Friday, January 22, 2016


Some weeks go by easily without me noticing. Other weeks feel endless; They are filled with commitments and to do lists and discipline issues and messes and...well...too much. This is one of those weeks.

I decided to book a sitter for the entire day so that I could catch up on a bunch of things that had been waiting for my time and attention. I looked forward to it. I made a list of things to do for the next High Risk Hope delivery. I made a list of people to call and appointments to make. I made a list of all I needed to do to plan and coordinate two of my kids birthdays that are coming up. When my sitter arrived, I was off like a shot.

I moved throughout the day at a frenzied pace crossing things off my lists and feeling such a sense of accomplishment. By the end of the day I was tired. Done. Ready to relax. I headed home to see my beautiful kids and make some dinner but I walked into chaos. Popcorn was strewn on the garage floor. Cups and bowls were scattered everywhere. The math work and thank you notes I had left for my oldest to do remained undone. Suddenly, I had so much more to do.

I hugged everyone, took a deep breath then started barking orders. "Luke, you've got to get your math done, bud. Sit down at the table and get to work. Drew! Can you please clean up the popcorn in the garage?"

"What popcorn?" he said as he spun in circles in the middle of the kitchen. 
"The popcorn in the garage. Here's a bag. Go clean it up, please." I sighed and started grabbing the ingredients for dinner.
"UP! Want UP!" my daughter screeched. I hoisted her onto my hip and then plopped her onto the counter while I started cooking. I looked up and saw my oldest staring at the chandelier and not focusing on math. "Bud - You've got to focus. What does the next problem say?" 
"Mommy? Um, excuse me Mommy. I can't find any popcorn on the floor." my four year old said, still spinning in circles.
My shoulders tensed until I felt this gentle little baby cheek on my shoulder. My daughter's little arms wrapped as far around me as they could go and she began rubbing my back gently. I felt the tension begin to seap out of me.

"You know, don't you? You know just what to do to make Mommy feel better." I pulled her in for a real hug and whispered, "thank you." When I released her from the hug, I saw the scene differently. I saw three kids that had missed their mom instead of a bunch of messes I had to deal with. "Guys, I'm sorry I was so crabby."

"That okay," my four year old said as he fell into my leg for a hug. 

The math got done, dinner was prepared and the popcorn was cleaned up but it all happened at a much gentler pace. There was conversation as we worked and encouraging words for their accomplishments. There was a play-doh break and a race track break. There were more hugs and less frustration. All of this happened because my little girl met me where I was at and loved me through it.

She taught me so much in that little moment. She taught me that sometimes, you just have to understand. You have to reach out and hold their hand, rub their back, wipe their tears. And she taught me how important it is to focus on people rather than tasks. Yes, it gets overwhelming sometimes. Yes, we do have to do the laundry and answer that call and cook that dinner. But, as my mom always says, attitude is everything. If we approach these things with a sense of frustration, that will bleed through into our relationships. I'd much rather get less done and have a happy house. Wouldn't you?

Do you feel a lot of pressure to get things done? How can you bring your eyes up from your list and onto the people you love the most?

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