If anyone wants to know what a place called “Wit’s End” looks like, just ask me. I go to visit there quite often.
It’s amazing how you can go from one day feeling like you could conquer the world in motherhood to the next wishing you could just go curl up in a corner and give up.
I guess the fact that life won’t seem to slow down doesn’t help. And because of that, there’s no time to turn “off.” Sometimes it seems that life is stuck indefinitely in the “on” position. There’s always something that needs doing, and sleep is hard to come by. In my case, the result is often a frustrated and impatient mother.
From sitting on the piano bench helping kids plunk out the new pieces they’ve been assigned, to following up with a doctor who didn’t send the blood work lab order for my baby that they promised, to changing the sheets on Elle’s bed for a visitor, to changing Claire’s sheets because she wet the bed…again, to cajoling kids to clean up after themselves and trying to positively reinforce how great it is to have a clean house, to dropping everything I’m trying to juggle every time one of Lucy’s therapists comes over, to comforting a crying child (inevitably one who doesn’t really deserve comforting because it’s the tenth time she’s burst into tears that hour, and in reality there’s not anything wrong), to preparing to teach a parenting class, to editing a photo shoot, to figuring out the best way to deal with naughty behavior from a particular child, or trying to build up another child I’m worried has low self esteem these days…it seems like I have to be “on” every time I turn around to take a breather.
The list goes on and on and on. Most of it consists of good, fulfilling things. When they come at me a few at a time I can take them on, no problem. I can handle it. That’s what moms do, right?
However, there are some weeks when the “to do’s” feel like they’ve been poured on by the bucketful and I just can’t keep up. Everywhere I look there are drawers jam-packed with junk screaming to be organized, scheduling for doctors and braces appointments needing to be done, toilets to be cleaned, fingerprints to be wiped, carpools to be driven…the list of what we moms do just doesn’t stop!
You know what? I can always count on the fact that tomorrow’s going to be better. I just know it. Because it almost always is. Max will say something to make me laugh. Claire will give me a hug and tell me she loves me out of the blue. My husband, Dave will wink at me from across the room. And suddenly all the “on” time will seem worth it.
I love the following quote:
“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”
It makes me feel at peace knowing that after I’ve done the very best I can do, there’s someone more powerful that can fill in the gaps.
I guess the secret is to realize that yes, we mothers visit a place called “Wit’s End” quite regularly. But it’s also important to remember that all that time we spend there makes the precious moments when we come “home” that much better.
Challenge: What do you do when you reach “Wit’s End”?
Question: What strategies do you have to avoid getting all the way to your wit’s end? Share your secrets!