Some days are just harder than others. Yesterday was one of those days for me.
6:20am. I rolled out of bed.
Tired, I just put on the same clothes from the day before and the day before that. I looked outside and didn’t see rain, but saw clouds and wet and thought, “another day inside.” Downstairs, my oldest two kids were getting ready – very slowly – for school. I heard Elliot say, “I am going to light a birthday candle under your bum if you don’t get going.” I smiled, amazed again at his knack – okay, choice – for turning his irritation into something light-hearted.
Breasts bursting, I went to pump. 6 weeks behind in my “read the bible in a year” commitment, I opened to Deuteronomy. Less than 10 verses in, my two non-school-age girls came around the corner and plopped on my lap (milk spilling and pump falling). “Can you read a book to us?” Moses got replaced with Read to Tiger.
7:05am. I hear the kids head out the door and shout, “Love you, have a good day!” 8 minutes later Eva comes back in the house, crying. More worried she is going to miss the bus than about her tears, I say, “What are you doing?!” “My ears hurt because they are so cold!” she cries. “Sorry, but you need to get back out there before the bus comes and leaves you,” I reply. She scurries out the door and mom-guilt sets in. I hate when the cold hurts my ears, so I put Hannah, Kendall, and the pump down, run and get her hat, and rush it outside. Eva meets me in the middle of the lawn and says, “Thanks, mom.” Today Ruth the bus driver must be late, and I am thankful.
Back inside, I feed the girls, do a few things, and then ask them to play a bit while I work on a wellness handout I offered to make for school. Five minutes before I finish it, both girls barge into my office and onto my lap, the oldest begging me to print her a coloring picture. Feeling stressed because I just want to finish, I say to wait a few minutes. A few minutes turns into 15 with girls on my lap fidgeting and touching things (ah!!). Now everyone is annoyed. I call it good and print coloring pictures for everyone – including me. We exit the office and Hannah decides she wants to play Spot It. Fine.
11:45am. Husband enters scene. Crap – it’s lunch time already. I find noodles, cheese, steak, and apples in the fridge. It worked but most went to the cats. I vouch to not make a mess for leftovers no one likes again, and then proceed to clean out the fridge.
Meanwhile, my four-year-old is trying to dress her little sister, who just wants to wear pajamas. Needless to say, this doesn’t go well. After tears and frustration, they agree to just wear the “new” old shoes they found hiding in the closet. Neither fits, but they are happy. I went about cleaning the kitchen I messed up for the lunch no one except Elliot ate. God bless him.
1pm. Nap time. I put Kendall down, let Hannah watch a show on my computer (her favorite thing in the world to do) and fed Garrett. (Forgive me, he obviously woke up and I took care of him sometime in the paragraphs before, but it’s a blur.) With everyone happy, I decided to take a shower. I entered the bathroom only to find DISASTER – literally, “llama-llama” style. Wooden thingamajig with three shelves knocked over, stuff everywhere, perfume bottles with missing lids, you name it. In the middle of the chaos was Kendall’s, “Brown Bear Brown Bear” book. Busted. But with seconds ticking and my shower on the line, I just picked it all up and decided not to care.
Post shower I took the sheets off my bed, gathered laundry, and found my house. Aware that Hannah’s show-watching was much too long, I asked her to help me bake. She had fun sifting, but truth be told, it was a big mess and the cake and frosting I chose didn’t turn out very well.
4pm. Kids got home. Kendall woke up. Baby was fussy. Everyone ate cake. I decided to start supper… homemade pot pie… the same kind my friend Jessie made and brought over after baby #5. Let’s just say, not a good idea. I learned that when someone makes you delicious homemade pot pie, don’t ask for the recipe. Just ask them to make it for you again.
6pm. Miraculously, things looked quite put together when Elliot came in from work. Supper smelled amazing, but only Eva, Elliot, and I ate it. The others reminded me that they don’t like pot pie and ate the side dishes of buns and applesauce instead. Not really hungry and knowing better, I ate their leftovers anyway. Grh.
Supper time, loud talking, endless interruptions, and cleanup eventually ended.
Next came bath time. Elliot told the kids to grab jammies and towels; I followed up with, “There are already towels!” They come down with just towels and no jammies. I shook my head.
7:30pm. Finally, bedtime. I retreated to my happy spot – rocking the baby in his room. We both fell asleep and were awakened only once by girls showing me the way they leap (yes, I said leap), and fell asleep again until 9:30. I got up, put the baby in his crib, and made a quick stop downstairs. On the table was a graduation card from a senior I’ve never heard of, met, or seen in my life. (Sorry… garbage. Wrong day, girlfriend.) I headed back upstairs only to find the perfectly unhappy ending to this hard day: an unmade bed without sheets. Crap.
10:30pm. I crawled in to my freshly made bed, said my prayers, and crashed.
Like I said, not my best day.
But then this morning came.
The sun was shining. My husband hugged me. I went on a run. I laughed with my sister Ginny on the phone. The kids were excited when I told them we were going to Grandma and Grandpa’s tonight. And my dad just texted to wish me an early Happy Mother’s Day.
I am reminded that on good days and bad, I am loved. The Lord’s mercies are new each morning. And the precious 12-week old baby on my lap right now doesn’t care about the sheets that need washing. I am a mom, and I am blessed.
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Liz DeJongh, MS, CHWC, is the co-creator of the Mind.Set.Goal!TM program, which helps people end their struggle with weight, improve relationships, and feel great for good. To learn more, visit www.mindsetgoal.com.