Today started out as Not A Good Day.
You know the kind. You wake up already exhausted to hear one kid, the kid who especially irritates you, shrieking her high pitched shrieks all over the house.
Her helpful brother is telling her in an incredibly loud stage whisper to “SHUT UP ALREADY!!!”
She is not listening. She won’t be bossed.
It would have been better for her if she had listened and let herself be bossed.
It’s pouring rain outside and all of 9 degrees Celsius, the girls have track meet today, and they’re over-the-top excited about it. Which I do not understand.
I open my bedroom door to encounter shrieking child number six who is in shorts and a tank top and hair stuck in a horribly messy “I hope she won’t notice I didn’t brush this” ponytail.
I am not kind. I am not sweet and helpful and good mommyish.
I am one hella mad.
I yell and berate and shame and order kids to use their brains and so on. It is 7:45 am.
Then number four, the one most like me in the most inopportune ways chirps at me: “Good morning to you too, sunshine.”
He is lucky to be alive.
So anyway, tears are shed, proper attire is donned, hair is brushed, and we drive to the bus stop in the pouring rain with very quiet children in the backseat.
UGH. I hate it when the day starts off like this. Mostly because if someone dies on the way to track meet I will never be able to forgive myself.
Luckily we don’t have these days very often. But when they do happen, I end up asking myself in a tiny little inside voice why in the world I’m responding so poorly. Of course the voice in my head that asks this is rather quiet and apologetic because it knows the other voices are currently shouting about “theywillneverlearn!” and ” Iamnotapologizingforthislater!” and so on.
Here’s the deal. It’s been a week of pretty big stuff. Our oldest stepson came home which has been so wonderful! But the circumstances surrounding his return became very painful for me and my husband and my children. Things need to shift. And they are starting to shift. But it’s slow and hard and takes courage and lots of energy. My husband is being a freaking warrior for our family at the moment and it’s exhausting for both of us.
The little voice in my head reminded me that maybe I should just rest a bit more, huh Darlin? And maybe I should just take some time to do what I can do for me. Read my Bible. Have coffee with friends. Take care of myself.
Because I know that self-care is so very important. As the mom/stepmom/wife to this large and complicated family, I am the one who pours out all day, every day. I am the one who holds all the needs and wants and desires and frustrations and fears of everyone in our home. I am the one who gives advice, encouragement, discipline, nourishment, and a safe place to fall whenever it’s needed.
It’s a lot of work! It’s exhausting, and if I’m not careful, I can get so low on energy that we have mornings like this morning.
So I’m taking some time today to just rest. To have some coffee and chocolate and to read my bible and my latest novel and just do what I can for myself.
Remember, dear reader, to take care of yourself. Because you are important. And yelling at your people is no fun.
photo credit: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.