Confession time: I have this nasty little habit of trying to control everything around me.
As I’m sure most mothers, wives, heck – females in general – do.
Except I really don’t handle it well when I realize things are out of my control. I get a little crazy and go into overdrive trying to control the things I (think) I can control. Only that doesn’t work, either, and I’m left spinning out of control.
I mentally don a pair of worn out, control top pantyhose and try hold it all in and together. Because as long as it looks nice to others, it doesn’t matter if I can’t take a deep breath or sit down comfortably. Because if I do, the seams are guaranteed to burst and all my mess is exposed for every one to see.
And it isn’t pretty.
I’m just as stubborn as my first born so it’s been shown to me time and time again just how little control I have over things. Usually involving my children. Oh, those sweet darlings.
Blair’s milk challenge was horrible. It took three nurses and myself to hold her down and force milk in her mouth using a syringe. It’s pretty ironic since I spent the past 2 years keeping her away from the stuff. By the time we got to the last serving of 12 teaspoons, she was spitting it out as fast as they could get it in. When she started choking on it, I called it quits. We were there for a food challenge – not for water-boarding.
So I spent the next 2 hours trying to convince a 2 year old to drink something she doesn’t like. I tried bribery, force, threatening, rewarding, demonstrating, discipline, begging, and encouraging. I called in reinforcements. There was nothing I could do. By noon, we were all done. There were 4 teaspoons left but it wasn’t going to happen. She had enough milk to know if she would react, thankfully. But I was spent. Completely emotionally spent.
And then there’s the older one.
I’ve spent months researching and lamenting over which school we’d like Emery to attend this fall. The public schools here are notoriously bad so securing her a spot in a “good” school for preK means she would be set for kindergarten and grade school. The application pool grows exponentially for kindergarten so we were really, really hoping she’d get a spot this year. We applied to four different schools. After the random drawings, she’s number 20, 39, 44 and 46 on each wait list. So, she’s not getting in.
I can’t control everything. Heck, I can’t control anything.
It’s a nasty thought cycle for me to get into. I start grasping at other things in my life to find some bit of order. I nag and pick at my husband. I demand my children listen to me. I obsess over food. I scrub the shower. I throw things.
It’s futile and unhealthy.
I spent the morning by myself. It’s becoming apparent to me that I need to spend time alone and doing nothing. These girls are wearing me thin so I refuse to feel guilty about paying someone else to entertain them. If I’m scrambling then I’m not being the best momma that I can be.
I haven’t been running much lately and I need to. I drove to one of my favorite parks and just ran. I didn’t let myself check my pace or my distance. I didn’t want to race. It takes me a few miles to get to get my brain quiet. I know a lot of people run to work through issues. But I run to quiet the issues. I know they’ll be waiting when I’m done so I just need 45 minutes of not thinking.
It’s really hard to lie to yourself when you’re sweating buckets and your heart is going to burst from your chest.
I realized that I need to lose control. Life is messy. But I need to stop trying to hold on to everything so tightly that I start to self-destruct. In my efforts to protect myself and everyone I love, I end up hurting myself more.
Yesterday, I came across Proverbs 31:25 not once, but twice.
I’m not a big believer in “signs” but I do think that God knows I’m pretty thick skulled and need Him to be a bit persistent at times.
Can you imagine laughing with no fear to the future? When I think of the future, I think of planning. And analyzing. And overanalyzing. And praying that God would make it so. Because apparently I think I can control God, too.
So, I need to stop. And breathe. And trust. And keep running. And writing. And stop worrying.
It’s all going to be alright.