Much of what I do is unrecognized or unappreciated. Discipline is never welcomed in the moment. The clean clothes I produce day after day hardly register until something goes missing. I clean the kitchen three or four times a day, but at any given moment it’s a mess. No one knows how I organize each day around others’ needs.
I don’t do it for kudos or recognition. I don’t need to be thanked for driving to a friend’s house or making a healthy dinner or procuring sports equipment. But I guess I do want to feel I’ve earned an overall vibe of respect. It gets me down when I’m treated like a demanding nag. When I labor all day on Sisyphean tasks and receive complaints when I assign a small job. When kids roll their eyes at a small oversight. When I’m criticized for not meeting someone’s demands. When I return soft words and kindness to complaint after argument and then am condemned for a moment of impatience.
Much of what I do feels like wagging the dog. Creating peace and positivity against a tide of contention. It’s my job to absorb whatever frustrations and shortcomings the kids display and help them turn it around into Christlike love. It’s my job to always model the higher road. I believe with all my heart in Christ’s mission to return love to all, that true love “seeketh not her own.” But sometimes I feel I can’t absorb a teaspoon more of another person’s sadness or desires. When it feels I myself receive only negativity, it’s hard to radiate enough love to overcome all the tantrums and disobedience.
Sometimes, I guess, my well runs dry.
And that’s why I drink too much Diet Coke.