I’ve been working full-time for the past few months, and just recently went back down to working three days a week. So today was the first day that I stayed home with the kids in awhile. And this is how it went (let me give you a hint, it didn’t go well):
Woke-up at 6:30am. Got the kids up, chased Nyah down the hallway as she ran away knowing it was time to brush her teeth. Sang our teeth brushing song, the wheels on the bus, which is the only way I can get her to brush her teeth.
Made sure Aven put on clean clothes because if there aren’t any sweat pants clean, which he calls his “soft” pants, then he will dig through his dirty laundry to get some. No longer will he wear jeans or skinny pants. Oh well, I guess we weren’t meant to be that trendy family that looks amazing and coordinated.
Then I put Nyah’s hair in pigtails and told her in my stern voice to keep her hair elastics in her hair while giving her the evil eye. Which I hope is evil enough to keep her from pulling her hair out. Then I ask Thea for the hundredth time to get her clothes on as she is dancing naked around her bedroom singing some song about God, princesses and school. She then precedes to scrunch up her face and give ME the evil eye and with a huff turn her back on me. Awesome, off to a good start!
As I turn around, I see Nyah’s already managed pull one of her hair elastics out of her hair and as we lock eyes, she gives me that smirk that says, haha mom, you lose and runs away. Her hair is at the stage where it hangs right in front of her eyes, and it drives me crazy. But she doesn’t seem to mind and in fact, hates her hair any other way. Her hair is so fine, that once I put an elastic in it, if she takes it out her hair will stick out like Albert Einstein. Even Thea notices how ridiculous it looks and points at it, laughs and says, “that’s crazy hair.” So much for the cute look I was going for.
It’s now 7:00am. The next chore is getting the kids to eat their breakfast in order to avoid the annoying, “mom, I’m hungry” chant, as soon as I’ve thrown out most of their breakfast because they said they were full. After lots of coaxing and allowing them to watch a show (bribery) they managed to eat half of their oatmeal. Perfect, good enough. That’s a win in my book.
Next was getting them out the door to school. Aven starts whining that he doesn’t want to go to school, then Nyah chimes in that she doesn’t want to go and Thea is ignoring me altogether. “Big breath, I can do this”, I say to myself. I managed to get all three kids in their shoes, coats, grab their backpacks and out the door we go.
First drop off is to Thea’s school. We get out of the truck and struggling to hold Nyah in my arms and get the kids to hold hands, I tell them, “do not jump in the puddles!” What happens?
Aven runs right for the puddles, what kid can resist a good puddle, and starts to splash in it. Nyah, who doesn’t have rubber boots on (what was I thinking?) goes right for the puddle. Both shoes soaked. Then all three start running around in circles playing the game, “you can’t catch me” and Aven bails and starts balling. It’s now 8:15am.
It only got worse from there. By the time I dropped Aven off at preschool, his persistence of not wanting to go went from whining to all out yelling. Once again, I tried to reason with him, “you will have fun”, nope didn’t work. Next I tried to bribe him, “you will get a treat if you go.” Nope, still nothing. I was desperate so I said screw it, I dragged him by the arm and he immediately went limp (did the old dead-weight trick). So I dragged him across the parking lot while holding Nyah as parents stared. I ended up having to get the preschool teacher to take him off my hands as I made a quick exit. Checked my phone, now 9:10am.
I get in the truck, after putting Nyah in her seat, and start it up. Finally, I can relax a bit. I only have one child, I can do this.
But my thoughts get interrupted by Nyah saying, “Mommy mommy.” “What Nyah, I said.” “I’m hungry.”
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I told you to eat more breakfast!! You are not getting anything to eat right now.” And then it starts. Nyah does the whimpering whine, which turns into an all-out temper tantrum. It’s like fingernails to a chalkboard. I cringe and am ready to loose it.
Screw proper parenting, I’m giving in. I needed a few minutes of peace and quiet so I give her a granola bar. But this isn’t just any granola bar, it’s that soft kind that has a sticky inside. I got about two minutes of silence until I hear, “mommy, uh oh.” I look back and it looks like she got nothing in her mouth and everything everywhere else. She then persists to give me the broken, sticky pieces as I am driving the truck.
