Mothers Speak: Not So Happy Helpers

Mothers Speak: Not So Happy Helpers

Dec 08

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There’s a perfectly good explanation for this…

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I teach the children at my church on Sunday mornings. This particular apron was a recent prop used to “induct” pre-schoolers into the Happy Helpers Club, which is, as the title so aptly explains, a club that looks for ways to help others. We even had a cheer that was set to the tune of S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night. It was all very spiritual. {I tell my husband all the time that parents must be NUTS to leave impressionable young minds with me every Sunday, but I can assure them at the very least their kids will develop a healthy sense of humor.}

Anyway, last night I threw on the Happy Helpers Apron while I was making gourmet burgers, and I began doing that-thing-that-I-do-when-I-get-overwhelmed-and-I-have-a-lot-to-do thing that somebody should make pills for…. I tack on MORE STUFF TO DO. So while I’m handling raw meat, I’m also frosting cookies, trimming Christmas cards, picking up the play room, listening through songs and picking out vocal parts for a rehearsal scheduled to begin in one hour AT MY HOUSE, and fetching bits of mashed up blackberry stuck in the neck creases of my youngest child. Somewhere between Joy to the World and Mia’s 3rd chin, my gourmet burgers looked more like en flambe burgers. This marked the first Mommy Breakdown-While-Wearing-The-Happy-Helpers-Apron moment of the evening. With crusty spatula in hand, the words” I can’t DO it all” are still hanging from my lips, when Clark walks into the kitchen, takes one look at me and bursts out laughing. You would too if you had seen me in such a crazed state wearing an obnoxious smiley face on my chest. As soon as I settled down, we gave thanks for the Lord’s bountiful provision for the evening in the form of charred hockey pucks. No sooner than we cracked the last tooth, the band arrived at our house for rehearsal. By 9pm, Mia had misplaced the percussionists egg shaker and Salem was using my gingerbread oil reed diffusers as drumsticks and an unlit candle as a crash symbol. We concluded with a final round of O Come Let Us Adore Him when it occurs to me…I am still wearing the Happy Helpers Apron.  When the last musician finally left, I began making the 3o minute trek down the hall with little ones rather reluctant to go to bed. No sooner than Mia’s little head hit the pillow, she was asleep. Salem on the other hand needed water, Corduroy, prayers, a diaper change, and the Fear of God instilled in him if he even so much as thought about wandering out of his bed. While he is kicking the covers off of himself for the 3rd time, I hear myself say out loud, “Would you just lay your head on Bunny like a NORMAL KID?!” As you can imagine, this marked Clark’s second outburst of laughter in one evening as I am STILL wearing, you guessed it, the Happy Helpers Apron. Just as I am turning off the light and closing Salem’s bedroom door, I turn to enter the kitchen and I see the white grease on the skillet, the pink frosting on the countertops, the phonics magnets strewn across the floor, and the blackberries smeared on Mia’s high chair tray, and I start to cry.

I started CRY.ING!

What could be more emotionally disturbing than a grown woman crying in the middle of the kitchen over some dirty dishes and a few stray letter magnets? But I was done. Maxed. Tapped Out. On Empty.


Clark took one look at me and ordered me to go to bed. And when I say ordered, I mean he actually said, “If you don’t stop what you’re doing and go to bed, then no blogging for a week!” {That remark may very well have trumped my “lay-your-head-on-bunny-like-a-normal-kid” line.} So me and my tears and my Happy Helpers Apron went off to bed where I too hit the pillow and drifted off to sleep to the sound of Clark scrubbing and rinsing in my stead.

Clark always tells me that I don’t stop before I’ve completely depleted all of my emotional, physical, and “Nice Mommy” reserves and by that time it’s too late. Do you do the same thing? I recognize the warning signs of tiredness and tapped out-ness when they arise, but I plow through as though this time I might be able to beat the odds of an epic meltdown and accomplish just “one more thing”.How do you know when enough is enough? Do you let things wait until tomorrow or do you kill yourself trying to get them done today?

I think it’s a safe bet that I am hereby on probation with the Happy Helpers Club. And for the record… my kid is normal. His mother on the other hand…

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  • Renee

    Your cup does runneth over! Well, in a great way….I’ve seen the evidence of the warm craziness that is yours…..your house is full of love! Do take care of the mommy in the apron; you are needed for all the days of your life. Love you Salina! Renee

  • gressett

    THANKS! I so needed to read this today! I feel the same way. I just downloaded Jesus calling to my phone and am sitting here drinking a cup of tea. I needed a quiet moment to start my day of chaos! 🙂 I love your honesty and helps me to know I am not alone! THANKS! Here’s hoping for an inspiring day!
    Emily H

    • I just took a peek of a copy of that book that a girl had on the table next to me at a cafe. Wow! So encouraging. Oh my friend, you are most certainly NOT alone! And as today so perfectly reminded me, “As long as you stay close to Me, my sovereign presence protects you wherever you go.” Stay close today, Emily.