“He punched me and called me Dumb!”
“I had it first!”
“Woof woof woof – woof woof – howl – woof” — “The dogs need to be walked.”
“He’s not playing the game right!”
(I’m a cute squirt, mama, but I’m just screaming and crying because it’s loud and I know you can’t stand it and it drives everyone else crazy and and and I’m just going to keep screaming and crying just because)
“Where are my keys?” “My phone?” “My wallet?” “My glasses?”
“Can so-and-so come over to play even though I’m not done with my chores?”
“I’m SOooooo hungry and I need food right now or I’m gonna die!”
“Meow-meow-meow-meow” — “The cats are clawing the curtains again!”
Honk honk honk “We’re running late!”
Ring, ring, ring –
“I need a bandaid here and here and here!”
“I can’t STAAAAAAAAND doing my schoolwork!”
“Oh NO I just broke something and you’re gonna KILL me, mama…”
~ The loudest, spitting-est, most animated and excited sound effects you can imagine, accompanied by the biggest array of weapons you could think up — used against each other in battle, usually ‘to the death’ (even though I always remind them they are supposed to only knock the opponent out or put them in jail rather than kill them, they always end up dead) ~
“Play with me, mama! Be my airplane!”
“I had an accident and need a bath.”
“Let’s blast ‘Tonight, Tonight’ while we jump on the couch and into the air and land on the bean bag unless we land on each other first!”
“I just tracked mud in again…”
“it isn’t fairrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!”
“No one likes me! Everybody hates me!” (And my first thought to this one is to want to sing, ‘Guess I’ll go eat worms…’ Remember that song?)
Aye-aye-aye woe is me and oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!
As a wife and mother (and everything else in between that comes along with the territory), it is really difficult to find even a few moments of peace, quiet, meditation, or relaxation — just a moment in time when you don’t have a bunch of people using you as a jungle gym or screaming at the top of their lungs or needing something that only you seem to be able to give them or breaking up fights or making sack lunches or cleaning up messes or OR OR OR OR OR!
I just want to be able to breathe. That’s all I want. To breathe and feel the stress and tension release out of my rock-hard shoulders. To think. Or to NOT think.
Don’t get me wrong, please. I absolutely love being a wife and a mother. I love having dogs and cats. I love having a house to take care of and maintain. I love having some land to try to work with. I love teaching my kids, learning more myself every day, and having opportunities all the time to practice patience, kindness, and love. I couldn’t be more amazed by my best friend and husband and all he does in his life for us and with us. I love to have chances to serve — and yes, even when that means scrubbing the toilets.
But I do get lost quite often in the noise, chaos, and neediness of my world around me. And it is really hard to step outside of that and make a moment happen where I can just be. I long for some peace and quiet. For a chance to just let go, and not have to worry about anything.
But will that ever happen? Will my life ever be such that I could do that? I don’t know. Probably not. But I suspect that even if it ever did happen, I would be sad in some ways. I would probably miss this absolute craziness.
So. How to make some sanity happen right now? I would love suggestions and ideas from anyone who has made it happen. In the meantime, what I sometimes try to do is:
Count to 10 (or 20…).
Try to listen more and react less.
Spend a longer time in the bathroom.
Get up a little earlier and make a few minutes of time for myself before everyone else is awake (this rarely happens, unfortunately).
Try to make sure I go outside at least once every day in the sunshine or cool, crisp wind or soft rain or stillness or stars. And breathe.
Call a friend.
Of course I have to admit to things like Pinterest, Facebook, random Google searches, allrecipes.com, etc.
Once in a while I get to go on a date with Mike.
Once in a while I get to go on a date with just one of my squirts.
Write in my journal (like…once every two months).
Talk to a sibling.
On the rare occasion, I take a little nap.
Sometimes I watch part of a movie or documentary.
These are all things that I have done and sometimes currently do in order to not spontaneously combust when all of the craziness of raising four rowdy boys, a baby girl, four pets, and of course I have to add in my husband — get to me. And earlier I did not even mention things like extended family responsibilities and needs, things that need to happen with church jobs, with service, all the homeschooling things we do, community participation, emergencies that come up, helping Mike with his job sometimes, & & & &…
Sometimes I wonder how I/we have survived this far.
And then I remember.
I remember that I know that I am a special, beloved daughter of God. I remember that I get to go to church every Sunday morning, and there I get to partake of the sweetness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I remember that the Scriptures tell me that I will not be given more than I can handle as long as I don’t try to do it alone. As long as I do it with the Lord’s help. And that I can have the Lord’s Spirit with me to guide me, comfort me, and help me feel His love.
I remember that millions have gone before me, and have succeeded. I remember that even on the very hardest days, it could always be worse. I remember that I am so very, very blessed with so many good things in my life to be grateful for. I remember that no matter how discouraged I might get, or how much I might feel like I am failing in one or two or five or eight or 20 of my responsibilities, that I am stronger than I think I am, and can make it.
I remember that I can always and should always pray, every day, several times a day, for strength and energy and understanding and focus and patience and love. I remember that I am here for a very specific purpose, that there is a plan for myself and my family, and that I am never alone.
I remember that we were not put on this earth to merely survive, but to thrive. So I try to focus on good things. I try to look for brightness and sunshine in every situation I can. I try to have fun. I make silly faces. I sing silly songs. I try to care less about what other people think of me.
Sometimes all of this works, and sometimes it doesn’t work as well as I would like it to. But I will never stop trying at it, even the seemingly mundane, everyday stuff that makes up my life right now. I believe that I chose this life before I came to earth. That even when a really big challenge comes, that I knew at least about some of it before hand, and that I was prepared to take it on, work through it, learn from it, and come out on top.
So, in a way, I already know that I can do it. And not only that I can do it, but that it is possible to do it well. And to not go crazy in the process. I just need to make a few minutes for myself every day, and never lose sight of who I am.
And that this is all worth it.