While the crying itself doesn't bother me too much, (have my other two kids left me so jaded that I can listen to screaming for hours on end without batting an eye?) it is the feeling that I am neglecting Dana and Eliza's needs while constantly catering to Cora's that has me against the ropes, about ready to surrender. My "Mom-guilt" is here in full effect, and as I am holding my crying newborn, looking into the eyes of her two older sisters who just want a few minutes of Mommy's time, it is hard for me to feel as if I am doing anybody any good at all.
Does anyone out there have any words of encouragement for a frazzled, slightly overwhelmed mother of three? Or any good things that I can do with Dana and Eliza while still maintaining my high-maintenance baby? I have found if left to their own devices my two oldest little girls have discovered the joy that comes with consistently and intentionally pushing each others buttons. Apparently this has a two-fold reward system. Not only do they succeed in making the other one cry, but it gets Mommy's attention for a couple minutes, even if the result is being parked on the naughty chair (again). I'm pretty sure the seat of all of Eliza's pants are nearly worn through from the amount of time she spends sitting on her stool. I half expect to find her drawing lines on the wall next to her, marking down the number of minutes/hours/days she has endured on her little wooden prison.
What's a well-intentioned, yet limited by two arms and one fussy baby Mom to do? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated (by both me and Eliza's bottom...).
Dear Lord in heaven,
I pray this day struggling with balancing it all. I know this time in my life is finite, and that this season will end, but right now I feel as if I'm drowning in it. I don't want to wish these days away. I don't want them to pass me by without me even taking note of them. I don't want to merely survive them... I want to enjoy them. I want to be present for them. I want to make the most of them.
I know that with your help I can still nurture these beautiful girls and mold them into the young women you intend for them to be, but right now I have no idea how to do it, and whatever I try seems to fail. I am tired of feeling as if I spend the day nagging them, or disciplining them, or just trying to find a way to occupy them so they aren't nagging me. I can't imagine that this is the picture of a godly mother who You would want to raise Your children. Help me, Lord, learn to balance my time so that every one of my children still gets the best of me. Help me to still reflect Your love to them, Your patience, Your kindness, and Your goodness. When I fall short, Lord, and when I have said the same words to them over and over again, please open their hearts to still hear them. Speak to their spirits when I cannot. Stir their souls, giving them the desire to be kind to each other, and to love each other with their words and deeds.
And most of all, Lord, protect their small hearts from feeling as if their Momma doesn't have time for them. Let every positive word I have for them speak volumes more than I could ever say. Let the good things I do for them show them just how much I love and adore them, even if my time is not only their own anymore. And though I normally ask that I may be Your hands and feet to them, I ask that You be my hands and feet to them, too.
Thank You, Lord, for loving them so much that I know I can ask these things of You with complete confidence that You will listen, and respond. I already feel better knowing that they are resting and flourishing in Your tender care.
In Your Name I pray,