Keeping calm while raising five kids with my husband deployed overseas is not easy. I wake up every morning thinking, “I can do this! Today will be the day… I will not lose my patience, I will keep calm. The trouble is, right after my alarm goes off and I wake up, so does everyone else. Two babies are screaming for food, one teenager is trying to get just one more minute of sleep, my ten year old gets distracted by everything while trying to get ready, and my seven year old basically makes me pull her out of her bed, refusing to help, laying there limp. It causes me stress! “We’ve got to get going, we can’t be late for school,” I say. Breakfast needs to be eaten, lunches need to be made, backpacks stuffed with library books and binders, and of course teeth brushed, hair brushed, and shoes tied. Everyone, in the truck! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go! Nobody in our family moves very fast in the mornings. I am always trying to get us to hurry up!
I would love to have easy mornings where I leisurely wake up, make some coffee, read my Bible, and calmly wake each child a few times giving them each an extra few minutes to wake up slowly, but that is just not the season of life that we are in right now. There was a time when that used to happen occasionally, but this is not that time. Right now our mornings are rush, rush, rush. The worst part is feeling guilty about all of this. Why is it that motherhood comes with so much guilt? Why can’t I give myself a break? I wouldn’t judge any other mother for having mornings like mine, so why am I so harsh with myself?
Next week, I’m going to try really hard to embrace the crazy and let go of my high expectations. Maybe I’ll turn on some tunes and we’ll blast worship music to get us going. Maybe I’ll learn how to pre-program the coffee maker, so that I can still get that cup of coffee I so desperately need in the mornings. And maybe, just maybe, I will give myself a break!