Ever have one of those days? You know, the kind of day that you text your husband at 3:45 and say something to the effect of, “I’m losing my mind. Tell me you’ll be home soon.” You probably follow up said text with a little yellow emoticon that looks something like this: 😛
I mean, this is a hypothetical example of the kind of text one MIGHT send, of course. *nervous laughter*
On one of those hypothetical days, your husband might reply, “6:00.” That’s it. Just some numbers. No sad faced emoticon to show how deeply he might commiserate with your impending breakdown. 🙁
I mean, if we want to take this “hypothetical” exchange of texts a step further, you MIGHT reply with something like, “Ack! Um…okay.” Followed by another grimicing emoticon.
Really, how did any of us ever communicate without emoticons?!
If your husband is valiant and grand, he will likely respond with, “I will try to make it home earlier. I can be there by 5:15.”
To which you will (hypothetically) respond, “We’ll be alright. Don’t rush.” You will send this text while secretly hoping that he does, indeed, rush.
When your hypothetical husband walks through the hypothetical door at 4:45, you will hypothetically find him to be more handsome than ever he was before. He might as well be riding a hypothetical white horse and wearing a shield of valor.
So this may come as a bit of a surprise to you all, but this situation isn’t really hypothetical. That was my day today and my valiant husband actually DID walk through the door at 4:45 and promptly took the children to the park when he saw that desperate deer-caught-in-headlights look of mine that says, Sweet Jesus be near ’cause Mama’s gonna lose her mind.
After he announced the impending trip to the park, one of the children (who shall remain unnamed) (the one bearing the X-Chromosome) replied something to the effect of, “No thanks. I want to stay here with Mom.”
“Nope.” My response was immediate and firm. And maybe a little loud?
“Why?!” she cried, her face falling.
And before I could stop the words from spilling out of my mouth I replied, “Because Mommy needs a break from you guys. I need to be alone and I don’t want to be needed for a minimum of thirty minutes.”
And then her face fell and I immediately felt a flood of guilt because what a horrible thing to say. But of course I tried to brush off said guilt under the guise of my firm belief that “God does not operate out of guilt and therefore I will not operate in guilt either.”
But you know what umbrella God does operate under? Conviction. And there is a paper thin line between guilt and conviction that sometimes gets blurred and if we’re not tuned in to what’s happening around us we may get the two confused. I could assume genuine conviction to be nothing more than self-imposed guilt and brush it off since, you know, I REFUSE TO OPERATE IN GUILT. Ah, but I can likewise so often mistake guilt as conviction, thereby indeed OPERATING IN GUILT without even really realizing it.
Today what I experienced was conviction, though I tried with all my might dismiss it as “Mommy Guilt.”
The thing is, the sentiment I expressed to my child was true. I DID need a break and there’s nothing wrong with that. My kids possessed an extra measure of neediness today and on top of my massive to-do list and a house that seemed to have thrown up over night I was feeling wildly overwhelmed and caged. I needed to breathe.
I just wish I wouldn’t have made her feel like she pushed me to that point. Because she didn’t. It’s just the nature of motherhood and I don’t ever want my children to feel as though they are too much for me to handle. I don’t want them thinking I need a break from them so much as maybe every once in awhile I just need some time to clear my head.
When they returned, I fed everyone dinner, then closed myself in my office to continue said alone time. But not for long. Tia walked in shortly after just needing to talk. For as much as I seemed to need some time to myself, she seemed to need time alone with me.
And so we sat and talked and I learned a few things about my daughter in the process. She wants to have six kids, but she only wants to carry three of them in her tummy. The other three she wants to adopt from Africa and Asia. She wants three girls and three boys and she wants the doctor to cut the babies out of her tummy because some time ago I told her how babies are born and she’s been horrified ever since.
We talked for an hour, we snuggled, we read a book and I realized that I didn’t really need that time alone after all. Because honestly? It feels really dang good to be needed.
So to recap:
– My husband is my knight in shining armor.
– Guilt and conviction look an awful lot alike so try not to mix them up.
– And I am apparently raising a tiny Angelina Jolie.