Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

You Have Something On Your Sleeve....Oh Wait, That's Just Your Heart

Being pregnant allows for many things. It allows for a reason to sleep during the day with a good excuse. It allows for the chance to eat more food. ( I say more, not bad!) And I agree with my sister that it also allows for being able to wear certain articles of clothing that you couldn't get away with if you weren't pregnant. It also allows for the not so nice things such as extra skin and aching muscles and those fantastically crazy hormones that tend to go rampant at any given moment.

Today, I woke up in a bad mood. I have been very short with my children for doing things little children do that really aren't anything to get upset about....but there I was, yelling at them both. And, earlier, I was sitting with my daughter in the living room while she watched a cartoon before she took a nap and I was just suddenly overcome with the need to cry. I hadn't even really started crying yet when she looked at me and said "What's wrong, mommy? Don't cry." And then came and gave me a kiss on my cheek.

At that moment, I just wanted to squeeze her just shy of too-tight and tell her how much I love her and that I always will, no matter what. I wanted to try to make her understand somewhere in that 2 1/2 year old brain of hers that her mommy isn't perfect and that even aside from crazy pregnancy hormones, there is this sadness I can't get rid of and I don't want her to ever feel like it's her fault and I don't want her to be stunted in her emotional or mental growth in any way just because I can't seem to get a hold of myself sometimes. I have found that even though crazy hormones are a norm. when you're pregnant, I can't seem to shake feeling just as crazy and out of whack when I'm not pregnant.

How do I explain to my children that emotions are a normal part of life and some people have a harder time dealing with them than others? I worry constantly that I am unable to figure out why I'm so sensitive and that there's nothing I can ever do about it and that somehow, in some way, it will affect them negatively. Will my bouts of anxiety or sadness scar them in some terrible way? Will they take on a constant worry about me every time they see me cry? How much am I supposed to not allow them to see?

I remember someone telling me that they never allowed their children to see them cry. I can't even remember who that was now, I just remember that statement and I remember that at the time, I didn't understand why, having not had children yet. And I remember someone else telling me it was okay to allow your children to see you cry. But what if you're crying for a reason you can't explain? And as quizzical as children are, you know they're going to ask. I'm sure it's a scary thing to see your parents cry so where is the line that we should draw between what's appropriate show of emotion and what's not? I worry about this constantly, especially now because my daughter, even though only 2 1/2 seems to notice these things and has some sort of understanding that crying often means something is wrong.

It's hard to wrap my brain around the intricate details of a human being, the way God made us, how He planned it all out and why. It's an ever-evasive concept to grasp, God's work, and I can't seem to even glimpse the smallest idea of why emotions are so profound and how we are to understand these things, especially within ourselves. And then, how are we to teach our children about the natural part of it all and the proper way to interact with each other, despite how we are feeling at any given moment?

I used to be really good at hiding how I felt but then my life threw up all over itself and I was left wearing everything I ever feel right there on my sleeve. I haven't figured out what to put away to hide and what is okay to be seen, so everything is right out there in plain sight, in view of everyone, waiting to be slapped off or cleaned up or lovingly wiped away.....or just accepted as somewhat of a beautiful mess. But I have found that my inability to "put away" or hide my feelings about things has gotten me into some trouble of sorts. And then there's that whole parenting thing as well, trying to figure out what is okay for my children to see and what really needs to be hidden.......

Even though Angelina has a pretty good grasp on things and understands a lot for only being 2 1/2, which answer is better for her question of the morning?

"Angel, I'm fine. Mommy just has a baby (maybe two) in her belly right now and they make her feel like throwing up every day and we have several family members that feel the need to make us feel bad for allowing God to work in this area of our lives however He wants. Oh and my back hurts and you and your brother are driving me nuts and the house is a mess and I don't want to get off this couch, even to eat. You woke me up at 4 this morning and your brother woke me up to get up at 7. I miss your daddy and the fact that he has to get a second job to support us is really wearing on me because then we will be seeing him even less. I want us to go on vacation this July but it seems like we might not be able to, even though we already sunk some money into a condo at the beach that we can't get back and who knows how long it will be until we get another chance to have a vacation...maybe never? Not to mention that the hot water heater is leaking and I don't think the dishwasher is in good working condition either."


"Mommy just doesn't feel well, baby. I'm okay."

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