Monday, April 12, 2010

Crabby

I got up late.
I slept too little.
I am tired and I am worn and I need a break.

Today, all of it feels like discipline. Getting up. Being a good mom. Making breakfast, driving to school, giving kisses, offering patience. I want to put on a happy face but this morning, I am not feeling it at all.

The weather keeps flip-flopping and my kids are squirrely and my house is loud and the laundry is undone and no matter how hard I try, I cannot keep up. The noise... oh, the noise. Some days listening to my precious little ones laugh and play out loud makes me smile inside and out. But some days, like THIS day, the constant nature of the talking and yelling and yes, even the laughing is like nails on a chalkboard and I am aching for some little bit of peace.

I hate days like this. I hate feeling sour and crabby. I hate when I fall short of my own expectations... to be a good wife, a loving mom, a woman of grace and truth. Knowing I am not being the person I want to be makes the whole thing a lot worse. It makes me sink down into this hole of mine and wallow in the muck within. Does this ever happen to you?

So today, once the kids were at school, I went to the gym and complained to Mark that I really didn't want to go. I got on the cross-trainer and set the level and started to work out a bit. I gave myself a little slack. One level less than yesterday felt a lot like a gift on a crabby day. I met my goal and headed to floor to stretch. Everything was so tight... so wound up... gently pulling and pushing released a bit and then off I went to the machines. I lifted and lowered and squeezed and squatted and left when I'd had enough. Listening to what I needed helped an awful lot. Leaving the gym, I felt a little bit better... I was working from the outside in.

Once home, I putzed at some business matters, returned email and spent a few minutes searching the Internet for supplements (vitamins) I might be lacking. Every supplement that I read about we had on hand and I went to the kitchen to take some vitamins and handle this awful emotion from the inside out.

I took a shower... and took my time... and found clothes that felt comfortable and used lotions I love. A little bit of pampering goes a very long way. And all the while I talked to God... asked Him to help me out.

"This isn't how I want to be..."

"My family deserves so much more..."

"I want to feel better and more grateful today..."

And slowly, it started to lift... the fog of day was wafting away and I started to feel more like me. Now, truly... the day was far from perfect and the fatigue stayed with me throughout. But, I found a little relief there... a little break from the crabby that had been weighing me down.

So, there you are. Do you feel crabby today? Are you left with less choices because your arms are still full or you have a little one still at your feet? Yes, my break from my children was a wonder today but it was not what helped me out.

When was the last time you asked yourself, "What do I need?" and then waited patiently for the answer to arise? Take a breath, my friend... and wonder a sec. What do you need? Our lives are full and we are busy but the fact remains that those things that we need are not born of selfishness. Our needs are born from our created selves. Because, the truth is we are here to offer ourselves up... and to allow ourselves to take in. It is not a matter of right and wrong... it is a matter of how we are made. So really... what is it? What do you need today?

When I had four little ones, all at home, I found myself weary a lot. Sure, I loved those days and the memories are warm, but goodness, I was all worn out! For me, it took very little to start to feel a bit better inside... a minute alone, a good cup of coffee or a treat from a drive-thru... all of it went a long way for me. I have even gone so far as to buy my favorite chocolates and hide them away in a cabinet so that when I needed a little treat, I knew it would be there to enjoy. During the crazy season, little things meant a lot and I tried to build them into our busy days.

There are so many things that throw us off. Expectations dashed. Undesired behavior. Crazy schedules. Hormonal shifts. All of it hits us and all of it matters and all of it can make us feel a little (or a lot) crabby sometimes. And that's okay. We have earned those days. But, I know for myself, that I don't want to sit there. I don't want to wallow away. And when it hits, we have to have a plan... an idea... about what might just help us to handle it all.

One more thing... cut yourself some slack. If you are having a day when it all seems dark, it might be okay to allow your kiddos to watch an extra program, play with some play dough or spend some time doing something you might otherwise limit a lot. Sometimes, you have to do what you have to do to get through the day. And that is really just fine. It's not everyday, my friend. It's just for now. To help you out. Because that is what you need.

So, let's take a deep breath together. Some days are hard and some are not. If you find yourself having one of those days, do what you need to do. Give yourself a break, have your hubby bring home take-out, stick your feet in your little one's bath. Tomorrow is another day... a better one, I bet. You and I hope for that together.

Blessings on your day...

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