I am living proof that God has a sense of humor. Not to say that He’s laughing at me. Probably wanting me to know that He’s laughing with me. But living through today wasn’t a laughing matter. Looking back after an hour of silence, I do see humor in it though and that ability to see humor is what propels me to keep on keeping on.
June was pegged at the beginning of 2014 as ‘the month we won’t sleep’ and so far it’s played out pretty much like that with most of the month to go. Why? It’s wedding season and at work it’s the busiest we’ve ever been. We’re currently booked until August! On top of a few regular orders, we had 6 weddings this weekend. Wedding’s are actually less tedious than just one birthday order, but the cakes are big and take a lot of preparation and then delivery. Today we had an early morning delivery to Cave Junction that’s just over an hour away. Not a big deal. Just time consuming.
The plan was to have Melissa’s sister watch Mickey and have Jonah in school, but things don’t always work out. Jonah was stricken with a massively painful migraine Thursday evening that involved him vomiting and then passing out early for bed. I know how painful migraines are and I knew I needed to let the poor kid sleep in on Friday morning, but I had to stick to my schedule and deliver the cake first thing on Friday.
My lovely husband was up for staying home with the kiddos until we got back. Unfortunately, we still had work to finish up when we returned and knew that having Jonah home would very possibly cause trouble. And that was exactly what happened.
When we got home, my husband greeted us with that look. The ‘I need to tell you something, but please try to not get too angry look.’ We’ve been prepping for a candy buffet table for a wedding at the end of the month. I had just bought two new, tall, expensive candy jars and had left them sitting in my bedroom not to be touched by little hands. My son is obsessed with things in my room and things he can’t have, so while daddy was making lunch, he helped himself to my new jar and proceeded to take it and it’s heavy lid to his top bunk where he broke.it.to.bits.
Well, he shattered the base of it and he explained to me, ‘at least the jar part is still okay that means you can still use it!!’ Yes son, that’s what I want to use. A jar with jagged glass pieces stabbing out at the wedding guests. Yes son, we’ll just wrap it all up in duct tape and it will be just as good as new. Maybe even better.
You know, of all of the things my son breaks, this one burns the deepest. I hadn’t even used it and technically it’s not mine, it belongs to the business. That means I have to replace it with my own money. With Jonah, it’s usually one step forward and two steps back. The very money I make off of the candy buffet wedding is what pays for us to do fun things and have food and clothes. If you have to use your own money to replace things that earn you money it’s a wash. Some things in my house need to stay mine. My bedroom is my space and it’s private. It’s mine. No kids!! His response, ‘well, you come in my bedroom whenever you want!’ That’s right son. I come in to clean your room because it smells like a stock yard, put away your clothes so you don’t have to dig though the piles of laundry on my floor, make your bed and check for spiders and shards of glass, get you clothes and tuck you in at night. I have every right to come in there. I’m your parent.
That’s not the end of the insanity either. As soon as my husband left for work the boy began to pick at every little bit of patience that I had in me. He laid in the living room across from his sister and proceeded to touch her with his feet and stick those filthy little dirt nuggets into her late lunch plate. Each time he offended her she let out a squeal of distaste that sent me storming in to stop it all. He ended up in his room, in a chair for time out, getting spanked on the leg, sent outside. Nothing tamed his behavior. It was simply one of those days where routine was replaced with weird schedule and the kid simply wasn’t in the mood to control his impulses.
We have survived and of course today (Saturday) was another day of his shenanigans. Today I blame the soda he had at lunch. That stuff always sets him into a downward spiral that ends up in flames. Tomorrow, I plan to flush his system with water and protein.
There are days when being a parent is the most frustrating job in the universe. Even worse when you are working from home and have to maintain your kids even though you do not have time to really concentrate on what they are doing. It’s like being an absent parent. I’m here, but to them always distracted. I often think it would be more healthy for them to be in daycare rather than watch their mom be constantly consumed by work. So consumed that I often forget to make my daughter the lunch she asked for an hour ago. And by the time work has ended for the day (if it really ever ends) I’m so tired that all I can do is sit down and fall asleep for a few minutes.
I often question God’s decision to put me in this position of stay-at-home-work-at-home-mom. I don’t always get how it’s benefiting my family. Wouldn’t a job out of the house be more logical and easier? I believe it would be. Then why keep this up? Why keep up the crazy hours of building a successful, yet currently not very profitable business that mixes my time with neglectful childcare?
I ask these questions as I lay my head down at night, exhausted and unable to process much of anything because my mind and body hurt too much. And you know what… I don’t really have an answer to my questions. The only thing that I really know for sure is that this is what I’ve been given and I’m taking it as far as God will allow it to go. I love my job and I love my family and I have both. I plan my own hours and my own work schedule and I am my own motivator. And for some reason this is the way it’s been given to me.
My house is never clean or tidy, my kids run amok, my table is rarely bare, but rather always covered in some sort of white powder, fondant residue or food coloring and my counter tops often look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy attempted to build sand castles out of flour and sugar. My son is busy, often annoying and overbearing and my daughter is bored.
At least, that’s how I see it, but is it true? Do I really run a house full of distraction and work that is absent of loving and beneficial parenting?
Yesterday, after the horrible day, I told Jonah that we had to run errands at Costco and Lowes. If he could control himself we would treat them to frozen yogurt, but if they couldn’t behave we would go home and have boring dinner. He got very upset and started to cry. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but he’d picked up on the ‘boring dinner’. I thought he was sad because he was agreeing that my dinner’s were boring, but he was actually upset because I had called my dinner boring. Through sad cries and choked tears he told me, ‘your dinners aren’t boring. I really like them. I like the food you make for me. It tastes good and I appreciate it.’ This coming from my son whom I feel like I ignore all day long and from my belief that my dinners are simple and not so good because I am too exhausted to make anything fancy.
He’s not seeing the content of the meal, but that the meal has been provided. He’s appreciating my effort and loving me unconditionally for providing him with something he needs. My dinners aren’t boring, they are me showing how much I love him. And that makes my heart smile 🙂
Our family is anything but traditional and there are many, many things that need improvement. But we do have love, and joy and laughter. God designed our family just as He saw fit. He put the four of us together and then blessed us with talents and opportunities and quirks and flaws and He’s sewn it all together to make something absolutely unique and beautiful. I’ll take it! I’ll take the chaos, the weird, the messy. Because it makes this family who it is.
I’m Jonah and Mickey’s mom and a very talented cake artist. A bit stressed out, but abundantly blessed. And although I’m never certain of the future, I do know that even though there are days when my kid breaks my stuff there are also days that we play, laugh and love, that are filled with true joy and those are the things that will last longer than broken shards of glass.