When you are a mother or a stay at home mom or a housewife, your job is taking to care of the needs of others. It is actually more than a job; it is a vocation or a calling. A calling to live a certain way, so that your primary focus is to nurture others. (The discussion of terms like housewife and vocation is the subject for another post.)
Normally, I think I do a pretty good job. I can’t think of anything else I would like to do as much at the present moment. Normally, the love I have for my family outweighs the difficulties of the position.
Occasionally, I come to the end of my ability of selflessly take of others while maintaining my usually sunny disposition. There are only so many breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks I can prepare. There are only so many errands I drive for hours trying to complete. There are only so many times I can re-arrange my schedule to fit everyone and everything in and get it all done. Get it all done and not have a little resentment or grumpiness creep in, that is.
Yesterday, I reached the end of the rope. First off, it was hot. The week was long. I had been dropping off and picking up and running errands all week long. Did I mention it was hot? The car was boiling. I had spent the week driving all over town signing children up for activities, trying to find the right activities and fitting in doctor’s appointments in between picking up my husband from work.
The madness culminated yesterday in a three hour search for liquid doxycycl for Maeve. This is the antibiotic prescribed for Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. She doesn’t have either, we think. She did get tick bite while we were in Virginia and she did have a headache and she developed a rash last week. All of these things added up to a visit to the doctor just to make sure. Apparently doctors treat Lyme and RMSF profilacticely. This meant Maeve got an antibiotic, even when the doctor was pretty sure she wasn’t sick. On Thursday we filled the prescription at our local Wal-Mart. It took forever and we ended up wandering around Wal-Mart way too late in the evening. During this whole adventure Maeve also developed a real illness (head cold). On top of the regular madness, she actually had reason to be cranky.
The original prescription was in caplet form. This was her chance to learn how to swallow pills. This didn’t work so well. (My family’s inability to swallow medicine is also another topic for a post.) So, Friday morning I called the doctor and asked them to send another order for the liquid version. Apparently, no one stocks this. After many phone calls and three pharmacies and three hours of driving later. We had the specially-compounded-just-for-us liquid form in hand. Oh, the things I do for my children.
Sandwiched in between this quest for the elusive liquid was the husband drop off, breakfast, drop off and pick up at vacation bible school; contacting a two places to visit for gymnastics, a trip to the library to return over due books, a visit to gym to do a meet and greet and see if the daughter likes this one, many calls to the pharmacy, lunch and laundry. I also had to pick up Daniel and have him home by 6:30pm because he has an appointment. Living with one car can be daunting. Did I also mention we are still unpacking from a move?
By the time I finished putting away dinner at 8pm, I was toast. I was cranky, hot and overtired. I felt one step away from having a full blown tantrum. I almost threw the tantrum when Daniel turned off the AC in the car on the ride home because he was cold. He had been sitting in a climate-controlled office all day so I guess he was chilly. It took about five deep breaths before I was able to speak in a calm voice. Bitterness and resentment were beginning to take hold. I began to think bad thoughts such as, “Maybe if I worked full time, I could hire someone to do this.” “I’ll make the car as cold as I damn well want to, when I drive around for three hours.” “If you complain that this liquid medicine tastes bad, I just might throw something.” “Get your own damn snack.” I said none of these things, thank goodness. I don't think it owudl have helped.
The antidote for bitterness and resentment is to step away or a glass of wine. Make that and a glass of wine.
After dinner was on the table I wasn’t doing anything else. I went on strike. I plopped down on the couch and refused to move until I put the girls to bed and then I went back to the couch and sat until I went to bed. I had a glass of red wine. I watched My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, the news and David Letterman and then I went to bed. I left the dirty dishes in the sink. I left clean clothes in the washer and hoped they wouldn’t mold. I slept until 8:30am and I am still in my pajamas at quarter to ten.
At this present moment my family is gathered around me waiting for me to go to Home Depot and Lowes. During the writing of this post, I have made two breakfasts, done hair and moved the wet laundry to the dryer.
I guess my short lived strike is over. It’s a new day, a fresh start. A new to-do list is waiting.
My prayer for today is that love, kindness, respect and gentleness rule the day. I’ll let you know how I do.