Since mid August, life has been a bit rough for me. My now 2.5 year old decided to take up screaming at what seems like everything. Ultimately he screams for his independence and boundary defining, but it felt/feels like everything. I probably dealt with 2-3 hours of non-sensical screaming and crying everyday. It was tough and still is. While it's his way of trying to be in control, it's hard to reason with a 2yo and say "Dude, we could figure this out if you would just stop screaming." Transitions were hard, every time I mentioned going somewhere the scream fest started. And its not like he didn't want to go, he did. He just didn't know to to respond to the change and screaming it was. And then the other kicker was/is his brother, sometimes poor Ephraim doesn't get to do anything because his brother wants it just so and insists on cleaning up all toys so nothing can be played with. So yeah, imagine screaming that doesn't stop despite trying to make it stop by cuddling or other measures for like what felt like forever.
It actually made my blood pressure rise, no kidding, the doctor checked it and it was high for me. Needless to say I don't deal well with screaming. Maybe that's one of the reasons I am not a CIO parent or something like that, but yeah, its not something that God designed me to deal with well. I would feel heavy chested as soon as an escapade started.
But I can't leave you all glum and down in the dumps. Things did start looking up when we let him know that there was a schedule to be followed. While this pained me to set one in stone, though its really not stone, we made one. It helps him to know that its not clean up time, or that it is Ben and mama time. Or its going out of the house time for an activity. I still need to be better about the schedule, as it seems things may change from day to day. We did try to establish a loose one that he could understand.
The next thing is that I have an awesome neighbor. I wish for you to all have an awesome neighbor as awesome as mine is because she has been a life saver many times over in the past year. The thing she did this time was create a box of new toys that are just Ben's to play with every week or so. She has older and younger kids than I do so she is able to do this and I am oh so thankful for her. This probably has helped the most with the second cause for screaming the brother and I hope it continues to be helpful in this way.
So this is a struggle that I really don't like to mention too much. But I am a sucky sleeper. And when I am a sucky sleeper I get anxiety. It just happens. So the thing is when you add a baby who is a sucky sleeper on top of that sometimes it gets really bad. The end of this week was an example of that. Friday night left me in an anxiety attack which I am thankful to my husband for getting me through, but this meant I missed out on my normal life for the next day. I missed soccer, I never miss soccer, but I did.
Through all this mess you better believe that I was praying. I was praying for a solution to my anxieties, the Ben situation, and while they haven't done a 180 flip, they are improving. And here is my proof that God was listening to all my crazy praying.
Yesterday, I listened to my one favorite band, The Rocket Summer, and these lyrics were sung.
" And greatness isn't what you think...
It's not convincing people you don't fall apart.
It's just loving and serving and being who you are.
And who you are is perfect.
You were made in an image of greatness."
I so needed those lyrics. Because I was I kept thinking to myself. Why am I complaining? I have what seems like the perfect life. My husband is beyond awesome. I have a roof over my head. I am living my dream job. I love my kids. I have a support system. I just got awesome news about starting a ministry at church which is just so who I am (more about this later, I promise!). And yet my heart was so heavy!! But hearing these lyrics sung, I fell apart. I so needed to, and honestly it was the first time I felt peace. God knew I needed to listen to those lyrics, he was listening to me, and loving me in my craziness.
And today, well today has been much better. Maybe its because its a Sunday. But if there was one more thing God could do to make me sure that it's going to be okay, he was going to do it. We went to mass and did our wrangling of kiddos. One of which Keith was able to get to sleep during the whole mass and that helped a lot. I just had one kid and N-1, where N is the number of kids you have, is such a true formula when it comes to defining the ease of child rearing. After mass, an older couple came up to me and the husband said, "Ma'am I just wanted to tell you that you and your husband are doing a great job with your children. I know they are a handful, but they give us such joy to watch them and you really are doing a good job caring for them." And wow did I want to cry. Because after a week like I had, I really just didn't feel like I was doing that great. But God is smiling on me despite my own thoughts. And all I can say is Thank-you God. Thank-you for listening and loving me.