Peanut Butter Days

Sometimes I feel this crazy obligation to make every post have a happy ending.

You know, be encouraging. Lift others up. Keep a stiff upper lip. All that jazz.

But sometimes…I don’t know. Sometimes I think it’s OK to be moody and morose and melancholy, like I am tonight.

I learned about two friends having cancer today. One, I already knew about, but I didn’t realize it had progressed so much. Another one was just diagnosed. And yet another friend is still deep within the battle for life against the awful disease. I feel so stunned, and sad, and tired of seeing amazing people being beaten up by cancer.

And then I feel that combination of intense gratitude, that “thank you, thank you, thank you” that it’s not my child or husband or me in their shoes, and then this horrible sense of guilt because there’s absolutely no reason that it shouldn’t be us instead of them. No reason at all.

I resigned from teaching at church today. It was just one Sunday a month, in Jonah’s class, and I wanted to stick it out for him, because he loves having me in there. But a room full of preschoolers arguing, pouting, refusing to cooperate, spilling, pushing, whining just pushed me over the edge. I can handle a couple of kids, and I truly enjoy my kids’ friends in individual situations. But oh, don’t give me a roomful of them and expect us all to come out the other side in one piece.

I don’t know whether to pat myself on the back for recognizing my limitations, and honoring them, or to kick myself for letting my son down. I like to be someone who helps create solutions, not one who causes problems. I know how hard it is to get volunteers to work with the children, and now I’m part of the problem. But I just couldn’t do it anymore. The kids deserve better than someone who just really doesn’t want to be there.

So, I’m a quitter that quits. Who doesn’t like quitting.

I’ve got one kid wanting and needing to make a radical change for next school year, but I can’t get the people in charge to return my messages. It’s that time of year that we have to start registering for next year’s classes, making plans for all four kids, and as a homeschooling mom, I always feel like I’m messing things up somehow. I tell one about next year’s co-op class schedule, and they balk. Then two others balk as well. I spent HOURS sorting out what would be the best-case schedule and all they can do is complain. I’m tempted to keep my money and do straight homeschooling only. And of course they whine about that option, too.

I’ve got one child who seems to be getting migraines, another one needing a root canal, two being tested soon for learning disabilities, three needing eye appointments, and one showing hints at possible autoimmune symptoms. There are a dozen cavities between three heads that are needing to be filled. I’m grateful for insurance that makes these treatments affordable, but it’s the time management that trips me up, scheduling all those appointments around all the other obligations.

And I know this struggle is not even remotely unique. It’s familiar to every mom out there.

Sometimes I can just blow through the to-do list and accept it as simply what needs to be done. Other days, all I feel is a crushing burden and like I’m wading through peanut butter while I’m struggling to carry it.

I guess I don’t need to tell you that it’s been a peanut butter day?


One reply on “Peanut Butter Days”

  1. TOTALLy get it!!! And it’s ok.
    I checked out of the nursery scene a long time ago (after my obligatory few years when Miriam was born) … at our “new” church I have told them NO WAY to toddler nursery but ended up with 1st through 3rd grade hooligans that make me want to leave the state to get away from them. (How’s that for honest?!).
    Just take it a day, a moment sometimes at a time!

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