Real quick, before I have to blow my nose again – I’ve pretty much been home with at least one drippy, coughy, feverish child for the past week. Scratch that. Today is day 10. So that’s practically two weeks. Or if you’d prefer to use mom-with-sick-kids math, that’s not a day less than a year and a half.
To top off the fun, a giant tank is following me around with two tiny hoses attached to each of my nostrils, pumping helium into my head. Couple that with the little men made of feathers dancing on the floor of my throat and I basically feel like a cartoon.
Or a Claritin commercial.
It must be March.
March still has gifts to unwrap – the time change means my sunroom catches the light at the perfect time of the morning now, my front yard tree is going to burst with new buds any minute, and spring break is within sight.
Still, I’m no pink unicorn fool. Hard days are hard and there’s no way around it. It doesn’t mean you aren’t a thankful or loving person just because you kind of want to drive to Hawaii and leave everyone’s needs behind (I know, you can’t drive to Hawaii, but some days you’re willing to try).
It just means you need a break.
I’m a believer in showing up to the task of the day and entering into your calling no matter what it is. But part of embracing your calling also means tending to your soul. It’s not only okay, it’s necessary.
So when you don’t get that time, you might get a little nutty. Especially if there are also feathers living in your throat.
I love my children and I’m thankful down to my bones for them. I would throw myself in front of a bus for them but sometimes can’t manage to find the energy to get them another cracker.
And that is the crazy we call parenthood.
A few years ago I wrote a letter to myself 20 years from now for the simple purpose of reminding my mother-with-grown-up-kids self not to paint the past with only pastels. I read it again today, and even though my kids aren’t in diapers anymore, I still need to be reminded that some days are just plain hard.
Yes, it could be worse. Yes, someone else has it harder. Yes, you are thankful to have children. Yes, you live with great blessing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a bad day.
So friends with children sick at home or toddlers underfoot or babies sniffling and crying all through the night? Here’s to googling How to Play Mancala, re-heating your coffee for the fifth time this morning, serving meals on trays and distributing medicine like a pharmacist.
Here’s to knowing it won’t always be this way, to letting the dishes stay dirty for a while, to writing a blog post in the fifteen minute cracks you get during Max & Ruby. Here’s to alone time in the shower, to snuggling up next to feverish children while counting down the minutes until they have to go to bed.
Here’s to stealing a little time for yourself if you can manage it, to saving the last few pages of Sparkly Green Earrings because you kind of don’t want it to end, to letting your six year old sleep in your room for the third night in a row and serving him ice cream for lunch.
Here’s to missing deadlines and falling behind because you were sitting in the doctor’s office for two hours and then had to come home and play airplanes.
Here’s to knowing we aren’t alone, to the hope of a future sanity, and to believing none of this is a waste of time.
Mothers (and fathers too), I raise my mug to you.
Still need a little encouragement in the parenting department today? Check out a few of these reads:
- What it Means to Be a Mother for the First Time by Lisa Leonard at Gussy Sews
- Gussy’s 40 Week Baby Bump Update by Maggie Whitley (she’s in the hospital at this very moment!)
- A Little Eden by Amber Haines at The RunaMuck
- To Parents of Small Children: Let Me Be the One to Say it Outloud by Steve Wiens at The Actual Pastor
- For the Days When You Think Everyone Else Has it Altogether by Lisa-Jo Baker
- Dear Me in 20 Years, by me