featured image
"Taking a look in the mirror" by Tami Urcia (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: By Dani Mota (2019), Pexels.com, CC0/PD[/caption] Today was pretty much a typical morning, but one I am quickly growing tired of. My 3-year-old was in my room by 5:30 AM kicking the bed and messing with my husband’s computer. By 6 AM, my 1-year-old was yelling from his crib. My 5-year-old woke up whining, whining, whining. My 7-year-old took about two years to get ready for school, and after he finally got downstairs to eat his breakfast, he spilled it all over the floor because he wanted to show me his paper airplane. By the time we had gotten the two oldest in the car to head to school, I had had enough. Just as my 5-year-old was about to whine about something else, I turned on the Christian radio station to drown him out. We started singing and dancing (well, as much as one can dance in the car while driving) and I turned the volume up even more. Finally some of the stress melted off and I felt the joy return … But after I dropped them off, I felt a pang of guilt that I had cut my son off by turning on the radio. Even being a mom of four kids, it’s still so often all about me. I’m tired, I’m sick of the noise, I’m not in the mood to play chess, I’m waiting for you to hurry up so I can go to bed.  No one said motherhood would be easy, and I still have so much to learn. As I reflected on my poor behavior, an image came to me of a waterfall of liquid pouring out from my mid-section. More accurately, a reddish-yellow color of bodily fluids, the insides of my very self, was cascading out of me. And that’s when I realized, that is exactly what I’m called to do, to give of my entire being, to vomit goodness, so to speak.  I give my all at work. I try to be a model employee, a positive presence to my coworkers, a good example of a joyful, upstanding Catholic, but once I get home I’m fried. My four boys run up to greet me all at once, and from that point on it is literal chaos. They all want to talk to me at once, sit with me (or on top of me) at once, and get my attention at once. My brain has trouble adjusting to the dramatic change in atmosphere. But really, it’s my heart that needs a dramatic change. I am not giving until it hurts. When it starts to hurt, I raise my voice or send them to their room. I am not listening to their stories. When they want to go on and on about their day, I tell them I’m too tired. One of the aspects of motherly teaching I find most difficult is getting my boys to be respectful of one another. Every single evening and every single morning I have to remind them that their younger brothers are sleeping and they need to be quiet so they don’t wake them up. If they wake up early on Saturday morning, they can go downstairs and watch cartoons or play Legos in their room quietly. But without fail they talk out loud in the bathroom, don’t shut the door to their room, or leave lights on. Maybe if I were more respectful to my kids, they would be more respectful of others. Maybe if I listened to them better, they would listen to me. Maybe, just maybe, if I gave my all at home just like I do at work, a much more positive atmosphere would ensue. This momma is looking in the mirror, folks, and I’m not too proud of what I see, but it’s never too late to change. Christ is my Light so that I might be a light to others, beginning with the littles right under my nose (literally).
Copyright 2020 Tami Urcia