Many people told me that losing Hope would make me a better mom to Sadie. They were wrong. Today was horrible, down right awful. Today I hit the wall of a build up of Sadie's whining, complaining and bad attitude. I don't know what happened to our sweet girl, but over the last 72 hours she's been more of a thorn in my flesh than a precious blessing. By 4:30 pm I had hit rock bottom. Sadie and I could no longer work together and we needed Shawn. At 4:45 I begged him to leave work early to save me from the anger and frustration I was feeling. The moment he walked in the door I washed my hands of being a mother for the rest of the day.
Tonight I went into Sadie's room where she was sleeping, crawled into bed beside her and wept bitterly. Losing a child doesn't make you a better mother, it only makes you feel worse when you aren't a great mother. I know the reality of how much it sucks to be "free" of parenting a child. When I have a day where I feel like I wish I'd never had children, I crash at the end of the day feeling the horrible and real pain of what that would cost me. I stroked Sadie's hair and sobbed into her pillow as I knew that I had not been capable of showing her the fruits of the spirit, of parenting her in love and kindness and feeling like a failure for giving up on her. How can you be so angry with someone you love more than yourself?
Tomorrow hasn't yet arrived and I know that it will be a day full of more pain than today and it frightens me too much to go to sleep. My 6th 21st and a half year since I watched my baby girl take her final breath, all her muscles relax and life leave her body. A baby that was so difficult to parent so many times and yet I would take our worst day back over and over again just to spend it with her. I long to spend tomorrow alone, curled up in bed with a large supply of kleenex. Instead I have to live a normal day and function for Sadie. Perhaps I should say that Sadie has to deal with me for the day. I realize that much of my impatience and frustration comes not only from her attitude, but also from my emotional state.
Becoming a mother has been one of the most painful, difficult and rewarding decisions I've ever made. I often resent the deep wounds that Hope's death left. I cherish the lessons I learned through her life, the way it forced me to fully rely on God and the understanding that we all need community that came out of it. But I struggle with how the deep wounds leave so much pain, pain that makes me tired as a mother with Sadie. Pain that makes it too difficult to deal with 3 year old attitude on bad days. Pain that hides in the soul and bubbles up whenever it feels like it, often when I don't have time for it. Usually on a weekday when I don't have the luxury of turning to Shawn for help and support.
In these last few days of deep frustration and intense feelings of failure, I have reached out to God. I find a show Sadie loves and get her cozy next to me on the couch so I can sit and journal in prayer. My frustration only grows as she decides to draw in my journal, touch my face and ask me 4,000 questions instead of watching her show and letting me get refreshed. At night I'm exhausted and just want to sleep and when I wake up each morning I have never had enough sleep. The pregnancy takes all the extra energy I have. When you can identify that you're empty and you are tying to refuel, it's only that much more frustrating when your efforts are failing. I've resorted to praying while I pee, at least I do that a lot while pregnant!
Once again I am reminded of my deep need for Jesus. I can't parent a healthy child without him. I don't have the strength in myself, I don't have the patience required either. Just as I have no idea how single mothers survive, I can not understand how one parents without the grace and love that Jesus gives. Each time I have a day of darkness like today, the only thing that carries me through is knowing that I am not perfect, but Jesus has saved me by grace. Salvation is thankfully not earned, as I would fall short. It is grace that will get me out of bed tomorrow and give me the strength to try again, even on a day that I just want to be alone. We get so frustrated with our children, I can only imagine what it's like to be God and watch his children fall over and over again. Tonight I am reaching out, taking his hand and getting back on my feet. Thankfully this earth is not my home and is fleeting in comparison to eternity. One day in glory I will go to sleep without tears.
Tomorrow is a new day, a difficult day to face, but a day I hope to show Sadie how much I love and cherish her. A day that I hope to hold her close and remind her of how blessed I am to be her mother. A day that I will feel the pain of not holding Hope, yet be comforted to know that Jesus is doing it for me and one day I will join them. Tomorrow is a day I could really use some prayer.