We’ve had stuff going on behind the scenes here lately. Some tough stuff, some just busy stuff. The tough stuff has included a week (and counting)of a cold for Mama that just won’t let go.
Thankfully, and somewhat unfortunately, this cold passed right over Bean and she didn’t have any symptoms. So while I’ve been coughing myself awake for nights running, nursing a sinus headache, sounding like a frog and downing cup after cup of tea, she’s been lively and full of energy.
This mama is exhausted trying to keep up with her.
When Mama’s exhausted, things start to unravel. When I’m not on top of picking up the house, it starts to feel like the clutter is taking over. When I’m not on top of our schedule, we are constantly running late and I’m juggling trying to reschedule and un-conflict the conflicts. There has been too much TV and and too much bargaining over TV and far too many times I hear myself saying “I don’t want to have to say this again…” and too many tears – both hers and mine.
On one particularly hard day last week, it felt like every single interaction was a fight. I picked her up from daycare at 1:00 and it felt like we had been fighting since 1:15. We fought over getting into the car, getting out of the car, all through the grocery store, and then getting into the car again and then into the front door when we arrived home.
I was so tired.
I was so done.
I wanted her dad to get home NOW so he could take over and I could check out. I wanted to give up. I really wanted to stop fighting.
So when she said she wanted to play outside, I gathered up my journal, a handful of Derwent Art Bars and my water brush and resigned myself to ignoring the fact that she was going to dig holes in my DG patio and I was going to ignore her doing it. I just wanted to feel the sun on my shoulders and lay some color down on a page. I wanted to pass the last hour before dinner without a screen and without a fight about a screen.
Once outside, she started playing with her shovels and buckets while I settled at the picnic table with my colors. She came over pretty quickly to see what I was doing and said, “Mama! I want to do that!”
So I went back inside and found her journal and another water brush and set her up next to me.
For the next half an hour we sat together at the table in the late afternoon sun and painted while the neighborhood went on around us.
It was peaceful. Quiet. Healing. It was exactly what I needed to re-connect with my sweet child.
By the time we went inside to finish dinner I was feeling like a whole new mama. I had my patience back, at least enough to get me through to bedtime. I felt gentle toward my daughter again, which was a feeling I had lost somewhere in the middle of the afternoon when all I felt was angry. I felt like I’d been offered some grace in what was otherwise a really difficult day.
Later in the evening I posted a photo from our afternoon art date on Instagram and a friend commented that is is these rays of sunshine in otherwise really hard days that remind her there is joy in parenting.
Today, may you remember to stop in a moment of grace and really absorb it. Set aside the frustrations of the previous moments and the worry of the next ones and just stand in the beauty of the moment that is right now.
Have you experienced a moment of grace this week, in parenting or otherwise? Leave a comment – I’d love to hear about it.
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