I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking it’s finally happened—Momma D has finally lost it because there is no possible way drinking molasses water has anything to do with parenting. Wrong! I can assure you I haven’t lost it (not completely, anyway) and believe it or not, being a parent and drinking molasses water do go together…metaphorically speaking, that is. So stay with me. I promise it will all make sense by the time you get to the bottom of the page.
The years we spent raising our kids were also spent farming-primarily sheep…lots and lots of sheep. Lambing time (the period of time when ewes give birth) was an especially busy time for us. Checking to make sure everyone was healthy and keeping track of all those little lambs running around took time and energy, but for all the work we put into it, the ewes still had the biggest job of all in bringing the lambs into the world and making it possible for them to take their first breaths of ‘real’ air.
Here’s how it works…once a lamb is born its mother immediately begins cleaning the amniotic sack off the newborn lamb—starting with its nose and face. Over and over and over again the ewe licks the sticky membrane off her lamb until it is all gone.
This can’t be a pleasant process. The membrane is sticky, bloody, and because of the makeup of the fluid formerly inside, it is incredibly salty. YUK! But she does it because she knows it’s what needs to be done—it’s what is best for her lamb. So…to give her a much-needed and well-deserved boost of energy we gave the ewes a bucket of nice, warm, sweet molasses water to drink after they were done. And let me tell you they were ready for it! But once they were done drinking they turned their attention back to their lambs just the way they were supposed to.
Okay here’s where you come in…
Being a parent requires you to do a lot of things you don’t necessarily want to do for your kids, but you do them anyway because you know it’s what is best for them. You know, things like taking away privileges, saying no to something even though ‘everybody else’s parents are saying yes, cleaning up after them when they’re sick, going over their spelling words one more time even though you would both rather do anything else but that, cleaning up the broken glass that slipped out of their hands…in the store…that you told them not to touch. And on and on the list goes. Afterwards though, you need to give yourself the ‘luxury’ of taking a big drink of warm, sweet molasses water and giving yourself a few minutes to regroup before getting back to the never-ending job/blessing of being a parent.
For some of you, the molasses water may be thirty minutes in the hot shower or tub, time alone with a good book, or a cup of coffee and uninterrupted conversation with your friends. For others it may be a game of golf, an afternoon of shopping without going anywhere near a candy store or stores filled with un-stuffed bears, or watching the game with the guys.
What it is doesn’t really matter as long as you do it. Allowing yourself the opportunity to refresh and regroup makes you a better parent. In doing so you are able to release frustrations (what parent doesn’t have them) and enjoy spending time with people your own age. Taking time to refresh and regroup also sets your priorities back in order; allowing you to see your children as the precious treasures they truly are. Then once you’ve had your ‘molasses’ you’re ready to get back in the game…until next time.
See? I told you I wasn’t losing it!
Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.