Friday, February 28, 2014

One Little Word II {Fail}

Mama: "Owen, don't DRINK that!"
Owen: "Why not?"
Nathan {from across the house}: "DRINK WHAT?!"
Mama: "Owen, don't you DARE dump your Fruit Loops!"
Owen: *dumps cereal while staring me in the eye*
Nathan: "DRINK WHAT?!"
Nathan: *crushes cereal underfoot as he stomps into his bedroom*

Sigh. Of course this happens the night before I scheduled a post with "calm" as the topic.

Remember back in early January, when my posts revolved around plans for the new year? I talked about how I'll become a better person in 365 days via my choice for One Little Word. I also vowed to report back once a month to take an inventory of how I'm doing and share my successes {and struggles} with you. The word I selected for 2014 is calm. I'll let you venture a guess as to how I'm doing.

I am having trouble, y'all. I am catching myself coming and going and I often feel like I can't keep up. I allow my patience to snap and my nerves to thin, and I can become desperate for relief. One bright spot, however, is that it's not constant. There have been moments of calm this February, and those are my small victories. Spare minutes stolen to flip through a magazine or disappear into a book, sunny afternoons on the porch swing, and quiet moments when no one is fighting, no one is yelling, and no one is seconds away from googling Poison Control.

As a matter of fact, despite the heated exchange last night {Laundry detergent, y'all. It was laundry detergent}, we are actually doing well this morning. I've started this post long before the drive to primary school, because my children have been awake, dressed, and ready to roll for the past 30 minutes and still have 15 to spare. All three are watching cartoons as I recline with my cozy blanket sandwiched between my lap and my laptop and a cooling cup of coffee on the side table. Pretty solid definition of CALM in my book.

I'm thankful there are still ten long months left in this challenge to step back and take a deep breath, but I'm starting to realize I'm going about it wrong. I'm an inherently stressed out person. Sometimes I look cool as a cucumber, sometimes I don't, but the majority of the time I'm freaking out on the inside. If my to-do list grows too long, I lose control. If the kids lose their minds simultaneously, I lose control. If the freshly cleaned house is destroyed in thirty seconds flat, I lose control. Control is a tough word for me. I have such a strong obsession with hanging on so tight, that I think it's time to start doing the opposite. I think my calm will come when I let it go.

There is no parenting law that states everything must be perfect. I have a sneaking suspicion if I attempt to release some of these ideals, I will find what I need. I also have to go back to the parenting resolutions I spelled out last year and repeat Number One until it sinks in. I have to realize my kids are just being kids and life will not follow plan. Messes will happen, fights are inevitable, bad decisions are a way of learning, and I can't always be in control.

But I can always pray for long naps. Keep your cool today, y'all. Here's hoping for a happy Friday and an even better weekend. Enjoy your day, snag as many quiet moments as you can, and remain calm. I solemnly swear to do my best.

{Cue perfectly timed Fruit Loops hitting the floor. Who keeps feeding this kid?! One, two, three, four...}

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Adrienne Gilbreath said...

I pray for long naps every day too! Honestly, I do I have prayer journals as proof! I think it's easy to not be calm when we get caught up in how we think things should be.

Jessica Bauer said...

AMEN, Adrienne! I think giving up my idea of "normal" and "right" and "perfect" will do me a world of good in my attempts to calm down. Easier said than done, right??

Karen Weido said...

I think calm would be a very difficult word for me. I too get stressed out way too easily sometimes. I need to work on my calm as well.