Scott, Siara and Shanna
(Look at me smiling so blissfully)
and Spencer and Seth...
After many conversations with my older children who are now parents, I realize that I have a tendency to gloss over the day in and day out challenges of being in the trenches of mothering. It could be that it is a defense mechanism to hold on to my sanity. It might be that I learned what I needed to from the tough times and I get to move forward blissfully carrying on with the sweet, happy memories and the positive outcomes. Or perhaps I want to have grandchildren so I'm smart enough to keep some things on the down low.
But my daughter did convince me that sometimes you just need to know that you are not alone in it...so this is for all of you who are presently in the trenches...from an old veteran:
A Day In the Life of Mama Gale
(An excerpt from my journal--a real peek at "one of those days")
22 July 1992
"Swimming lessons this morning. Seth fussy today. Spencer didn't nap--by evening I was worn out. I feel so inadequate and discouraged sometimes. There are so many complaints and all my teaching, guiding and exhorting seems to fall on deaf ears--the kids fight and use "garbage" words when they think I'm not listening.
I try so hard--or think I do but everything I do each day is undone. It's an endless round of the same things over and over.
Tonight the pipe under the kitchen sink came apart and water and semi-disposaled food flooded out onto the kitchen floor. A few minutes later Siara was yelling that Spencer smelled--he had diarrhea and unfortunately he was wearing training pants so it was all over him and his clothes and Siara's bed. Seth was crying. Shanna had her bag packed to run away. I told her she couldn't run away--she would get kidnapped or something. I can't let her try it to learn a lesson about how much better home is than a cold sidewalk because the world is too dangerous even a few blocks from home. I told her that losing a game was not a good reason to run away so she unpacked and decided to stay. So I guess I will too."
So there it is--the unvarnished truth according to my journal. I think I will do this from time to time just as a reminder that "this too shall pass". The pipes get fixed, the kids grow up and it is worth it to hang in there and see it through.