I write and I shop. And sometimes I eat sweets. Today I did the first and the second but managed to avoid the third (so far).
Yesterday was one of those charmed days. The days that I dreamed of when the boys were younger. We went for a walk and played at the park with friends. We went grocery shopping and no one got upset about anything, miracle of all miracles. At home the boys played together without fighting, we cleaned up the downstairs together after each meal so our home felt calm and under control. I even had time while they played to work on a quilt I’ve been wanting to finish for ages. And dinner was a delicious homecooked meal of marinated flank steak with roasted potatoes and green bean almondine. I exercised in the morning and we ended the day watching Wipe Out as a family. Nauseatingly perfect, isn’t it?
I mention this not to annoy you or make you throw your coffee at the screen, but so that you can contrast it with my experiences today. It was one of those horrid days that used to come several times a week when the boys were younger. From almost the moment we started our day I was overwhelmed and easily annoyed and the boys were whiny and disobedient. You know the days when it feels like all of your parenting work has been wasted on your darling children? Jake couldn’t manage to find anything that pleased him for most of the day, and Tyler had four potty accidents. Yes, four. And I’m tired. And cranky. And I even sliced off a good portion of the tip of my finger this morning. And I don’t know how to get these boys to shape up sometimes.
I know that on these kinds of days, I have to take time in the afternoon to regroup. During my rest time I listened to Tyler throw a tantrum in his room and I wrote in my journal. I wrote about what I want to teach my boys and I searched for Bible verses to tuck away for each thing on my list. Narrowing down my pieces of parenting wisdom to just ten made things seem a little bit more manageable. And having a husband who listens to me say, “I feel like a failure!” and answers that it’s not me but the boys who have failed today is really just what I needed.
Of course, the simple act of opening my journal and flipping through my Bible’s concordance also brings me a little closer to sanity. Then Greg showed up at home two hours early. Hallelujah! Off I went to shop for some fabric for a few baby blankets I need to make. An hour at the fabric store alone can do a lot of good, too.
Now the house is quiet and the day is almost done. I doubt tomorrow will be like today, or even like yesterday. The days are usually somewhere in the middle. I try to remember to turn to prayer and scripture when I’ve reached my wit’s end. Sometimes I fail, but I succeed with that more than I used to. I make lists and write things down and research in books and online and in the Bible. I try to pray without falling asleep and then I get back to life as usual and just keep plugging along. And I remind myself that not every day is like this.
And then I eat some chocolate.