Parenting Over-Time Comes to an End

I was feeling pretty icky to start the new year.  There is so much holiday from October through December, I tend to end up feeling lazy, over-stuffed, unproductive and completely out of sorts.  It is not a good feeling.  Not at all.  

I feel this, properly, represents my mood...especially the t-rex.  How have I never seen these sculptures before?!!

Yet...I don't seem to be able to break the cycle, no matter what I try.

The crazy weather patterns around here don't help.  We, literally, went from mid-50 degrees to single digits in one day.  Not that I'm complaining about the 50's!!  It just feels as chaotic as the rest of my life, and I will admit: Even I require some level of routine and consistency to cope my way through this confounding life.

The free-for-all of the past two weeks has NOT suited me well.  And if you never once, during the break, had to storm through the house in the middle of the night to erupt upon your child,  "SHUT UP AND GO TO SLEEP!" then I can assure are doing better than me.  (For the record "shut up" does happen to be a curse phrase around here.  I just seem to be slipping so much these days.)

There will be backlash for posting this...if he happens to find out.  

Parenting!!  If you let it get to you, it will drive you mad, I'm telling you.  Mom guilt is a thing, and there are too many people there who would eagerly add to yours (whether deliberately or unintentionally; blatantly or, even worse, indirectly).  Don't fall for it, my friends!  If you care; if you communicate with them; if you worry whether you are doing it right or doing enough; if you admit your mistakes and have the capacity to apologize; if, most of the time, you are giving it your all...then I say you are doing alright.  Keep hanging in there and hang on to those friends who offer you grace and empathy.

It made me feel a little bit better today, as I sat on my couch watching church, when the young pastor admitted he also doesn't feel much "break" in the context of the Christmas season.  For parents, "Christmas break" just isn't the right term.  Change of routine, maybe.  All out chaos...if you are anything like me.  But "break" only tends to describe what my kids are currently experiencing. "Christmas Overtime" might better describe my plight.

As it turns out, in the same service, we sang a song about giving God my "Ebenezer."  So, I have decided at least SOMEONE out there can empathize with me, and that's really all I ever ask.

Close friends are the truest blessing!

Whatever the weather, we have endured the storm.  My boys have one more day of freedom.  I start my new job in the morning!!  Thankfully, it is a slow roll out.  I will have a chance to get my bearings as I walk into the new role.  I have enough to get started, but not enough to walk straight into burnout.  So...yay!  

Along with church, I took the opportunity to turn my mood around with a few of my other coping strategies.  I made time to sit in the sunny window and read.  I allowed myself time to craft.  I dragged my body onto the treadmill and did what I could.  (Something is ALWAYS better than nothing.  Right?!!)  And I treated myself to a long, slow shower and self care has been WAY more than a minute.  Ahhhhh!

All in all, I'm closing the season feeling pretty decent.  We've had our ups and downs, our victories and failures, our frustrations and storms.  (Real is never as easy and wonderful as they make it look on tv or Facebook.  Or Snap Chat for the younger readers...) But, if I force myself to focus on the whole of my own experience (all comparisons set aside!), there are as many valleys as there are mountains, and I am without complaint.  

We will overcome the's all part of life.

Can I get an amen?

For the record, we have officially admitted (as a family) that Jesse is my dog.  While remotely frustrating and immensely is what it is.  I am the chosen one.  The fact revealed itself rather quickly, I just spent a significant amount of time in denial.  

As move out date slowly comes onto our horizon, I will no longer hope Jesse is part of that team.  The burden (and blessing...depends on how you look at it...) is mine.

Did you REALLY think Evan would have allowed him to leave, anyway???  I was fooling myself.

Happy New Year, my friends!  I hope you have managed at least as much time for rejuvenation as myself, and may your night, your week and your year be blessed!  (Personally, I am simply praying for "peaceful and uneventful," however unlikely.)

In Christ,