Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Moment of Clarity

Here in the great state of Louisiana, we have a little holiday called Mardi Gras. While we're not ones to do the whole parade thing, my kids get the privilege of having a week off school. So, after two days of rain, I ventured out with my littles.

We made a Target run. By the power of prayer, deep breathing techniques and bribery, we survived with no meltdowns. Success!

Next, we headed to the park. The second we walked in, off they ran in three different directions. I chose the location because it is completely fenced with a gate that can only be opened by individuals over 5 feet. And there is a bathroom (stocked with soap and toilet paper) in short walking distance. When you've got three little ones, important factors to consider. (I know, life-changing information here.)

The kids ran off to play, and I collapsed into a bench. Nearby moms sat on blankets with their infants. The babies rolled around and chewed things and drooled. I heard one relaying her daughter's teething woes. Meanwhile, my three were at the top of the playground having a ball.

I was struck by a thought: I sometimes miss those days when mine were confined to a blanket. Now I have go out of my way to find a park with a fence!

One day, they'll grow up and be out of my control completely. At each stage of freedom comes new worries for me, new responsibilities and dangers for them and a new level of trust in a great big God.

It's scary. I don't like it when my kids are out of my sight. I can't imagine the idea of them being out of my control completely. I am so thankful for the stage they're in now.

And as that thought enters my brain, someone runs up and tells me they have to go potty.

One fleeting moment of clarity followed by the constant demands of raising preschoolers. Hope you can find that second of clear-headed perspective today.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Reboot Me Please!

It's been hectic around here. The boys are 3 1/2. They are defiant, independent and just plain goofy. The girl is 5 going on 15. We've been sick off and on for months. Even Max the cat has been sick. And the hubby is working more than I'm used to. Most  Some days, I just want to run away. Or scream. Or stomp my feet and throw my own temper tantrum. Oh and throw away everything on the living room floor.

After several consecutive days of crazy, I decided I needed to reboot. But it took a while to figure out how...

I ended up having a good cry, just to get the emotions out. I talked to other mom friends. Then I put on some good music and danced around the house. I prayed, had a girls' night and picked up some of the clutter around the house. I also cleaned my car and vacuumed it. 

Ya' know, I feel a lot better.

Sometimes I cope with stress in unhealthy ways: overeating, yelling at my kids or husband or both, getting depressed, complaining, etc. I think one of the keys to managing the preschool years is figuring out what you need so you can handle the crazy. 

I'm learning that I need time away from kids outside of the home. Girl's nights, MOPS, church meetings. They really help me find balance. I also love some good cardio, whether it's running in the neighborhood, yard work or dancing around the house. I feel better when my heart gets pumping. Finally, eliminating clutter gives me a sense of control over my environment. Even if I can't control the people in my home, I can  control what goes on the counter top.

I'm so very blessed to have my three little ones and stay home with them. When I'm overwhelmed, it's easy to forget that. Hope your day is stress-free, but if not, finding your own method to reboot is essential.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Finding the magic

4:15. Woke early to cat crying. Fed him, gave him meds and let him out. He’s happy and free. I probably won’t see him until the afternoon. Lay back down. Mike wakes and changes into dry undies out of a wet pull-up. Tuck him back in bed. I lay down to listen to the sound of rain… uh oh rain.

4:30. Tater wakes, terrified of the storm. Soothe both boys. Bring Tater downstairs to “sleep” in my bed. No sleep, just questions about rain. Frustrated. Get up to mop the floors (again) after cat peed yesterday. Not his fault – he was scared. House stinks. Bad. Cat pee is gross.

Make banana bread for breakfast. Chocolate banana bread. Batter tastes heavenly. Put the walnuts on top so kids can pick them off. Check calories. Don’t want to blow it at breakfast. What?! 200 calories for 1/12 of a loaf. Oh man, who eats 1/12 ? I could eat half of it. Vow to not eat half.

Tater wakes again, crying. “I’m not in my bed!” “No you’re in my bed,” I answer. He whine-mutters something I can’t understand. Pick him up, wipe his nose and make him promise not to wake everyone upstairs. Bring him back to bed. Text Dusty the story because it’s cute. He tells me it’s cute.

6:15. Good I still have a few minutes before everyone wakes. Hop in the shower. Read devotional. Start typing. Emma wakes… she smells banana bread. Her excited smile tells me I did good.

I know there’s something awesome in this story. It’s a season that I’ll one day want back. So many times it feels more like an annoyance. I just want the kids to leave me alone so I can “get stuff done.” Or maybe sleep past 6 a.m. once in a while.

What’s more important than this? I think today I’ll choose to see the magic in it, instead of the nuisance. Today I’ll find joy in the mundane. Peace in the chaos of sticky hands and runny noses. Today I’ll pray when I feel frustration rise up in me. At least I hope so. Because this mommy thing can only be faced one day at a time.

Yep, typing time is over. Mike peed on Tommy… oh my. 
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