I wrote this post on Saturday, but was unable to post it, and since I am struck down by writers block right now, I thought instead I would do it today
There are moments when I have an idea that is absolutely inspired. Brilliant, and marvelous and sure to change the world, (or possibly just help me keep my house clean.)
But then there are other ideas that are so ridiculous, and stupid, I wish I had an off button in my brain telling me ‘don’t do it!’ Like taking three children to a busy shopping centre on a Saturday Morning because one of them needed new shoes.
Yes, that’s right, I said new shoes.
On Monday, I took all the kids to Target to buy them new shoes. And three hours later, one of them looked like this.
I swear, I nearly threw the dog out on the street.
Our dog Angel, loves shoes almost as much as I do. But instead of using them to dress up her paws, and shoe all her doggy friends, she eats them. I’ve blogged about this before. Several times actually.
This year I have spent at least $200 on new shoes for the kids, because Angel has eaten them. Probably more. And it’s not just our shoes. One might we had friends over, and they came outside to find their thongs ravaged as if some great White had emerged from the ocean, thrown itself into out yard, and terrorised their thongs like its very life depended on it. Thankfully they were only cheap thongs.
So when this happened to Bridie’s shoe on Monday, I did what any self respecting mother would do. I sat on the couch and cried. Literally sobbed for about ten minutes. It seemed as if all my sorrow and frustrations of the day, and the general crappiness of PND found an outlet in a pair of sequined sandals, and I just lost it.
My poor children were quite disturbed. Taylah was worried to leave me, Bridie actually stopped crying about the shoes herself, and even Bailey came and gave me a big cuddle. ‘Its ok mum. We can buy more.’
‘No we can’t!’ I wailed. ‘We don’t have enough money to buy more shoes!’
‘Bailey, that wouldn’t be a wise use of our money,’ added thoughtful, diplomatic, wise beyond her years Taylah.
It wasn’t just the money factor. It was frustration because Bridie really needed those shoes, and there was no way I could get to Target before the sale ended.
Hence my brilliant idea to go shopping this morning. I decided to brave the Territories biggest shopping centre, Casuarina, and find some shoes for Bridie.
Now buying Bridie shoes is not the easiest of tasks. She likes the look of ballet flats, but she gets cranky because they squash her toes. And thongs of any description don’t work, because she doesn’t like the feel of them. So sandals are the only option. Of course, do you think I could find any? Of course not. As a last resort we headed in to Betts (cha-Ching!) and found some she liked.
For seventy five dollars.
Sorry love, not gonna happen.
Eventually we found another pair for $40, which is still a lot more than I like to spend on kids shoes, but I just wanted to get out of there.
It was 11:40 by this time, so I was faced with a choice. I could go home, make the kids lunch and then put them to bed, take some panadol for my throbbing headache, and lie down. Or I could buy lunch for everyone, and then send them straight to bed at home. Well I chose option B because I was tired and stressed, and I also really wanted a Kebab. (Thanks Mrs Nutshell!)
While we were having lunch, I was talking to Bridie about Mercy. We have spoken about grace before, but mercy was a new concept. I told her how mercy is given when people don’t deserve it. Like new shoes when you haven’t looked after your last ones. Or nuggets for lunch for Bailey, even though he did very bad listening at the shops.
Or boatman, giving me $50 this morning and telling me ‘to buy something for myself.’ (Love you Boatman.)
Bridie took this on board, and I was feeling quite pleased with myself that I had taught her something, despite the craziness of the morning.
It wasn’t until after that, that I realised I had a lot to learn about Mercy too.
Bridie spilled half of her fanta, all over the floor.
Then she pulled half of my Coke Zero.
Then we got into the car, and I discovered that somewhere Bailey had lost one of his new shoes. (He had taken them off and put them in the bottom of the pram. Well one at least. I briefly considered going back to find it, but with three kids, and a huge shopping centre, and no idea where to start, I didn’t bother.) There was no sobbing this time. Just a blinding, white rage that another ten dollars had gone down the drain, and I couldn’t even blame the dog, but my own lack of parenting skills, that hadn’t made him keep the shoes on, or at least check that he had put them in properly.
Then the car ride home, with me snapping at Bridie for demanding Bailey share his drink, cause she had spilt hers. And Ava squealing because she wanted some too.
And then coming home, and I still have no blog, because I purchased a new domain name and it is ‘transitioning.’ So even after writing this I can’t post it!
I haven’t had my antidepressants for three days because I haven’t been able to get to the chemist. It was on the to-do list this morning, but Bailey was so hypo at the shops, I didn’t even try. But I have drunk a good amount of vodka. And I have yelled at my kids a lot. And I have been the biggest stress head, and judgmental person I know. I’ve had to bite my tongue and not say to people ‘really, that’s your biggest problem?’ I try so hard to live my life characterised by grace, and right now I’m like a black Labrador, ready to eat any shoe that gets within three feet of me.
It made me realise, that’s is not just my kids that need mercy. It’s me too. I’m not the mummy of the year, or anywhere close. I’m just a crazy, stress head with an addiction to blogging. I need mercy. I need people to forgive my random outbursts, and nasty thoughts, and love me even though there is nothing about me that deserves it right now.
I am struggling with this crazy mental illness, and it feels like there is no end in sight. Some days I don’t like my kids very much, and most days I hate myself. I can talk about grace and mercy till I’m blue in the face, but what I really need right now, is to feel it myself. To know that it’s ok. That this too shall pass, and that another pair of lost shoes is not the end of the world, or anywhere close. It does not make you a failure as a mother, or a human being. It just makes you real.
It’s moments like these, when I am so thankful that I can put my faith in God, and trust him to help me through. Because to be perfectly honest, I don’t know how I’d do it any other way.
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed. (Psalm 57:1 TNIV)