Thursday, 22 August 2013

This past Tuesday was such a hard day for me. I can't even pinpoint what it was that made it so tough. It was as though all 3 of us, Mila, Dani, and I--woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I was giving Mila the never yell at the chef! line while trying to eek some raisin bran into her bowl (yes! chefs serve cereal!). There were meltdowns hourly, many times involving just one nearly-3 year old (is this a preview of the tyrannical 3's or whatever they call it? Noooo! Someone invent a time machine!). Sometimes Dani would join in, and let's be honest, I'm not one to shy away from a good cry from time to time. 

I hate days like this. That goes without saying. It's the days where we seem to be locked on a hamster wheel and no one can break the cycle of bad attitudes, of sighs and deep breaths, a trillion deep breaths, of how-many-hours-till-Papa-gets-home and oh my gosh I need a break I need a break so bad. I think I'm pretty lousy at 'faking it' so when I'm tired and resentful the girls are going to pick up on it. Therefore I take a big part of the blame. And while happily these low-energy days don't happen very often, I can almost always link them to (duh) poor sleep, lack of exercise, and just all-around running ragged, trying to squeeze in a million things during those precious evening hours. It leaves Steve baffled, he would be fine with going to bed at 8 and not waking up until morning. Me, while I know my body needs it, I have this yearning to be productive tied into just enjoying the quiet, the stillness. 

But anyways,I'm going off on a huge tangent and not saying anything anyone already knows. Sleep is important blah blah blah. My rally cry is still I'll sleep when I die and I will probably always fight the act of going to sleep. Steve came home Tuesday, I told him I needed a break and he happily said he'd take the girls out for a few hours on Thursday, his next day off. 

Then Wednesday dawned bright with my early Dani bird who sleeps next to me. She grinds her teeth and drools but otherwise nuzzles into the crook of my arm so perfectly. No complaints here! Bleary-eyed I read on my instagram feed exactly what I needed to read. God works through social media these days (well He does!) and certainly these words rang very true for me, from the marvelous @joyprouty:

"...the thing that creates the most bitterness in my heart is my feelings of entitlement towards things...such as a full night's rest, or a bed/room/space/time of my own. somewhere in the back of my mind I harbor bitterness for the lack of sleep/neediness of children/the daily grind but it is just because I somewhere along the line decided I was entitled to the nature of my life as it was previously and then I grow bitter because the two lives don't match up. trying to learn to be more grateful these days. choosing continually to let the expectations go. even if it means I don't sleep. because that just means I have a baby in my arms healthy enough to cry to express her needs. I trust God will give me the strength to serve my family tomorrow because he trusted me enough to make me a mother."

Goodness. God will give me the strength to serve my family tomorrow because He trusted me enough to make me a mother. This was my mantra as I set out to do my mothering Wednesday. When Mila yelled at me for standing on *her* footstool, when Dani kept bursting into tears every time I'd attempt to lay her down in her crib after she would nurse to sleep, when tantrums occurred in the publix parking lot and Dani was startled awake from the screams. I prepared the entirety of dinner with Dani on my back in the ergo, because it was the only way she was going to stay happy, in the warmth and security of her mama. And in spite of all those jagged moments (because of it?), it was a great day. There were perfect moments. Some only lasted 5 seconds but I was grateful for all of it. My attitude was changed. I felt lighter, no longer dragging the heavy weight of resentment and fatigue. Let it go.

Steve still took the girls out this morning. I still needed and wanted some time alone, necessary for everyone, I think. There is no perfect attendance reward for this motherhood gig. I don't think the stuff of my daughters' reminiscing will be Mom! You were there every single second! but rather, Mom! You took us kite flying, and camping. We played I spy in the car. You listened to us when we were scared of the dark and empowered us with magic wands and fairy dust sprinkled on our sheets. You read out loud "just one more" chapter when the book was getting really good, and always let us lick the cake batter.

Steve leaves tomorrow for a weekend away, his time for a break. It is well deserved. I'm going to do my best to sing these words in my heart and mind as I face any challenges that may come (bedtime I'm talking to you!).

p.s. Destin pictures are being posted tomorrow! I already scheduled it and everything!

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