Monday, June 20, 2011

Moms, Dads & Stress by Becky Blankenship

Moms and Dads carry a lot of stuff with them, things that crowd the mind and undermine patience. You know, the usual day- to- day concerns like getting the kids off to school, making it to work on time, dinner, laundry, bathrooms. But why is it on some days there is something that compromises our ability to handle things?         
 Some days it may be the stain on the carpet that pushes the button or a hairstyle that won’t “style” that finally makes us snap. Of course it’s not those things alone, it’s the culmination of all things together.

 Yesterday was like that for me. It was difficult to wake up. It was a strain to remain cheerful and patient with the children/husband. I wasn’t as productive as I needed to be throughout the day. I was just off.
 I sat down and began to take inventory of what was bothering me. I was amazed at the amount of anxiety, concern, trepidation, and a host of feelings I had stirring around in my head!
 Parenting takes a lot out of us! Without realizing it, I was carrying a significant amount of concern for many people. I wrote down all my kids’ names and listed every thought I’d had about each one that day.
I had 8 pages by the time I was finished!
The next few pages were filled with general life concerns…getting the dogs’ rabies shots, the cat’s shots, small household stuff and large repairs that were needed, cars that needed maintenance, volunteer work, neighborhood relationships, friends’ health concerns, world events that had taken root in my mind: Gadhafi, Libya, Tripoli, peacekeepers killed in Somalia, pending layoffs in Wisconsin, watching Charlie Sheen succumb to a mental illness while the nation watched, crime stories etc…
I held the papers in my hand and laid down face up on the living room floor. The dogs and cat were witnesses…and very puzzled.
I turned on Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D minor to LOUD. I laid there with eyes closed breathing in the music. Casually at first, I began ripping up the papers and by the end of the cd; I was lying in paper snow.
The kids would have really thought Mom had gone off the deep edge if they’d walked in…I’m sure I looked pretty scary. Luckily, the doors were locked and everyone was at work or school.
It worked! I felt normal again. I understand why our children love music so much. It has the supernatural ability to take us up and out.
The simple act of gathering up the paper fragments and throwing them away was cathartic. The love and care is still hanging around in my mom brain but the fear and anxiety are gone. You know the funny thing? If Mozart had been my son, I would have been a wreck over the frivolity, the drunken way of life, the foolishness, the lack of discipline and morality. I would have been full of sorrow but LOOK!
Even though his life was cut short because of his character, his music has the life of the Creator running all through it. Hmm, imagine that? God can do whatever He wants.
I love that.

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