As a parent, especially a stay-at-home parent, you can lose your identity pretty quickly.
"Mommy, is it OK if the girls have a lollipop," asked the lady at the pharmacy, briefly flashing the orange and red treats for me to see.
Rarely do I hear anyone call me by my real name. Most of the time I get a greeting "Hi" or "How are you" or I am called "Mommy" or S and M's Mommy. Even my husband calls me Mommy.
Hearing "Mommy" all the time can be draining. Don't get me wrong. I do love being a mother and I love being blessed with the opportunity to stay at home with my girls.
But I also love my name. It's pretty, literally. And it is who I am, besides mommy and wife.
Tonight "Mommy's" tank was pretty low and Mommy" didn't want to be "Mommy" for just a little bit.
Evenings can be rough in general. I am usually tired by the end of the day. (Sitting around eating bon-bons and blogging can be exhausting!) But there is still dinner to fix, dramas to direct or redirect, cleaning to do and the assortment of household stuff. C does help around the house and he generally knows when I need a break. But I know he, too, is pretty wiped out and can be low on the patience after work.
Tonight the girls were, well, the same as they are every night, but, like I said, my tank was low and so was my patience. It took everything I had in me to stay at the table at dinner when all I really wanted to do was run into the bathroom, lock the door and take a very long hot shower. But I sat through dinner, trying to eat it with M calling "Mommy" all the time because she wanted me to spoon up every bite for her and S finding some reason yet again to not eat dinner.
C helped out and afterwards took M to the hardware store with him. I needed the break, a bit of peace and a little one-on-one time with S.
Tonight Chris led the bedtime prayer we do with the girls. In it, he asked for God to give us patience as parents. At least that's what I took from it. I hate being impatient with the girls. I love them to pieces. Generally, I can handle the drama, being the Drama Coach and all. But I hate the cringe I can get sometimes when I hear "Mommy" for the millionth time in a day.
I wonder how God does it. You would think He must be impatient with us all the time for all the dumb things we do. We don't listen to Him. We don't follow Him. We have a general lack of faith in Him. And yet, He is always there to love us, to forgive us and to welcome us back when we do stupid things. He is such an awesome father, so patient and loving, strong and firm.
I pray to be a parent like He is. And that's the way to do it, to pray and ask for His guidance so we have the patience to deal with the hundreds of things we face as parents.
God give me strength, again and again!
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