"Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."--2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Sunday, April 7, 2013
This Rat Race That We Call Life
Some days feel like an absolute rat race-the rat being me-running about in a little box-with no true start and no definite end. It can be exhausting. I had no idea how much it took just to take care of a child's basic needs.
On a typical day, I wake up to the screams, giggles, or voices of my children. They may or may not be sitting on top of me at the time. Nick usually brings whoever is awake and puts them in bed with me when he leaves. I guess that makes me sound lazy...but let me finish my day before you judge.
I get up when my alarm goes off-after I hit snooze a few times-and the race begins. I take everyone to the kitchen and start a cartoon episode...usually Caillou, but lately it has been The Jungle Book. I get everyone some breakfast with accompanying sippy cups, and start my dash to get ready. I use the term 'ready' loosely. The more appropriate term would be dressed. I throw on some clothes, pull my hair in a ponytail-or throw on a hat, and I may put some foundation on.
About this time, the breakfast is all over the floor, and the kids are all coming to me with specific needs. I slather every one's toothbrush with age appropriate toothpaste and hand them off. I run to the kitchen and start packing lunch(es). While the grilled cheeses are cooking, I fix my coffee...usually two big Bertha thermoses. I go back to the kids and brush over their teeth with their brushes and begin to do the dressing routine.
I am usually working up a sweat by the time I have changed 2 diapers and fought both boys to get their clothes on. Then comes Sister...she is never happy with the attire choice...even if she picked it out the night before. We usually find a compromise, and I let her choose her hairstyle. I fix it appropriately, brush Linebackers, and get Little Mans product in.
I throw lunchboxes and cups in their backpacks and load the car. Backpacks, diaper bag, 2 thermoses, jackets, purse, phone, keys, and any work that I might have to do. I put the dogs in the garage, run up the flight of stairs, and assess the situation. Usually one or both of the boys have their shoes and socks off at this point. I check the clock, realize that we are late, and hurry everyone along. I re-sock and shoe the boys and rush everyone out the door.
I carry Linebacker, who happens to weigh over 30 pounds, and grab Little Mans hand, dragging him down the stairs. Sister usually stops to pick a dandelion or play in the dirt while I am yelling at her to hurry. I get two of them in their 5 point harnesses and search for Sister. I finally get her in the car, and off we go-except...dang...my gas light is on.
One quick stop at the BP. Now we head to school. If it is just Sisters day, we can do carpool-thank you Jesus! But if Little Man goes too, I have to unbuckle all three five point harnesses, and try to get them and their belongings into the school without anyone getting run over. We take the elevator up to the preschool floor, as I watch them like a hawk on the way up(Little Man got his fingers stuck in the door once...heart attack for mommy). At this point, Linebacker wants down because he knows that there are snacks in Little Mans classroom. So I put him down and they all run in different directions.
Hopefully Sisters class hasn't gone to chapel yet and I can drop her off and then take Little Man. I get them dropped off, get Linebacker pulled away from the snack table- back to the five point harness he goes. Now I run my home or work errands that I have been waiting to do with only one child. This entails a morning of loading and unloading, buckling and unbuckling, handing off snacks, and trying to focus on what I'm doing with constant distraction. It's a good thing that my car beeps if my keys are left in the ignition...I'm just saying...the police department would hate me.
I may be able to meet Nick for lunch, YAY, another set of hands! It also creates a moment for us to recap the day, last few days, or weeks that we haven't been able to discuss. Then it will be time to pick the kid(s) up from school. I go through the car pool line or do the pick up in reverse...then we usually head home.
By this point, everybody is ready for a nap. The whole way home, Sister normally cries because she wants to go anywhere but home and do anything but nap. The boys are usually asleep when we get there, so I transfer them one at a time up the flight of stairs and to their beds. Then I have a heated discussion with Sister about her nap. It inevitably ends with her crying herself to sleep.
At this point in the day, the bed screams for me to take a tiny nap, but responsibilities often scream louder...like the banana that just squished between my toes. So I do laundry, dishes, work, or whatever else needs to be done sans kids.
Eventually, someone wakes up and that is the end to my 'quiet time'. I dish out snacks, change diapers, refill sippy cups, and settle in to entertaining everyone. We play for a while until it is time for me to start dinner. I try to find something entertaining on TV so that I can hopefully create something somewhat edible for the kids to eat. Cooking is not my strong suit. When I start this, Linebacker usually pulls the plastic picnic table into the middle of the room-he's always ready to eat.
I get everyone seated with sippy cups refilled again, and place their plates in front of them. Rarely do we get through a meal without an upside down plate on the floor. While they are eating I get towels, washcloths, and PJ's ready. I clean up the dinner mess that surprises me daily, and head to the shower. This is when I get my real workout-bathing three squirming children.
I get everyone bathed, every hair washed, and each child out of the shower one at a time. I might as well take one with them, as my clothes are soaked.
Lotion, diaper, pj's...times three. Then I brush Sister and Linebackers hair, and once again, apply Little Man's product. Now I try to do a quick run through the house to pick up the unbelievable mess that has occurred throughout the day.
Hopefully by this point, Nick is home. He eats dinner and plays with the kids for a while. I continue to do laundry, dishes, or straighten. Hopefully I can grab leftovers or a bowl of cereal for dinner. Then it is almost bed time. Milk for everyone, and it's time to brush teeth again.
Three sets of teeth brushed, sippy cups filled with ice water in case it's needed at night, humidifier filled up, and to bed the boys go. Sister gets to stay up a bit later to spend some time with Daddy. I usually get a shower while Sister recaps the day with him.
"Daddy, remember when the curb jumped right in front of mommy's car?"
Seriously...sold out by a 3 year old.
I get out of the shower, and Sister goes to bed. I revisit the laundry, dishes, etc. Nick goes to bed. When I finish my tasks, I make my way to bed. I check on all of the kids, brush the last set of teeth for the night-mine, and finally get to lie down.
I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I took Sister to the doctor by herself this week(Nick met me and watched the boys during his lunch break-unfortunately we have no family in town...but that is a whole different post.) I didn't have to carry a diaper bag, a stroller, entertainment...anything. I only took my purse, AND I got to carry my coffee in. Sister walked in with me, we sat in the chairs and chatted. They called us back, and we walked down the hall. She stepped on the scale, and we walked in the room. Easy Peasy. We talked with the doctor, and left. Word!!!! It was AMAZING!
I lie down in the bed. My legs ache. My eyes burn. I am still tense from the hectic day. But I begin to relax. I finally get comfortable and am soothed by Nick's steady breathing.
"Mommy...." calls Sister.
I listen. Do I get up, or wait for another call? I debate. I am so tired.
But I get up. Because I know that this is only a season of time. And as hard as it is, I will miss it one day. I will lay down in bed with less responsibility and wonder what my children are doing in their own homes. I will wish that Sister would call me and ask me to snuggle.
So I crawl into bed next to Sister, and she starts playing with my hair. And I am content. Because I am enjoying these sweet moments.
We all have hectic moments in time, but lets try to remember to take in the good, in spite of the bad...