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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Throwing My "Mom-ostat" In Check

Every day I am faced with choices. Some choices are simple and some are quite tricky. Some are made when I'm in a great mood and some are made when I'm ____ {mad, sad, stressed, running late, annoyed, tired, un-caffeinated, pms-ing, you catch my drift}.

It's funny how I understand how important my decisions are. One tiny error in judgement can send my day, or at least part of it, into a whirl. I understand this, but I forget. I mess up. I snap. I sigh and shake my head. I get way too worked up. I forget to look UP and ask for help.

This morning could have very well, been one of those mornings when I would "forget" what I should do. It had all the right ingredients to create a complete disaster of my day. Let me share with you a brief, bullet-point version of the morning's happenings to help you understand.

  • Eliana, who normally wakes at 7 am, wakes at 6:30. {yawn}
  • My Keurig is acting wonky and is unwilling to brew a full cup of coffee {ugh}
  • Alex wakes up and declares he is NOT going to school today {no, I'm not rewriting and already written book.}
  • I have less than 45 minutes to get myself together, get children dressed, get breakfast fed, and pack up enough to entertain us all for our morning. {I have Bible study, Eliana has a class to go to for childcare, Alex has preschool.}
  • Alex doesn't want breakfast {seriously?}
  • Eliana is getting into my makeup while I deal with Alex {sigh}
  • Alex wants to watch a quick show before school and I see that we can squeeze one in. It may just help me gather our things to get out the door. {yes, he did eat breakfast}
  • I have no idea where the dvd remote is. It's been missing for weeks.
  • Alex only wants to watch the bonus episode on the DVD and I can't navigate the player to get to the menu.
  • Alex is having a tantrum and still doesn't want to go to school.
  • Eliana is crying because she doesn't like to see anyone upset.
  • I'm saying to myself. "It's all OK, we can deal with this. Keep pressing on..."
  • I grab my cell phone to find out I forgot to charge it and it's dead. {with the way this morning is going, I don't think it's wise to leave without a phone handy.}
  • I pack up our bags for our classes
  • Alex is now jumping up and down screaming because he doesn't like school and he can't watch the bonus episode. 
  • I stop.
In that moment of high levels of noise, ticking clocks reminding me I'm running late, unhappy children, and stress creeping up on me, I stopped. I stopped and looked at the tears on my son's face. I couldn't give him what he wanted because I didn't know how...but then I realized that it wasn't about the show anymore. "Alex. Can I give you a hug?" I asked as I knelt down.

He sniffled and nodded his head so I pulled him in and wrapped my arms around him.

I began to whisper, "Alex, you mean so much to me and I can't even begin to tell you how much I love you." I said a few things more and after that, it was like I hit a switch. He was calm. I was calm. Eliana was calm. Everything we needed was gathered and I remembered I had another phone that I could put my sim card in. {It just happened to have a full battery.}

I looked again at the clock and nodded to myself. We were going to be late and that was OK. The most important people to my heart felt loved before we left our home and that was all that mattered to me. If I had forgotten something I "needed" or sent Alex into his class later than the rest of his friends, I was fine with that. Because I knew I didn't "fail" this morning.

I had, in fact, succeeded. I did it right. I threw the clock and it's stresses out the window and loved on my kids.

And do you know what? Alex marched into his classroom with a HUGE smile on his face, ready for his day. And he actually had a really great time there. Eliana was excited to play with people her own size and enjoyed cheerios with them. I was able to sit with some moms I know and answer "I'm doing great, thanks" when asked how I was doing. {And I was actually telling the truth!}

I miss this so often but this morning I remembered to check my "Mom-ostat" and make adjustments to keep my home at peace. I once heard that a mom is the thermostat of her home and everyone reacts accordingly. That old adage of  "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" isn't too far from the truth. If I'm stressed and allowing myself to become angry or pushy, my children will become the same way. But if I take the time to stop and gauge where everyone is at on the happiness scale, I can change everything about the way they feel...and I feel.

I thank God that we made it through a hectic time and got where we needed to get, albeit late, safely. Since making the choice to stop and let everything else go, I have felt joyful and my children have been acting as if they feel the same. Thank goodness that He grants wisdom when I need it most.

Have you checked your "mom-ostat" lately?



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