We have a busy household around here. My husband’s schedule is not set in stone. We have three very active and very different daughters. We have two grandparents (great-grandparents for our girls) who are delightful and sweet and need some help with the stuff of life. We have a dog that barks at every.blessed.thing. It’s summertime, and the schedules are, shall we say, fluid.
There are friends coming and going, vacations, camps, doctors appointments, and the unexpected-car trouble, kid trouble, hard stuff of life… Someone asked me how I do it all the other day and I simply said, “I don’t.” My real, honest answer should have been, “Jesus all of the way, with some help from an anti-depressant, and also, I don’t.” There are many things I hold on to very loosely. I let our girls dress themselves almost every day. Mother’s Day, Christmas, and Easter are the days I pull my mom-card. This means some Sundays we go to church with a kid wearing mismatching shoes or maybe a Christmas dress in July. I don’t braid hair, and I don’t paint nails. If I have the time, I would gladly do it. It’s just that I don’t. I clean the floors when I can, I organize closets when I can, and I never iron.
Anyway. We made it through a crazy day recently. Lots of work for me, unexpected interruptions, and very loud children. I took a lot of deep breaths. I asked for the eyes of the Father, to filter every situation. I thanked Him for everything I could think of being thankful for. I let the kids watch movies because silence. But at the end of the day, the kids were in our little inflatable pool yelling at each other. I told them it was time to be done and I walked inside to finish my work. 5 minutes later they were still playing in the pool. I told them one more time. 2 minutes later they were still playing in the pool.
And then I lost it. I just yelled. And I sounded EXACTLY like my father. “When I say it is time to get out, that doesn’t mean you keep playing! It means GET OUT OF THE POOL! When I tell you to do something, it is not a SUGGESTION! GET.OUT.OF.THE.POOL.” Stunned silence, then compliance. I stormed into the house and slammed things around, muttering under my breath the whole time. I bossed the kids around and just wanted them to get to bed. It was about 20 minutes of the day, but in my mind, the whole day became a loss.
Eventually, things calmed down and I was able to see the good in the day as well as gain perspective over the hard parts of the day. I apologized to the girls for my own part-losing my temper and speaking unkindly. They apologized to me for their disobedience and we all moved on.
At bedtime, I finished reading to our youngest and she snuggled next to me and tossed her arm over me and said, “You are the best mom EVER. I love you SUPER MUCH, mom. Thanks for this great day.” What a gift of grace.