Surviving the LONG Days With Littles

Ring, ring, ring... I pick up the phone and talk to a friend whom I have not been able to connect with in over a month.  As soon as I wander to the kitchen fighting ensues.  You know... the kind with screeching at decibels that make dogs whine.  Yup.  As I nod and listen to my friend I calm little ones and wipe tears.

Then the baby poops.

Then the toddler poops.

Then my six year old son runs into the corner of the couch bruising and scraping his face.  I grab some ice, wrap it in a washcloth and tend to his boo boo.

My four year old princess tugs on my sleeve and motions me to come close.  I put my nose next to her nose (phone still attached to my ear) and she says softly with twinkling eyes, "Can you help me brush my teeth?"  Her dragon breath begs for an emphatic yes so we saunter off to the bathroom where she stands on the stool and giggles as she squeezes copious amounts of blue sparkly toothpaste onto her Cinderella toothbrush. I glance at the clock and think "It is almost noon and I am just brushing kiddos teeth now.  My, oh my, I am running behind today".  I proceed to help her when there is a crash followed by screaming in the kitchen.

My two year old had been running on the linoleum with stocking feet.  He was now face flat on the floor and when he lifted his head up, blood was gushing from his mouth.  I fetched another washcloth with ice cubes and plopped little man on the couch and as I was doing that there was yet another crash and screaming.  Princess  had flipped off of her stool and was now on the bathroom floor, wedged between the legs of the stool with a gash in her foot and a scrape on her belly.

It is truly amazing how many children can get hurt in the span of 8 minutes.

I hung up the phone as I proceeded to get the last washcloth in the house... of course all of the accidents happen on the day when I am washing towels and trying to squeeze in a phone conversation.  Reminder to self... we need more band-aids and it is okay to hang up the phone in the middle of chaos at home.

I would like to say that the day got progressively better... I guess in the accident department it did.  There were no more injuries.  But there were plenty of attitudes that needed tending to, arguments that needed monitoring, and temper tantrums that ensued because my two year old is going through a clingy phase.  Add in the everyday stuff of cleaning a home, teaching the children, wiping up cat puke, and constantly pulling things out of my one year old's mouth (no... it wasn't the cat puke), ...the day was LONG.
Fruit of the Spirit- word Art by mercyrains
Image by mercyrains under Creative Commons license
It is days like this, when I am worn out and weary, when I have to be on guard and remind myself of the fruits of the spirit.  Self control... patience... kindness... gentleness, these things often go out the window when I am bombarded with the chaos of everyday life in a busy household.  My blood pressure rises and I can feel the heat creeping up my neck, my whole body tenses and I feel like I am on fire.  The little ones testing their boundaries, the older ones frustrated and overwhelmed, everyone at their breaking point... and I need to guide them.  I need to be the one to speak the kind word rather than hissing out orders.  It is at times like this when I need to gather them up and love on them - freely giving hugs, snuggling on the couch and just calming everyone down rather than crumbling and spouting about how frustrated I am.

They don't need a Momma who is hollering, 
they need a Momma who is helping.

Some days I succeed... I stop and process before I open my mouth and the loving mother I so long to be shows her radiant face.  She wipes the tears, comforts the hurts in a soothing voice, corrects lovingly, and at the end of the day... it is well with her soul.  It is only by God's grace that the loving Momma exists at all... and I need to remind myself that it is not by my efforts that I am a Godly parent, it is only by His grace and love.

Other days I am not as blessed.  My mouth rushes ahead of my brain, the tears spill over and we all end up an emotional heap trying to grasp some semblance of sanity. Can you relate?  I just want you to know, whoever you are, that we all have days like this.  

There are days where we are going to do it wrong... 
and what makes the difference is what we do 
we have done it wrong.

Do you apologize to your children?  Do you let them see you raw, before the Lord, with a contrite heart?  Let them come before Him with you.  Usher your family alongside you, ask forgiveness and then try to laugh.  Try to regain the ground you lost and start anew.  We are not perfect, we will mess up, there is no magic formula to raise our children perfectly or to be Super mom, but we do have a Super God and you can count on Him to get you through these trying years.

In the trenches with you,