I went to the amazing and overwhelming Allume conference this past weekend and filled my tank, so to speak. I came home on Sunday with an afterglow that felt like it surely must be visible to anyone who looked my general direction. (I’ve got an Allume post planned for another day.)
And yet, already I’m tired.
The day to day drudgery of school-work-activities-bath-bed is draining. My husband’s current job situation means that I handle the homefront on my own Monday through Friday, which means I get the kids to and from school and activities, and also attempt to keep a handle on homework and housework. I seem to be losing my grip.
I just averted a level 5 meltdown from the 9 year old and I’m still not sure it’s not going to come back and haunt me.
There are ants on my kitchen floor and I have no idea where they came from.
The 12 year old is complaining of mouth pain from an adjustment to her braces yesterday and needs some pain reliever. (See photo above. It’s her own fault for playing with my iPhone.)
The kitchen is a wreck, the groceries need to be put away and the dryer just reminded me that there are clothes inside waiting to be folded.
I had all these wonderful plans for how I was going to pre-pack lunches and snacks at night to avoid rushing around in the morning and they’re all falling by the wayside, pushed aside in favor of the holy grail of parenthood: sleep.
It’s 9:30 p.m. and I just realized I never ate dinner, although my kids and the cats did get fed.
Everywhere I turn, something or someone in my house is screaming for my attention.
And amidst all this, I long for time to write. Time to read. Time to just simply sit and think.
But there’s never enough time for everything, is there? All there is available to us is 24 hours per day, and it’s up to us to steward it wisely. I don’t think I’m doing that very well right now.
So I do the same thing I usually do, which is to determine which fires need to be put out first and start there. The time constraints mean that not everything gets done.
And I wonder what I’m teaching my children. What life lessons are they learning when I run around, as we say, “like a chicken with its head cut off” all the time? It’s certainly not patience, because there’s very little of that to go around when it’s time to leave the house in the morning and the book bags don’t make it into the van. It’s not multi-tasking, because I always manage to drop at least one of the balls I’m attempting to juggle. It’s definitely not efficiency, because I leave a LOT undone.
What I want is to be present for my kids. To sit with them at breakfast and carry on a conversation. I realize that I DO that sometimes. Maybe not every day, but some days.
I realize that sometimes I have just one of them in the van with me and we get to have a heart-to-heart conversation that we might not have if we were sitting at home.
What I want to teach them is to put the priority on relationship. That, given the choice between sitting together on the couch watching Disney channel (don’t judge) vs. putting away the clean dishes from the dishwasher, most of the time I’m going to snuggle first and do dishes later. That during their waking hours I won’t always dart like a bumblebee from task to task and leave them to their own devices. That if we do the “have to’s” together we can have more time for the “want to’s”.
Something’s got to give and it can’t always be me, because when I’ve given all of me out to other things there’s nothing left for my family.
Meanwhile, I’m going to bed. Hopefully things will look better in the morning. They usually do. And I’m so grateful that His mercies are new every morning, because I need mercy like I need air to breathe. And sleep. I need sleep. Goodnight.
Today I’m joining up with the lively crew over at http://www.crystalstine.me for our weekly Behind The Scenes link up, where we tell the stories behind the photos we splash all over the ‘net. Come on out and play with us!