Never Off the Clock

I love my children.  They are the beauty and joy of my day.

They are also sometimes the ones that make me want to run away – back to work, or just away in general!

Because, let’s face it, staying home can be a demanding gig, like any other choice upon which expectations of you may be placed.

I was recently “touched out.”  At the end of a day, I had been asked for enough things by one child, demanded to be held by another child, cleaned the house, cooked the dinner, that I was “touched out.”  The last thing I needed, or desired, was to have any other physical or emotional contact with anyone the rest of the day.

As I watched my anger level rise over the stupidest things, I realized I needed a time out. I needed to get away from demanding hands, and I needed to take a minute.  But, I didn’t want to drive anywhere – partly because it was already nearing 8 PM, and almost everything where we live closes at 8 PM.

So, I looked at my husband and grumpily said, “I need a shower.  You watch the kids for me, so I can have a shower.”  It wasn’t a request, it was a demand.

I took my shower and spent a glorious 15 minutes hidden away in the shower.  Before I entered the shower, my preschooler attempted to come in to see me, and quickly retreated when I informed him he needed a diaper change.  I turned my music up as loud as it would play on my iPhone, jumped in the shower, and really spent a few songs focusing on the songs I was singing, and on me.

When I got out of the shower, I felt like a brand new woman.

The next morning, I started thinking about my behavior the previous evening.  I was not a happy wife, happy mom.

Instead, I was close to a demon possessed – which is saying something because demons are already possessed.  I would liken my behavior to a rabid animal – which would probably explain the wild eyed “sure, go for it,” my husband threw at me when I demanded my shower.

It was a wife/mommy failure on my part, and I own it.

The other night wasn’t a one-off night, either; this has happened several times this move – more times than I care to admit.  Many times it is because I have failed to communicate my needs to my husband.

What else struck me, as I pondered how everything transpired, is how God provides me with the perfect example of patience.

How frequently do I bend His ear?  How frequently does He listen to me – praising Him, questioning Him, talking to Him?  Then, I look around at all the faithful who acknowledge Him – some people on a daily basis, others on a less frequent basis.  And, I wonder, in the words of Alanis Morissette, “what if God were one of us?”  Would He get “touched out”?  We know Jesus went to pray by Himself several times, sometimes for lengthy periods.  But, what about God, the Father?

So, perhaps, before I start scaling the walls in the future, I can look toward the perfect example of grace, patience, and love.

Because God is never off the clock!

8 thoughts on “Never Off the Clock

  1. I think it is perfectly human to feel like that sometimes. Yesterday I was so tired after the work, the scorching heat and the kids screaming…at some point I didn’t realise when I started screaming “Mama needs some rest..” learning to lean on His grace

    1. Yes! I am pretty sure all parents have been there at times! And, perhaps you are correct – it may just be human to feel like that; whereas God’s mercy is such that He would not feel like that?

      I hope you have a better day today!

      Thank you for the response!! ūüėÉ

  2. Wait, wait, wait here…all of this is not your fault or you lack of patience, or failing as a wife and mom. It is life! We are not and cannot compare ourselves to God- just our relationship with God. He allows for moms to be imperfect! And so should we. Why do you think Jesus adored his Mother so much? He knew her struggles. Defining “mom” is complicated (I hate that excuse!) and deeply personal. You are allowed to lean on someone else, to shift the responsibility for a while, to feel frustrated and short-tempered. You are human! Even you have told clients that if you don’t take care of yourself first, you cannot take care of others. You can do great emotional damage to yourself by putting yourself last all of the time. (By the way, where was your “help” that was sent to give you an extra hand? You needed another hand not another dependent.)

  3. Many times I have felt guilty for not setting a good enough example of how to fix being “touched out”. But with daddy working 18-20 hours days, and four, then 5 kids on a Captain’s /Major’s salary was tough. No one around us spoke English, so I guess I thought a smile would hide the frustration you are now feeling. I didn’t realize that while I was being “happy” you guys could see you through that. I see myself in you, and I am sorry for that. Add to that having to pack and unpack alone, and 28 moves in 21 years….I don’t know how I would have done anything differently. Being the wife of the top guy in the battalion had its own pressures. I have no advice, just sympathy and empathy for you. I apologize. And I hope you find the answer that I never found. But I will always love you…

    1. Thank you for apologizing, but I don’t think any apology is needed! You did what you had to do, with the tools you had, and I am sorry you feel the need to apologize. We were taught and raised to do the best we could, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. I can look at you, and other wives of your generation, and have nothing but admiration for your dedication, love, support, and tenacity – for your marriages, for your family, and for your country.

      Thank you for your comment.

  4. Mommy time is a must…otherwise some of us would end up in jail! You hit the nail on the head when you noted Jesus went off on his own for a bit. Since God the Father operates without the constraints of time, who says he doesn’t kick back once in a while? When you say, ” Hey I need a minute,” that sets a good example..,of taking some time before you go coo-coo clock on someone! Next time take some wine in the shower with you, and for heavens sake take at least 30 minutes next time!!! Xoxoxoxoxo

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