Tender mercies rescue me from parenting burnout

I’m giddy right now. Breathless.

Sometimes I don’t feel like “fighting the good fight.” Not that I’d ever swerve into a drive-thru and just cave into the social pressure already. I have a giant GSG logo on the back of my car, after all, and people around here know me.

Seriously, that’s not why I don’t go to the drive-thru. It’s because it’s anathema to me. I just don’t buy processed food. It is not in my repertoire. It’s a part of my far-distant past that reminds me of when I was sick and fat. Eczema and migraines and infertility and anxiety and addiction. Not a darn thing about it was good.

I know the drive-thru is a staple for most single parents. It’s how you survive the drive home from work, knowing when you get home there’s a nest full of baby birds with their mouths open.

Lately, to be honest, other parts of parenting have been burnin’ me out. Hard. Want to sell a kid some days. Give a kid away. Pay someone to take a kid. I’m a single mom with three teenagers, and a pre-teenager. Enough said?

(How did it come to this? I remember when I begged God for a baby, for five years, before lots of fertility drugs and artificial insemination and hoping and miscarriage and rollercoaster devastation and overly-scheduled sex finally got me Kincade. How could I say the word “burned out” and “kid” in the same sentence 20 years later?)

Nonetheless—here I am. Please forgive me.

And once in a while, God’s tender mercies just put the wind back in my sails.

I am driving home from a baseball game just now, and we’ve just dropped off Tennyson’s teammate. And Tennyson says to me,

“Mom, thank you SO much for feeding me so healthy, all the time. I actually really love it. I know sometimes I give you a lot of crap, and I say, ‘That’s nasty!’ But I know I’m super lucky. I know what you feed me makes me tall and strong. I love you so much.”


I’m stunned silent.

He continues: “My coach Jeff and [his son] Dallin, told me I have no idea how super-lucky I am that you feed me the way you do. Jeff said, ‘I wish my mom would have fed me like that.’ And Dallin said, ‘Yeah, me too. I wish I had THIS,’ and squeezed my bicep. And then he made his hands show HEIGHT, and said, I wish I had THIS.’ He wishes he was as tall as me.”

I’m so blissed out right now.

Thank you, Coach Earl. As if you haven’t done enough for my baby boy, you give me this, too.