I Understand: A Response to Parenting
Dear Laura Wade,
Wow! I am wiped. Bone tired, crawling to bed at night, leaden-feet-kind-of-tired. A week deep of holding darkness, heartache, goodness and hope for others at a marriage intensive rolled into my closing week of goodbyes at Messiah College Engle Center and I feel the weight of it all and the need to rest my body and soul. The slower and more varied pace of summer will help but I think it’s going to be a long journey toward recovery, regardless. So, althoughI have not been able to respond sooner to your mothering place in life, you have consistently been in my thoughts and prayers.
I loved being home with my girls and homeshcooling was something I will never regret but…I remember... Madi always had a rough time with math…daily. I remember often feeling alone and overwhelmed with household responsibilities, homeschooling, and a husband who was not home much. One bad math day, I was so beside myself with frustration and rage that I called Wes and said, “Either you come home right now to take over or I am leaving or possibly killing our children.” Of course he didn’t come home, (He knew I wouldn’t leave or kill my children!) but I knew my rage was real and frightening. Just saying the truth and being heard freed up some tenderness and space in me to make it through the rest of day until he did get home.
So, needless to say, your letter weighed on me, rubbed up against something familiar and still residing in the cracks of my life. I know that feeling of drowning and being consumed by children’s needs and being responsible for most of what happens. Especially as an introvert who needs time to process. I know the feeling of “losing” your child and the terror in the screaming of their name and the shame and blame that come. I also know you have lots of moments of pure enjoyment and pride as well. I have seen and felt the fierce love you have for those boys. But regardless, what I have found and find is that mothering was and is costly and often lonely and I didn’t and don’t have answers for how to get around that.
I could tell you to take planned breaks, remind you that this season will end, but the truth is that kids are always waiting for you when you get home, always in need, always and forever in your emotional space and I’d rather just be with you in all of this. Plus, I loved that you just put it out there…that this is part of your reality and true…the utter exhaustion and depletion of all your resources on a daily basis!
I’m so very thankful the kindness of Jesus showed up in the words of the officer from whom you were expecting judgement. That felt like a gift. So, I hope you can keep speaking all the truth and “next time, call us sooner” on the days you remember.
I see you, I hear you, and I wish I was there with you,