Missing a Partner

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Harrison has 3 cavities.

I just feel icky about it.

“Do you help him brush his teeth?” No, I stopped that a while ago. “How often are you flossing his teeth?” Uhh let me think of the last time we did that… oh that’s right, never?!

Harrison has 3 cavities and I am having an awful afternoon feeling like it’s all my fault. {You’ve all been there. It can be rational or not, but sometimes when things go wrong, mothers take the full weight on their shoulders. It’s written in the job description.}

He had one filled this morning. There was lots of “Ow that hurts” through the laughing gas. It was torture for me to sit in that room watching it get done, especially knowing we have to march right back up those stairs next week and do it all over again. Right now he’s napping which he only does when he’s sick, and in spite of my constant reminding, he’s chewed his numb lip to where it’s all puffy and swollen.

And my mommy guilt radar is on fire. He’s in pain. He couldn’t eat lunch. He’s hungry. He’s overwhelmed. He had novacane and laughing gas today, which no matter how much they tell you that its “totally safe” still just doesn’t give you a great vibe, especially when you feel responsible. He spent his whole late morning/early afternoon watching TV. {This is usually enough to send my mommy guilt sky high.} His lip is crazy big, and I’m scared to see what it will look like when he wakes up.

And as I sat next to his bed, rubbing his head, singing softly, I just felt awful. I spent a few minutes trying to figure out exactly why I felt so bad. I mean, obliviously this is not a super situation, but it’s certainly not the end of the world, and just par for the course of motherhood. So why has it sent me into the land of “I JUST WANT TO GIVE UP!”

I’m missing a partner.

I’m missing the person I can text and vent to. Who understands me, who knows what to say to help me, and who is truly, deep within the trenches of parenthood with me.

I have my parents. And I am so, so, so grateful. I am more blessed than 99% of single mothers. But they aren’t supposed to be in the trenches with me. They are supposed to be for things like Sunday dinners and babysitters for Saturday night date night. Not for helping me through every single one of the tough times of parenthood- from potty training to cavity fillings. I hate that I am a burden on them. They get a lot out of being able to live with Harrison and Ruben, but they certainly go way too far above and beyond around here. And they both just so happen to be out working at this moment. And when they get home, I don’t want to just immediately start unpacking my bag of awful emotions. I try {often unsuccessfully} to keep their role of parenting my children as peaceful and easy as possible.

I am missing a partner.

Someone who might come home with some flowers just to cheer me up. Or maybe even dinner, knowing I am too stressed out to cook. I miss the man who for a few years of my life was my very best friend in the whole wide world. We had created these children together, and we were both equally invested. He was someone I could throw some of this shoulder weight on to. Someone who should have also been more careful in taking care of Harrison’s teeth too. It’s too much weight to carry on my own.

I’ll give you one guess who I finally ended up turning to… You’re right, the big man upstairs. I turned to God in this moment because I felt like I literally had no one else to turn to. Not my proudest Christian moment.

But He gets me. He CREATED me. He understands my inner-workings far better than I do. I can vent to Him. And He knows what to say to help me. And my God, my beautiful Lord and Savior, is deep within the trenches of parenthood with me. He will always be a partner for me, whether I feel like I have an earthly one or not. I don’t have to carry this massive weight on my own, because I can throw my worries and cares onto him. I think we humans {myself very much included} have a hard time understanding “casting your cares” because it’s just too good to be true. How on earth can I just cast my care of the health of Harrison’s teeth onto God, and expect things to just magically get better? Only time will tell. But maybe God will help me to remember to physically help the boys brush and floss their teeth. New creative ideas, like a brushing chart so the boys take some of the responsibility on themselves. Prompt me to pray for the health of his teeth. Show me how to shift my focus on being thankful for dental insurance and dentists who know what they’re doing. Maybe just in a calm, quiet way he’ll help me see that even though yes, I could have been more proactive in caring for my sons teeth, this is not directly my fault, and now that I know better, I will do better.

He will shower me with grace.

And honestly, the best part about casting cares in times of deep, troubling emotion, is just being able to keep on breathing until the emotion surpasses. And when it surpasses, as it always does, I’m a little closer to God, I’m not worried about my problems, and I can just get up and do the next thing. Just keep on going.

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