Thursday, September 24, 2009

Non-Maternal Instincts

I wrote this post yesterday afternoon.

Nonmaternal Instinct

I screamed this morning.

For no good reason other than I wanted to scream. I needed to scream.

Because as of 10:00 this morning, I was certifiably going crazy. Like off-my-rocker send-me-to-the-asylum crazy.

Have you ever felt that way? It's a terrible feeling. Actually, it helped me to empathize with people who really are insane. Like diagnosably insane. I think I just made that word up. Diagnosably. Use it anytime you like. You're welcome.

Anyway, this morning was rough. Ugh. Mom FAIL. Jesus Save Us All. R-O-U-G-H.

From 7am, when the kids woke me up, to 10am, when I screamed, the following mess ensued:
  • Two dirty diapers.
  • Two hungry kids (requiring me to quickly throw something together for Henry so that I could assume my position on the couch to nurse Harper).
  • Violently vomiting baby - crap spewing out of her nose, and all - requiring a bath on the spot and an emergency load of laundry (Baby throw-up is one of the most horrible smells. I can't tolerate it. Never have. The soiled items could not wait until later.)
  • Poopy toddler. Another diaper change.
  • And since Harper emptied her belly, she needed nursed again. Back to the couch.
  • CHALLENGING toddler. Henry insisted on getting into anything and everything - cable box, blinds, outlets, matchbox cars across t.v., dog food, I could go on-and-on.
  • So I literally was running around the house, disciplining Henry one handed while cradling Harper who was latched on. I can only imagine what that looked like.
  • Henry pooped again. Bath this time. Very necessary considering his poop was F-U-N-K-Y.
  • And as I plopped Henry in the tub, Harper wailed and wailed because she was not done eating nor did she appreciate me putting her down.
  • After a quick bath, I snatched Harper back up, latched her on, and found Henry banging on the pantry door (Translation: I want snack).
  • I gave him his favorite, marshmallows, because his sugar consumption was the least of my concerns at that point.
  • Rather than eating the marshmallows, Henry mushed them all up so that they were sticking between his fingers. Once again, time to unlatch Harper. This time so that I could clean up sticky fingers.
  • As I was returning to clean up the rest of the marshmallows (Henry had thrown them across the floor), Harper began wailing and Henry began whining because I was throwing the remaining marshmallows down the sink.
Yes, that is when I screamed. I had to. It was either scream or walk out of the house. Seriously, I was front-door bound.

But the screaming didn't help. Not that much, anyway. Rather it released something totally unexpected. Tears.

There I was, standing between a wailing baby and a whining toddler, with tears streaming down my face. Ugh.

Mom Fail.

But the tears provoked something that I should have done a long time ago. Prayer. I had not called out to God once during my three hours of hell.

So I prayed. Nothing pretty. Nothing eloquent. Just a desperate and tear-stained, "Oh Lord. Please help. Please. Give me sanity. Give me strength. Give me what I need to survive this day. And give me what I need to show my children love. Please."

It wasn't instant. I still had two unhappy children. But in time, things calmed down. And in time, I calmed down.

And for no other reason than that we have a merciful God, my day got better. It really did. Who knows if things really got better or if my attitude simply changed, probably a bit of both, but I was humbled as I realized that my three hours of mom hell were simply a part of my blessed life. Seriously.

Later, I sat with my son cuddled under one arm and my daughter nursing on my other side, gazing into each of their beautiful eyes, thanking God for giving me two beautiful babies who are totally worth it.

Can you hear me screaming now?

Because I am.

Blessed. I am so blessed.


  1. Love you, friend. This is good stuff.
    Call me next time, and Nina and I will come help Henry eat junk and watch TV. We've got it down.

  2. What a morning! I'd have screamed too. Your post is a great reminder to call on God before, not after things get out of hand. You are an inspiration for a soon to be mom of two!

  3. Ali,
    My name is Genny and I blog over at I saw a comment of yours over at Stonefox's blog and had to stop by. You so eloquently (and humorously...sorry if it wasn't meant to be funny, but I think any mom can relate to your post!) depict the not-so-glamorous side of being a mom. Yet, in spite of all the mishaps you had, you ended up thankful for your blessings. You are a good momma and a great example to others. So glad to have discovered your blog!

  4. love love love love love you. you are such a great mommy. call me anytime. i can come sit on the floor and play with marshmallows. or cry with you. i mean, i'm right down the street.

    love you.

  5. i have tears now from reading this post. oh friend...i'm so sorry today was rough. you are such a great mommy. i screamed today too...just at 21 first graders! praise the lord for his mercy and grace...and praise him for you and your friendship. i love you... (and kaitlyn keeps asking to see pictures of henry...i think she likes him!)

  6. Oh, what a wonderful and blessed mommy you are! Those days are the ones that remind me I can't do this mommy thing without God! Because I fall short without him. I am so proud of you for turning to the One who could help you in the moment! I love you friend!

  7. Again, you are SPOT on! I can totally relate! Praise God that you can see the rainbow through the rain. Great post!