The first week of school was kinda rough. Lucy was cutting more teeth, eight to be exact (8!!), all at once, and she was a miserable mess. She cried every day. All.day.long. It hardly mattered if I held her or put her down, gave tylenol or no tylenol, she was wailing.
But at the end of the first day I told my husband, "You know, despite Lucy bawling, it was a great day!" And the next day, and the next.
I was LOVING school.
Was I crazy or something though?! How could I be so "chill" when for all practical purposes it was a less than ideal day? And then it started to dawn on me.
In years past, I had this idea that if everything was perfectly organized, and our day was nice and structured, smoothly flowing from one subject to the next and all children were well behaved, then we'd have an awesome school year. Then I could get to the end of the school day and say, "It was a GREAT day!"
To be very honest, this year I felt less than organized on day one. I had hardly had any prep time to focus and get myself ready for this teaching gig. This year I'd be teaching 5th, 3rd and K-4! But I did what I could and just went with it.
Last year we had more "bad school days" than good ones. By the end of the year I felt like a frazzled mess. I began to realize though that the problem wasn't with the kids or with organization....the problem had been with me. And I started to think, "What changed?"
For years, well really since my oldest was born almost 10 years ago, I have cherished nap time. The time of day when mom got a break and could do what she wanted! And I relished it. But there came a day when my biggers were too old to nap but still, I clung to that "me time." I made them do something quiet and "do not under any circumstances disturb mom!"
We'd rush through our school day so we'd be finished by nap time. If we had to go into nap time it felt like a drudgery...I would be annoyed inside that "once again, mom gets no time to herself!!"
This summer though I began to realize that these are not those days. That these little people were a gift from God to interrupt my selfish plans. That by daily choosing to serve myself I was rejecting such precious time with these littles and one day I would give anything to have it back.
But gradually I began to notice that it wasn't draining anymore. That the afternoons with my bigger kids was really refreshing! Did we have our moments when I did need to send their grumpy selves to just rest or read a book? Absolutely!
The change happened though when I relaxed and welcomed them to all parts of my day. Our day.
And this change in me has had a massive impact on our school days. There is no rush. Of course we try to be diligent and get things accomplished, but it's for the benefit of molding their character, and not for my selfish motivations.
It's difficult to share this. Really, truly. But I don't want you mothers to go through 10 years of motherhood before realizing this. I hope it'll help just one of you not make the same mistakes I have.
Coming to grips with failure is hard, but I'm so thankful that God uses my children to continually expose the ugly places in my heart and life that need so much work.
I hear it every time I go out somewhere with my kids, "Enjoy them while they're little!" Those wise grandmas and grandpas know what they are talking about.
These really are the days, mama's. Let's enjoy them while they last!