I had a terrible headache yesterday due to lack of sleep. B.boy had a hard time getting to sleep and has been using the breast as pacifier. I still tried to go to work despite it but by lunch time i couldn’t bear the pain no longer so i asked permission to go home. It’s easy during these moments to rant and think that i’m holding a 24 hour job but something in my inbox inspired me. I am sharing it in the hope that it will do the same to the other mothers whenever the going gets tough.
My Joy, Not My Job
By Stephanie Welcher Thompson
”Waa, waa, waaaaaa,” cried two-month-old Micah from the nursery.
“You’re not supposed to be awake yet,” I whispered, trying not to sound
disappointed. “It’s only been fifteen minutes.”
Bending over the crib to rescue my wailing daughter, I noticed the
sheets beneath her bottom were wet. No-leak diapers – yeah, right!
“Honey, did you pick up my cleaning?” yelled my husband, Michael, from
our bedroom on the other side of the house.
I sighed and shook my head. I promised! How could I have forgotten?
“I’m changing the baby,” I replied. I needed to buy some time to think
about how best to break the news to him.
Baby Micah began gnawing her fist as I slipped the disposable diaper beneath her tiny bottom.
You’re not supposed to eat for another forty-five minutes. I cradled my newborn in the crook of my arm and walked to the bedroom.
“I think Micah’s going through a growth spurt,” I told my husband. “She’s not sleeping much, wants to eat every other hour, and I’ve changed seven diapers this morning!”
Michael looked me in the eyes. “You forgot my dry cleaning, didn’t you?”
“I would have picked it up myself if you had told me,” he said with a sigh. “I don’t have anything clean that matches.”
I hung my head. “I’m sorry. It slipped my mind.”
“I don’t have time to pick it up and come home. I guess I’ll have to dress at the dry cleaners.”
Michael disappeared into the bathroom. “Did you call a housekeeper like we discussed?”
I heard him digging through the clothes hamper looking for something “not so dirty” to wear to the cleaners.
“I know I can do it myself. I just need to get organized.” I shouted defensively.
Michael put a hand on my shoulder. “I’m not attacking you,” he said, slipping on his shoes. “It’s just that, well . . . the baby’s too much for you, isn’t she?”
Micah began crying. I pushed back my own tears as I sat down in an armchair and let her nurse.
Michael was right, I thought. Being a wife, a stay-at-home mother, and trying to work full-time from home was overwhelming. It is too much, I admitted to myself. I’m doing the same amount of work as I did before the baby, plus taking care of the house, Michael, and Micah . . . It’s like having two full-time jobs! No one should have to work two full-time jobs!
For a few minutes, I sat silently as tears rolled down my cheeks.
Moments later, a thought floated into my mind: Michael and Micah are your joy, not your job.
I looked down at my nursing baby. Her face was so sweet. How could I think of her as a chore?
“Well, here I go,” Michael laughed as he walked into the living room. He was wearing dress shoes, a golf shirt and sweat pants. “Sorry I yelled at you,” he said, as he bent to kiss me good-bye.
“No, honey, I’m sorry that I forgot your cleaning,” I replied. “I love you. Have a good day.”
That afternoon, I called a housekeeper and enlisted my mother to help with Micah a few days a week. Every time I start to feel overwhelmed, I remember that God gave me a child and husband so I could delight in them. They are my joy, not my job.