And this week? I need—really NEED—your prayers.
‘Cause this is me, passed out on the stairs.
(You had NO idea I looked so young.)
(I know, right?! It’s my skin cream. Lots of Retinol A.)
Now listen. I’m pretty sure that this blog post will be written in increments because my current window of time could be smashed AT ANY MOMENT and when and if it does…
…and I know it will be…
I’ll have to go.
But if that’s the case, I will come back when I can.
Because blogging is not my primary vocation.
My children are, especially when it gets hard.
this post as we go.]
False alarm. He squawked, rolled over, all is quiet.
Whew. NOT looking this gift horse in the mouth (who does that?) because I’ll tell you true, unknown online friend, I really really need this free time. My husband and big kids have been gone for a week and it’s back to square one, basically, for me as a mother of two little men.
Two little men…two little ladies…
One little man and maybe a dog…
It doesn’t matter. When all your kids are all under, say, the age of seven…flying solo all day is really hard! I had forgotten just how hard it is. HONESTLY. People look at my family—my unbelievably “big” family—and they tell me constantly, “I don’t know how you do it.” The answer, of course, is that I don’t. My big kids do, and my husband helps. It’s a joint venture! And lots of grace!
Too many people call it quits after two because they can’t imagine—or they imagine wrongly—how much harder it’d be with more crumb snatchers on hand. They freak out and decide that they are DONE.
I’m simplifying, certainly. There are all sorts of reasons for limiting one’s family size, but at the very least I can speak to you from one perspective—that of the overworked, overwhelmed mom at home—in saying it’s hard for the first few years.
It just is.
Unless you’re, like, really into counters that look like this.
Hi, other moms! Yesterday was so fun!!
So here are some lessons I’ve learned this week:
1. When you’re overworked and overwhelmed, just pack up the kids and leave for the day! Seriously, the mess will wait (see kitchen counter above) but your lonely heart cannot. On Monday, we spent the night with my friend. Yes, spent the NIGHT because I’m just that big a wimp. It was a slumber party complete with late-night movies and mid-morning coffee on the deck. There were long walks and lots of downtime; there were [here’s the clincher] lots of other kids to distract and play with mine.
Playdates. They’ve been the key to my sanity.
Yesterday we spent the day at Jamie’s. We met at a garden…
whereupon I was two hours’ late.
This brings me to Life Lesson Number Two:
2. Go easy on yourself and on your friends. Honestly, we women can be so hard on one another! We women can be so hard on ourselves. Take yesterday’s get-together as a very humbling example. I got up at four so that I’d be on top of things. I had it all planned! I was gonna do a blog post; clean the classroom; pray for fifteen minutes; pack for our day trip.
Instead, my 19-month-old showed up in the doorway [insert big toddler cranky face right here] and so I tucked him back into my bed and cuddled him…
…whereupon I promptly passed out and dreamed tortured dreams about being late for Jamie’s.
My subconscious has such a sense of humor! I woke up at eight and was supposed to leave at nine; needless to say, we didn’t make that deadline, nor did we arrive at the gardens at the formerly agreed-upon time. (‘Cause you gotta factor in that gas station pit stop. George needed to pee and Cranky Francis needed a sucker.)
Both Jamie and Sarah were ever so gracious, and if they were judging me to pieces they didn’t show it. In any case, they didn’t really need to judge me. I was doing a phenomenal job of that on my own.
There is so much more I could say about this, but I would like to wrap this post up for the day so I’ll close with one last life lesson from my week as a widow:
3. Food and Facebook don’t fill you up. You wanna know how I know this? When I got back from Jamie’s I was really tired. (Tired in a good way but still. REALLY tired.) My house felt empty and the mess, overwhelming, so I got on Facebook for a little “pick-me-up”.
The pick-me-up was not forthcoming, alas. Instead, I got all caught up in someone else’s drama.
Not surprisingly, my Facebook activity didn’t fill me up.
Then all I wanted was a chunk of chocolate, but I couldn’t because of that Whole30 thing. Curse that stinkin’ Whole30 thing! (Not really. It’s been my disciplinary rock throughout the past week–the ONE discipline that I could count on.) I emailed a friend—“These cravings are killing me!” I said—and then, to heck with it all, I went to bed…
…where George and I watched The Sword in the Stone on my laptop.
THAT filled me up and was calorie-free.
* * *
So this is just one story and I am just one mom, a mom who is proof that you don’t gotta be perfect.
Did you hear that, dear mom? You don’t gotta be perfect!
But you should have faith and you should have fun. You’ve got ONE life. Let’s make it count.
[end of post]
[I did it!]
[So can you.]