Friday, March 15, 2013

Too Great Expectations

These are just some random thoughts from one very exhausted mama. They may not be very coherent.

Lately I feel like no matter what, I can't get enough sleep or enough to eat. My fifteen month old still prefers to nurse rather than eat solid foods, so I am still his main source of nutrition. Then he'd been sick for two weeks--that meant very little sleep during the night. And even the last few nights between the three kids I think I've gotten up about eight times during the night--I've only been in bed for 7.5 hours. My husband has been work super long hours this week--which that really seems to have become the norm in the last months. And I've had my own work to keep me busy even after the kids are in bed. So all this whining to say, I'm have become one very impatient, crabby lady.

Our home has become a very unrestful place, as I mentioned in my last post. I'm discontent with it, but I can't seem to summon the energy to do anything about it. I think one of the greatest problems is that I've set greater expectations on my kids than I have on myself. I correct them for being crabby with each other. I correct them for whining and fussing. I put them in bed when their attitudes are unbearable. I tell them that even if they're hungry or tired they can't just throw a fit, but need to just wait patiently for their food. Yet, at the same time I'm crabby, whiny, and fussy because I'm exhausted and starving. I'm snappy with my kids, and excuse my bad attitude because of my hunger or sleepiness. True, I can't just go lay down and take a nap to help adjust my attitude, but I do very little to practice self control in my circumstances. How can I expect my children to learn self control and how to have a proper attitude no matter their condition or circumstances, if I can't (or won't) even do the same myself? I find myself praying even in the middle of the night that God will help me to be the proper example to my children. Instead  I catch myself snapping my kids' heads off. And sadly, I watch my the older siblings mothering their younger siblings, and I'm ashamed of some of the attitudes and actions I watch them repeat. They portray the sweet mothering behavior. But they will also snap at their sister and say, "Well if you're not going to quit fussing just go lay on your bed." I want to portray grace and patience with my children. I want them to know that I love them and care about them. I don't want to breed contention, strife, anger, and bitterness in my home. I don't want my children to ever feel they can't communicate with me. I don't want to cut my children off.

I just keep praying, and we're working on verses for all of us to help with our responses and attitudes to each other. I don't want to keep correcting my children by saying, "Be kind with your voice when you talk with others," when I'm snapping at them because of something they've done that I don't approve of. I want to be the example that they need, so that my expectations on them don't seem so great.