Nope, not the toddler's. Or the newly-a-toddler's. Mine...all mine!
You'd think that the meltdown ride would read "must be under 48" to ride," but apparently such warnings do not exist. Brew together the right combinations of sleeplessness, hormones and utilitarian self chatter, and the road to meltdown is just a hot mess away.
That hot mess hit home just shy of midnight last Thursday. The Hubbers just might have heard audible gasps of weeping coming from the little man's room as I tried to put him down for the millionth time that week to no avail. He is in this precious phase where he will sleep sweetly and soundly as long as no one puts him down. By soundly, I mean you can do the arm-drop-of-death and the hippy-shake-shake while he is on your hip and there is no movement or waking. As soon as his head hits that mattress...screams of bloody murder.
So on the third night and ten millionth attempt to get the kid to stay asleep (yes, the attempts grow exponentially)...meltdown city faster and harder than you can say fondue. The utilitarian mind-chatter is the worst when the hormones and sleeplessness already are playing with your soul. It is so easy for the enemy to slip in and begin to play the useless card.
You can't even put this kid to sleep. Everyone else's kids sleep fine. You just didn't sleep train right. His room is a mess. The house is a mess. You don't even work full time. You only have two kids. You have ordered out way too much - you can't even get dinner on the table. You are useless. They'd be better off without you so someone else could take better care of them. Useless. Waste of space.
Occasionally the voice of reason and the Holy Spirit creep in to say that you know all that chatter is a lie, because God doesn't create useless things, but the enemy is wily.
Forget that I had just experienced a wonderful morning of reflection and time before the Blessed Sacrament where this whole notion of uselessness was laid before the Lord and blasted with His Light and Truth to shatter its lie. Forget that I heard so clearly the Lord remind me that God is NOT an utilitarian. He does not measure our worth based on our use, but on the very fact of our existence. The mere fact that He chose to create us gives us incredible worth. That we are, that He created us, makes us worthy of His love. To be thought of by God...can you even imagine?
Forget that Jesus reminded me that God is the I AM, not the great "I do." That He exists makes Him worthy of our praise. Created in His image, we, too ARE. Created to carry the divine image within, it is enough that we "be," not that we "do."
Forget all that as the stroke of midnight looms taunting me with images of yet another sleepless night, another attempt to mother my son down the drain, another night where the husband is interrupted by a child and now my own caterwauling. Forget all that while the devil dances on my soul with an illusion that somehow an imaginary someone else would be better, and that I would be best off in the shadows somewhere to watch my family grow.
For a week I carried this in my head, ashamed to admit it was there because my head knew better. My head knows that God created me for a specific purpose. My head knows that He brought me to where I am for a reason...that He brought my husband and I together and created our children as the fruit of our love for very intentional and specific reasons. None of it is random. None of it is a mistake. My mouth didn't want to admit that my downtrodden heart was betraying the wisdom in my head. They just would not sync up.
Hiding in the mental shadows is exhausting, and it is debilitating. Continuing to lay it all before Jesus, thankfully it is inevitable that all that dancing of devil in the dark recesses of my mind would eventually spill out. Light demands that the darkness be dispelled. In a fit of sobs, it all came spewing out the other night. "I'm sorry I'm a terrible wife!" I believe is what might have come out between the sobs. My poor husband knows I've lost my head, and is just shaking his head laughing, undoubtedly because there is really nothing to say that I will listen to. He reminds me that it isn't true and that he will judge that for himself. I sometimes question his judgment and sanity after putting up with me, but I trust that when he says he'll be the judge of the that, I should let it go. Of course I argue with him first, but eventually I agree that I will just wait for him to let me know when I'm being a terrible wife. Or mother. (The husband would like me to add that he also said that this would never happen.)
The battle isn't over, I know. Inevitably, we will likely return to this scene again someday, probably sooner than we should. I know that by giving it over to Jesus sooner or later the darkness spills out, but hopefully it will be sooner next time...and hopefully surrendering to cosleeping for now will be a good remedy for the sleeplessness. The hormones? Well, a gal can't really escape that pitfall, can she?
Here's hoping the only melting that happens in the near future involves chocolate or cheese...
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