I. Am. So. Tired. I am recalling the sleepless nights with Ryder when he was first born. I always felt foggy. I wouldn’t trade the time I was up with him. He would look me right in the eyes while I nursed him or sang to him. It was real bonding. But…it was also really hard.
This new dog of ours is up every two hours. She potties outside in the dark and in the cold, which means I am in pajamas, boots, and holding a flashlight as I coach her to pee. Then she eats. Next she plays for a bit. She potties again and then she is asleep. It’s enough activity to make going back to sleep difficult for me and I never sleep long enough to get that good, quality REM cycle we all love so much.
She is cute and that certainly helps, but my right eyeball has developed a twitch and my eyes have bags so big you’d think they were headed on a month-long cruise. Newborn mamas with other school-aged children this is my salute to you. You, dear, are a beast.
Along with the eye issues comes my grumpiness. My tone is a little different and I have not been as snuggly with my husband. He is super hot, so that is a crazy thing to even imagine, but it is the truth. I am borderline in survival mode, but I want a dog that is house trained and obedient, so the work is neccessary.
The boys absolutely love her. The girls have gushed over how little and cute the dog is. The girls are very gentle with the new puppy, who weighs maybe three pounds if that. Carmen even held her like a baby. The boys have always had big dogs and older puppies. They scare me to death near this tiny little thing!
Jaxon has flipped around and nearly squashed her so many times. Ryder didn’t understand that it was not a great idea to carry her by the belly or the neck. Our puppy, Dolly, is a trooper. I have yelled, “No!” “Please just put her down!” and “I really don’t want you to kill this puppy.”
While I have been so concerned about the way that Dolly has been handled, I have spent my morning worrying about the way I was handling my household. I do not like to yell and I do not feel good about it when I do. Spirited children live here. That has always been the case. Dolly is simply new and a lot of work.
I considered how the boys may feel about me verbalizing my worry about them killing their new dog. Maybe I could have said that a little more gently. Maybe my tone didn’t have to be loud. I always beat myself up for yelling. I know you do too. If you meet a mom who says she has never yelled at her children, please find an extinguisher for her britches. We have all been there.
This morning the sermon was on emotions. The message was about whether or not you owned your emotions or if they owned you. My exhaustion may have caused me to temporarily lose my footing and those emotions were probably owning me. The sermon also described a way to use your emotions to serve. Be convicted or concerned. Be sad or happy or even outraged, but use it to bless someone else.
The pastor said that if we have a firm foundation what happens on the surface won’t shake us nearly as much, so this morning I dug into the word. I reflected on my opportunities to respond differently. When the boys handled the dog in a mindful, gentler way, I celebrated it. I told them I could tell they were getting better with such a small animal and that I knew it was hard to control their excitement. I also told the boys that I knew they loved Dolly.
I was met with smiles. With those smiles, came a relief to my mama heart. I love happy kids and as much as I love this pooch, those kids are my first and foremost. That husband of mine is the king of my heart. I know there is a way to make all sorts of moving parts work as a well-oiled machine. I know this because typically that is what this house is. My home is manageable, productive volume and chaos. Not just plain old volume and chaos.
When I allow myself to be human, I feel enough grace to become objective. I am able to work towards the goal that matters because I can step away long enough from the problem to reevaluate and prioritize what I value. We can all fit. All of our quirks, bad days, sleeplessness, and agitation can still be used to reach our happy, balanced, kind home.
God put me exactly where He wanted me and I got the message. I am grateful to have a Father to teach me and lead me on the right path. I am even grateful for the moments that make me see my own humanity because I realize how much more I need Him. This chapter is temporary, but the memories are not. I always want them to be good ones! I got my footing. I got my grip. I am back in ownership and ready to move forward.
Mama, if you catch yourself feeling overwhelmed or tired, I hope that you call on your Father. If you are beating yourself up, I hope you know that you’re not alone. When we catch ourselves slipping quickly and we are driven and humble enough to modify behaviors, our children benefit. You’re doing a great job. You are the mama. You are who God gave to the children in your home. He has already called and qualified you. Find rest in that.
2 Timothy 2:19
But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”