Most days, I certainly don’t feel like I have the upper hand.
On good days, I get up before the kids (or just with Alex and it’s still rather quiet) and I can read my Bible and drink my coffee in peace. I can start a load of laundry and look through my emails and social media before the girls wreak havoc on my morning.
On bad days, I grumble hallelujah as I waken to shrieks of laughter and/or offended sobs and drag myself from my bed haven and pour liquid life into my red mug and try to ignore the squabbles over that last packet of Dinosaur Eggs oatmeal.
God is in control.
But it often seems like I am a leaf on the wind of my children’s whims.
Pulled in four different directions all day every day.
And then my husband tells me he’s out of soap. How can he be out of soap?! And we must make cupcakes for our monthly church dinner…which is now a weekly dinner. that we’re in charge of and must organize. I have to plan our Sunday school lesson for the marriage and parenting class my husband and I teach. I have to plan the Wednesday night lesson for the kiddies. And I have to call my mother as I cringe, remembering that it’s been four days since I last called.
There’s always another and.
To embrace Calm, I know…
I have to make some changes.
I must get in bed earlier to rise earlier to ensure I am at least awake before the kids tumble down the stairs to fight over iPads and computer games.
Today, I woke at 6:40 AM. It was still quite dark outside.
I made my bed. I applied my essential oils. I read my Bible app while preparing steel cut oatmeal (6 servings for 4 kids and myself and I barely got a 1/2 ladle-full!), bacon, sausage…
I ran the coffee pot twice because for some reason, it is hydrophobic. If it starts talking to me in that HAL voice, I swear I will will take an axe to it. Then I can get that dual espresso coffee machine with a water line I’ve always wanted.
But I digress.
Elizabeth scowled and snapped at Katie and I sent her out of the room to regroup herself and her attitude.
She came back a few minutes later, not quite contrite, but better.
I must keep to a schedule.
Mornings tend to run away from me. I need to encourage everyone to finish eating, clean up, get dressed, brush teeth, bring dirty clothes to the laundry room before 9 AM so we can begin schooling then. No iPads during school unless used specifically for school reserach or relevant learning videos. I need to plan better to transition between lessons and subjects so the day doesn’t flow into chaos. This includes meal time and cleanup. I need to set up a blog schedule and keep to it.
I must limit my online time.
I need to write and do the social media thang when the kids are either occupied, asleep, or away from the house (which is just about never). I cannot neglect God, the kids, house, or husband for online time. It cannot be an escape from the world. I’ve been doing better!
Although my husband asked me last night: What do these moms do during Twitter parties – do they just put mothering on hold?! That cut deep as he got the kids ready for bed. I could hear the frustration in his voice as he clenched his teeth and snipped at too-tired babes arguing that they were not, indeed, tired enough to go to bed at bedtime. I usually do the bedtime routine.
My two little girls were struggling to stay awake when I finished the Twitter party when I went upstairs to check on them. I prayed sweet prayers with them. Katie prayed earnestly that she wouldn’t argue and that she would remember to do what she’s told. Yes, Lord. Let us all remember that. She’s learning!
Liz got upset with me that after she finished her evening chores, it was her bedtime and we couldn’t read the first scene of Hamlet together. It wasn’t my fault that she took so long to complete the cleanup (what was she doing to help Dad during my Twitter party?!)…but I still felt guilty from not being available even though it was after 9.
I need to utilize my time well.
I can write while the littles are in gymnastics. I can either sit in the waiting room or car and type on my laptop (if it’s charged!). There is no Internet available so there are no distractions. If I get up before the kids, then I can work. I can get schooling completed in the mornings and have my afternoons free to do what I want while the kids play. Then, most evenings should be free to spend with my husband for the few minutes after the kids are in bed and he goes to bed by 9. He wakes up very early every day to go to the gym. He’s crabby if he stays up late.
I can be victorious.
I can fight the devil’s lies when he tries to convince me I’m not good enough. I will not listen. I can do this. God will help me succeed.