Because I Must

The noise of my to-do list and my stresses and all of the things I MUST be as a widowed mom of four started ringing in my ears as an unintelligible noise last night. It began as I sat at a marching band concert at 8:00 p.m. I had to leave three others home with instructions to take care of showers and baths and please, please, PLEASE go to bed on time. I realized the weight of it pressed on me when watching my son dance with the band to the drum line, I started to cry.

I texted a friend: “Tonight as I looked at the swiftly filling calendar I realized I’m tired of being supermom. I don’t want to do all of this. But the alternative is unacceptable.”

What set me off was driver’s ed. I screwed up. I didn’t do my homework fully. My eldest son had gotten his learners permit in June. I had relied on information from friends about whether driver’s ed was needed around this part of the country. Let me say quickly, it wasn’t their fault. All of them have had their licenses for almost two decades. A few things have changed.

My plans to get him his license after before school marching band practice ends this week can’t happen. If he doesn’t take driver’s ed, he can’t get it for 180 days after getting his permit. That’s in late-December. Add to that the misinformation my insurance agent gave me about the rates and I was ready to cry. His assistant caught it and gave me better information. He needs driver’s ed. The classes are full until, you guessed it, December. And December will be filled with holiday concerts so that’s out.

The glory of having another driver to help with before-school chaos and the anger at myself for not researching enough pushed me to the edge. I awoke this morning and found out another piece of bad news. My eldest son thought he was all caught up on missing assignments. He’s not. The quarter ends Friday.

As I printed out a list of assignments he needs to touch base with teachers about, I watched him become so deflated. He’s struggled this year with stress and grief. How do I help this?

I’m tired. Emotionally this is exhausting. Motherhood with four kids is exhausting enough. But as I sat at the band concert last night the list of things I need to do—large and small—for my kids, my job, my home, my church, my craft fair, and even my dreams all started running through my mind. It was like a scene in a movie where someone suddenly hears every voice speaking in a large room at once.

I keep coming back to the last line I texted my friend—“But the alternative is unacceptable.” I can’t quit being what they need me to be. I can’t stop helping them get to places they need to be or communicating with their teachers. I can’t stop helping a child with autism navigate the higher demands of high school. I can’t stop grocery shopping or paying the bills or driving 847 miles a week.

Failure is not an option.

I sit typing this listening to Tenth Avenue North’s song, Worn. It fits. I’m just worn. And since quitting is not an option today, I will try to get organized again. I will make lists, again. I will ask God to help me be what I cannot. I will ask Him to help me make it through this afternoon and evening which are filled with so many things I don’t know how I will do it. But I will do it. Because they need me to. Because I must.

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13 thoughts on “Because I Must

  1. I love the honesty of your heart Jennifer and cannot imagine the crazy of your life! Be strong and courageous because the LORD is with you wherever you go. HE will honor you for honoring the gifts in your life that He has given you 🙂 Deep breath…and continue on knowing that He is watching and cares about your every thought ❤
    Blessings, Sarah xox

  2. Erin Kass says:

    I pray for fresh waves of life to flow over your household. May His sweet presence fill your lungs and give you His supernatural strength. May you find time to rest in His healing embrace and get caught up in His love. God I ask that you overwhelm Jenn with Your blessings…that she will be sensitive to all the little nuggets of God-gold you have hidden in her life. Reveal yourself to her in ways that only you can…and in ways that she knows it’s only You. May it be a reminder to her that she isn’t alone and that you’re carrying her every step of the way. Thank you for your faithfulness. Amen. ❤

  3. Jennifer, I can’t begin to fathom what you are experiencing, what level of worn you are facing. But I am praying for you. Praying that you find refuge in God and help through his cloud of witnesses. Praying that you catch yourself doing things right and noting all the love and stability and resilience you are giving your kids. Praying that you know you are enough, and then some.

  4. ritalarea@gmail.com says:

    Jenn, Tawnee has to take driver’s Ed. too and Sturgis no longer offers it here so she is going to start next week through the Community Education of the BH in RC. It is not cheap but you maybe will want to check with them. Their # 605-394-5120

    Good luck,
    Rita

  5. ritalarea@gmail.com says:

    Hi Jenn, Try the Community Education of the Black Hills for driver’s Ed classes. Their # is 605-394-5120. That is where Tawnee is taking hers.

    Good luck,
    Rita

    • They are the only place that offers it, Rita. They only had classes in December that would have conflicted with every school concert and church event. so we will see. Thanks.

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