(This was written before Christmas but I was too emotional at the time to post it)
Over the last few months I have struggled and well honestly gotten angered by the question “How do you do it?”.
I could not understand why people keep asking me how I do it. How do I be a mom to a 5, 3 and 1 year old? How do I run a group home and manage the stress of being “mom” to 2-4 teen age girls? How do I make dinner every night? How do I keep the house “clean”? How do I plan parties? How do I do crafts? How do I write a blog? How do I manage it all?
I have wanted to sarcastically return the question and say “how do you do it?” “How do you live your life?”
A couple weeks ago I pulled into a hotel parking lot to keep from pulling onto the highway and driving out of town. I got out of the car, lock my buckled kids in and sat on the curb.
I sobbed uncontrollably because this life hurts. I called my husband and verbally vomited my pain all over him.
After almost three years in a home dripping with pain, brokenness and sorrow I wanted to break free and leave.
I will be honest I don’t remember much of what my husband said but this stood out to me.
When I told him I wanted to go into the hotel and rent a room and stay with the kids. My husband said so do it. Stay the night
I understand now why people ask me the question I’ve grown to hate.
These were some but not all of the events prompting the question.
Our youngest had his final check up with the cardiologist.
Our little girl had another round of ultrasounds and x-rays of her kidneys, battled more kidney stones and is rapidly approaching her 4th birthday. 4 years is the age they were waiting till to do bone density scans. Brittle bones is a concern because of her kidney disease.
Our oldest was at the ER with what they thought was phenomena. Thankfully it was not but he did get his first IV.
This year alone we have over $8,000.00 in medical bills not covered by insurance.
We are in our 10th month running the home without an assistant.
I have not been able to be there and support some great friends during incredibly difficult times. One lost her father after multiple heart attacks. One kicked cancer to the curb. One went through a bad divorce, and two great couples are teetering on the brink of destruction. Infertility, miscarriages and affairs are a few other calamities to strike dear ones.
Lost a wonderful lady I grew up calling “grandma”.
Watched five youth go on run, five self destruct, two non-fatal overdoses and five suicide attempts.
Said good bye to 3 great co-workers.
Blew two tires two separate times while driving.
Been yelled at, cursed out, and punched.
Within a week found out 6 former girls are locked up, 1 is addicted to meth and pregnant, cried through the miscarriages of two others and watched in horror as the ones I love as my own walked down a path that is likely to result in death or worse; death without Christ.
One car accident.
One trip to the ER in an ambulance.
Three overnight ER trips.
The roughest patch our marriage has seen.
Watched several good friends move away. Friends who were key parts of my support structure.
Unexplained full body rash and high fever for the youngest.
Had to let go of friendships that could not handle the stress of this job.
Fell down the stairs.
Had out patient surgery.
Attempted to come to terms with not being able to have more children right now.
A teething baby who never sleeps.
3-5 hours and once in a while 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
Almost passed out twice from allergic reactions.
Watched girls leave before they were ready.
Struggled with chronic health issues.
If I look back over the 12 months that separate then and now. Well if I stop and do that, I sit and cry, like I am now.
The question haunts me today “How do you do it?”
How do I do it?
The Grace of God
It’s not some cliche, it’s not a needle point phrase. It’s reality. Just typing up this list left me feeling helpless and overwhelmed. Wondering how in the hell I am still here, still somewhat sane. I don’t know how I do it, but I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt I could not do it on my own.