I have been stuck in a cycle of negativity. Maybe it is some delayed postnatal hormonal mess. Maybe its winter and the repeat colds and flus.
Or perhaps it is the perpetual nature of the round the clock care of a toddler, infant and a 6 year old with autism. I find myself just sitting staring at my feet and that is all I really want to do. When my daughter starts howling outside the sleeping baby’s room because my son ran away with her bunny for the hundredth time, I feel as if I will burst. I become distant from Allah in my prayers, only to become desperate when salah ends and make dua because I know my salah didn’t really count for much. I set alarms for night prayers, only to just make fajr by minutes.
The baby’s night time routine, my daugther’s night terrors, and my son’s 6 year old habit of waking up in the middle of the night, makes for several broken sleeps and I am angrier and more disappointed in myself by fajr. I am irritable and refuse to allow anyone to make me feel better. If anyone knocks over one more cup of water/juice/tea left lying around, my jaws will break in to pieces from grinding my teeth. Something I do in my sleep and even catch myself doing during the day. Things that usually go unnoticed, like my son constantly touching my face, touching his siblings' faces making them wail in frustration, eating hair and wetting his underpants, all turn in to a kind of incessant psychological torture pushing my nerves to their dark side. No amount of coffee, snacking or facebook updating absorbs the venom of this negativity.
A good day is reduced to one where I don’t scream something at one of my children.
Everything is manageable and so productive, and then a week like this comes along. All my training tells me this is a normal, almost anticipated part of the curve. If I graph the ups and downs of this story over the years, I know it always precedes a major change. A change perhaps in the development of one of my kids (or maybe this time all three of them at once!)
Or maybe the change is within me. Life it seems often has a way of pulling us to a higher level of patience, greater ability and maturity, while we kick, resist, fight, being dragged, stumbling, feeling inept and stupid. Or at least that is the story of life around here.
So while I was lying face down on my bed feeling horrified with myself today, not even knowing where the baby was, I decided to get up and shuffle my way to them. They had found something to keep themselves occupied while mom tries to dig herself out of whatever hole she is in at the moment. What happens to one, affects everyone. We all go through these phases together. Development it seems is not mutually exclusive, rather our individual experiences will transform us all.
So all the mom's who have children at home with them, when the husband is not there and no one is watching, and you are doing your best to remember who is the real Rabb, fearing Him, know that there is no act, however small, that He doesn't recompense it in some way.
Through our weaknesses hopefully we will teach our children some compassion. Their adult experiences with mom, will hopefully allow them to think for themselves and develop an empathetic judgement and understanding of human behaviour. And children will welcome you with love if you go to them shuffling or you meet them running with enthusiasm. They are wonderful little humans in my life.