After I’ve managed to get most of the granola bar back from her, she says, “mommy? I’m hungry.” “Are you kidding me? You cannot be freaking hungry, I yell.” And then the whining starts again. So what do I do? I give her a second treat. Yup, I gave in. I needed to get some shopping done before I had to go back and pick up Aven so I gave in. Not only did I give in then, but when we got to the store I bought her a chocolate bar too!
It is now 10:30am and the day is not even half over. I’m exhausted.
By the time I pick up Aven from school, get the kids home, feed them lunch, I am desperate for nap time. I put Nyah down and tell Aven to either nap or have quiet time in his room. QUIET time is a must in our household. I need to keep my sanity so even if he doesn’t nap, he still plays in his room for a few hours while Nyah naps.
As I try to decide if I should have a nap or be productive, I hear Aven yell, “Mommy I need help.” I run upstairs and realize he’s pooped and needs help wiping his bum. We haven’t quite figured out how to teach him to wipe his bum properly so it’s always up to us to wipe it for him. At this rate, I feel like he will be ten before we are free from butt wiping.
Over the next hour, he yells three more times that he needs help. It is uncanny how this kid is able to save up all his poops for nap/quiet time. How does he have so much poop? So much for my nap.
It’s now time to pick up Thea from school. As I get Nyah up and Aven ready to go, I get a text from my husband saying he’s going to be late.
PERFECT! No problem, I text back. I don’t want him to feel bad about being late because it’s not his fault. But now I have to gear myself up as I’ve got to get through the “witching” hour (the hour after school and right before dinner) by myself.
So I decide to take them to the park at Thea’s school. That will kill some time and the kids can expend their energy. It seemed lots of other moms had the same idea because the playground was packed. And while those moms seemed to have kids that needed no supervision, as they were relaxed and chatting away, I was stuck running around from kid to kid trying to avoid disasters.
Aven ends up stepping in a huge mud puddle, in his new shoes, and comes running up crying because mud is all over his pants and shoes. This kid does not like being dirty or wet. I tried to coax him and say it’s no big deal, but to him it was a huge deal.
It only went downhill from there. Next, Aven smoked his head on the bar at the playground, then he tripped and fell playing chase. Nyah decided to stick her muddy hands in her mouth to clean them off all the while Thea is yelling at me to help her on the monkey bars. This is not what I had in mind! I’m so done.
Time to head home. It’s now 3:30pm. I am counting down the minutes for Mark to come home. What’s for dinner? Homemade spaghetti? Stir-fry? Nope, frozen chicken strips and fries it is.
By the time Mark comes home, I’ve got a headache, sore throat and achy back. But, I made it. Phew, I made it.
And that’s good enough. No, I didn’t get the laundry done, no I didn’t discipline my kids consistently today, yes I let them watch TV, yes I gave them candy as bribery and no I didn’t clean the house.
But the kids are alive, they are healthy and they had a fun day. If you asked them how their day was, they would say amazing! That’s good enough for me.
And good enough is NOW enough.
I’ve realized my days will never be perfect, the trick is to come to terms with that and prepare yourself in advance.
I believe the idea of perfectionism comes from Satin. He wants you to focus on achieving the unachievable. Because if you do that, you will never move forward. You will never realize that, you alone, can’t achieve perfectionism because you aren’t perfect.
Jesus is the only one who can save you from yourself. He knows you aren’t perfect and he accepts you for that. In fact, he not only accepts that, but if you ask him to forgive you and follow him, he will give you the rest you need. He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
And as a mom of three little kids, I need all the rest I can get.
So what is good enough? Good enough is doing my best, praying, reading the bible and walking through the doors when he opens them. Even if I’m scared, if I don’t think I can do it, or I don’t want to.
Good enough is ensuring that I don’t take on too much. That what I do take on is something God put in front of me.
Are you tired too? Pray to God to give you rest. Ask him to help you reprioritize your life. Ask him to help you slow down and only do the things that will fulfill you, make you feel content, give you peace, do what you were meant to do.
AND then get rid of the REST!