Wednesday, April 11, 2012

the curveball

In my mind, my postpartum period with Madelyn was going to be different. I can barely remember Lucas as a newborn. My mind and energy were completely preoccupied with my two-year-old, and the beginning of Luke's life was a total blur. This time, I was determined to slow down. Ignore the house. Order takeout. Let the flabby belly lie. This time, I was going to sit, sing and rock the baby, get down on the floor with the boys, and just enjoy.

But we were thrown a curveball. 

We'd been home with Maddie for just a few weeks when she came down with a respiratory virus and had to go into the hospital for several days. But that wasn't the curveball. Scary and stressful, certainly. But then, after weeks of virtually no sleep, I was running on less than empty when we got the news, out of the blue, that we were out of a home. The owners of our house, who less than a week before had agreed to us signing another lease, had decided instead to sell. And we have to be out by the end of May.

Cue Major Mommy Meltdown.

A move is incredibly stressful any time. Moving with little kids is even more stress. Moving with a brand new baby, two frenetic balls of boy energy, and two unbearably exhausted parents is just a nightmare. We've spent days and days searching for a new home. Driving around for hours with fussy, bickering, crying kids in the backseat, shuffling them from one friend to another to give them some time to play. Arguing over price, location, schools, and  yards. Trying desperately to get ONE THING clean in the house that is a complete disaster and has to be inspected. Wondering how I am ever going to get this house packed up, cleaned out, moved over, unpacked, and put away again. I am consumed with stress from the minute I wake up until I finally crash at night.

And while all this is going on, I've got these two little boys who need their mama so badly, and just can't seem to get her. They fight with each other, they argue with me, they get into everything and make mess after mess after mess. And then they're sweet as pie... for five whole minutes. And then they're fighting again. And the baby cries, and needs to eat. Again. And the dog makes a mess on the floor that I JUST SHAMPOOED. Someone is always crying, always in trouble, always needing something from me right this second.

In other words, life. This is the life I chose when I chose to have children and stay home with them. And I love this life. The struggle is nothing new, this battle between the pull of busyness and the needs of my children. I know this challenge like the back of my hand. But right now, with the added upheaval of having to move, it's like life magnified times a hundred.

And I confess to you, I am not handling it all that well.

I'm really trying. Reading the Word every day. Forcing myself to slow down, even as my mind is racing with everything that has to be done. Reigning in my tongue and my temper. But I'm failing, a lot. My kids are basically being raised by TV, fast food, and yelling. I'm not going to lie, I hate this season. It's making me crazy.

But God doesn't lead us into any season of life without knowing exactly how we will get through it. He sees the other side of this. He knows where we're going to live, how we're going to afford it, who is going to magically appear to help us move all this furniture. He doesn't ask us to pretend to like it. But he does ask us to trust him, and to walk in obedience in the middle of the trial. Which means, I can't just throw up my hands and quit trying. I keep turning to him. I keep asking for direction, and making room to listen. I ask my kids for forgiveness and control my tongue and temper again. I reset. I repent. I press in.

The blessing is waiting on the other side, but the blessing is right here in the middle, too. Believe it or not.