heavenly Father’s help. I couldn’t stop stewing, and I knew my attitude had the potential of ruining everyone’s day. I didn’t want that, I didn’t mean for that to happen. It wasn’t fair to my children to ruin this day based on one incident. How can I teach my children to forgive each other when I was too mad to let this go? I told my Father I needed him; that I couldn’t go on. I didn’t know what to do or how to start over.

As I laid there–even while two of my kids played on the bed I remained unnoticed–I observed a strange thing happening.
My anger was slipping away.
I was filled with a strength that could not possibly have been my own. My strength was defeated in the early hours of the day. But I felt a renewal of that strength–I felt my ability to survive another hour, another day, increase. 

As a mother of four young children nearing the end of summer vacation, with a husband gone 60-80 hours a week, I so often feel completely and utterly alone.
Every decision, every argument, every meal is up to me, and typically me alone. My husband helps as much as he can, but his exhaustion at the end of the day means he sometimes isn’t capable of playing referee and wiping up spills and folding clothes and picking up the living room (again) and all the millions of tasks that simply must be done each and every day, multiple times a day.

It’s overwhelming. 
It’s scary.
It’s hard.
It’s pointless. 
I so often forget that I’m not alone; that there is Someone I can turn to for strength and help. How many times have I simply forgotten to turn to the Lord in my times of desperation, and therefore denied myself the help He was eager to offer?
I have never felt that total feeling of an emotional clean slate. I easily gave up what made me so mad. I moved on. I went down to my children and was able to play with them and love them. 

Sometimes, we are slackers not because we are ADHD, or because we hate cleaning, or because we can’t stand to listen to our kids fight about that stupid toy one more stupid time; but because our own strength is gone. We refuse–or forget–to ask for more. We have been told we will never be given more than we can handle; but who says we have to handle it alone? Who says we aren’t brought to the brink of what we can handle so that we learn we need Heavenly Father’s help to handle it? The scripture even goes on to say that with the temptation, or the burdens we face, that He will provide a way to escape so that we can bear it. 

As a mother, I often feel unable to bear what my children manage to dish out. I just need to remember that my escape clause is written in the Mom Contract–if I turn to Him, He will provide away to go on.
To survive.
To endure.

Even if it’s just for one more hour, one more day.

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6 Responses to I Can’t Do It Alone

  1. kevinmark20 says:

    Wow!! Really inspiring! Great post!

  2. newbiemama says:

    Thank you Kevin!

  3. Marlynn says:

    OH thanks! I've been feeling the same way, completely drained all the time. This reminds me I need to go and kneel and ask for help.

  4. newbiemama says:

    I'm glad this helped you. And of course, kneel… or lay down by your bed and pray while you hide! Whatever works, right??

  5. Jamie Younker says:

    Thanks for this… :) Every mom has those days (sometimes for days on end) when we feel like we just can't do it alone. Thanks for the reminder that we don't have to.

  6. newbiemama says:

    Right, Jamie? We let ourselves nearly drown before we remember to ask for help–at least I do!

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