Thursday, January 20, 2011

Joyfully Unhappy

Well, chalk four more things up to the list of "Things Out of My Control."

Liam, age 12.
Alahnnah, age 8.
Susan, age 3.
Cameron, age 21mo.

Lord, I'm sorry that I thought I had any sort of influence on my children. They are your children, after all, and maybe some day they will listen to you.

They SURE aren't listening to me.

But whatcha gonna do? I go the positive reinforcement route for one, negative for the other, time outs, and consistency across the board. At the end of the day, I can say that I did what was right (well, except for today when I bruised my hand by smacking it on the counter when I was mad) and didn't try to belittle, injure or bully anyone.

The last couple of days have been better. Cameron wakes at 5am (nearly) each and every morning. Dave gets up at 5 for work, so he goes in and lays him back down. The last two days he has gone back to sleep for 30 - 45 minutes without screaming, so that's something. Several days I just put the pillow over my head and let him cry until "morning" at 6:00. Naps have been better and he's not falling asleep at 5pm out of exhaustion. I just want him to sleep until 6am. SIX A M. I'm being consistent, I'm working the plan.

Why won't he do what I want??

I'm so frustrated that I don't even want to talk about it anymore. So congratulations, NO more FaceBook whining. It feels like if I can't have "victory" then I don't want to report. Yes, it is getting better - but we are working on the 4th week of consistent sleep training here. Of course, everyone knows what you should do - and they mean well. But nobody wants to hear that you've tried their suggestion and it just didn't work.

I've been holding on to the bright spots - when my child is so funny he cracks me UP. When he hugs me and says "I love my short little Mommy" and just melts my heart. When I catch my daughter reading. When my 3 year old runs across the room shouting "Did somebody say kisses!?"

And when Cameron pinches my neck.

Okay, not that. But the point is, I spent the last 2 weeks being depressed to the point of despair. I had God all figured out and was sure he was punishing me. What I forgot, was that there is STILL joy in suffering. I'm a big believer in that "joy" is nothing like "happiness." Joy is a state of mind. A contentment with what is. An assurance of what will be. Happiness is fleeting and fluctuates day to day.

I must remember to be joyful even when I'm unhappy.


  1. Motherhood.... the hardest job you'll ever Love. Hold on Momma... you are doing wonderfully, even when you can't see it... you're kidlets are loved, healthy, happy and Normal! HUGS!

  2. I'm so sorry you're having a rough time with Cameron and the other kids. :( You are so patient and wonderful with them, they are lucky to have you as a mother. I love you.

  3. I totally feel your pain! I look at my two youngest and think "How did you get this way? I know I raised you to behave differently! What happened?" Hang in there.

    Those are some wise wise wise words. "I must remember to be joyful even when I'm unhappy." Wow. Profound, Andrea. Thank you.