Goodness In A Haystack

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We all have our days, but I’ve found that while raising young children those days seem to line up all together as opposed to being sporadically dispersed throughout life. Usually it’s not a big thing, just a million little things that add up as the day goes on. I hope you can relate, or at least get a laugh out of my daily routine. Honestly my days are usually more chaotic than this, I’m just dishing out the basics.

By 6am I’m waking up, quietly scooting away from my 3 year old who somehow snuck into our bed….again.  8am arrives and I’ve packed lunches, backpacks, made breakfast, dressed everyone, and double checked shoes are at the door ready for take off. I’ve handled 3 arguments with Sam who’s in the “boss” stage. I’ve had at least 1 theological/historical discussion with my 7 year old, and fed my baby far more than her little body should be able to hold. Seriously she’s incredible. I’ve even put in Josh’s contact, which is nothing I wish on anyone.

After dropping off Josh to school, the 3 of us drive into town, about a 30 minute drive. While I’d love to spend that time listening to my favorite podcast, I am determined to be honest here. Most days those 30 minutes are spent calming down a crying kid who freaked out over not getting his way. Today it was the fact that I didn’t know where he lost his bouncy ball in the car. He demanded I find it, and when I couldn’t find it, he escalated into yelling, kicking, calling me stupid, the works. I pulled over half way to town, gave him a timeout, and continued on my way. Needless to say by the time I got to the gym and my friends casually say, “Hey how are you,” it’s literally the best I can do to smile and say just okay instead of  letting loose and dramatically explaining my morning. One thing I hold firm on. Never speak badly about your children, even if you think they are too young to understand you. Never.

Coming home to a house to clean, bills to pay, a pto meeting to plan for, and a dinner to prep for is typical.  Showers don’t happen until nap time, so that’s a thing too. I’m a huge fan of productivity, but I’ve been known to add too many thing to a day, sometimes leaving me a little on edge.  A theatrical nap time happens as I redirect Sam at least 18 times until he’s finally in bed and we are reading a book. Next I get to work on my to-do list. Do you like how I said I “get to”?

 The kids get up from nap and we pick up Josh from school. Now it’s homework time. Next I start getting dinner ready and feel like my day is starting to end, but the truth is I have a lot more day left. There’s the eat “your dinner” battle, the “but I had it first” ensnarement and the ever so popular “I’m not even tired” debate.

By the time all 3 are in bed and I’m finally sitting down on the couch, it can be hard to find the good in the day. I’m emotionally drained from the work it takes to keep your cool when your kids explode. I usually have at least 2 things left on my to-do list that didn’t get done, and they weigh on me.

Finding the “good” in a day can be as hard as finding a needle in a haystack. Okay, harder. Especially when I decided not to drink coffee this month.

For me the good in a day can be as little as the sweet moment reading a story with my son before nap. Those 5 minutes we got along and really bonded. The part where Rori pointed to her nose when I asked her where her nose was. Even the deep discussions Josh had with me this morning. Those were all really good.

 Some days I have to LOOK for the good, the value, the redeeming factor in the day. It always boils down to the little things, just like it’s the little things that can set me on edge. Be encouraged when you walk in the bathroom to find the entire roll of toilet paper undone and the baby smiling as she plays in the pee water (since the boys forget to flush). Stay calm when your child has a huge meltdown in the middle of the grocery store causing you to leave a cart full of food and go home. Remember to laugh when you realize you left your wallet at home as you’re pulling into the gas station and just promised the kids some smoothies if they’re well behaved.

Turn your lemons into the sweetest lemonade and enjoy these moments while they’re here.

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