Perhaps this morning would remain peaceful after all
I cringed when he put on his pants backwards. Normally I wouldn’t have said anything, but it was Sunday. So I gently asked him, “Your pants are on backwards. Can we turn them around?”
“Sure,” he responded cheerfully. I hesitated. Was this a trick? Was he going to start screaming the instant I tried to turn his pants around?
“May I help you?” I asked tentatively.
“Sure!” Enthusiasm. I breathed a sigh of relief.
I decided there was no use in Resisting
I managed to get all three children into their church clothes and I even managed to do my makeup in the bathroom (as opposed to in the vehicle). We were ready to go 15 minutes early. This is such a rare occurrence that the children thought it was time to get their shoes on a buckle in. My husband came in from morning chores and, instead having to help me finish getting children dressed and rushing out the door, he heard me urging the children to slow down.
A Little Wiggling
We arrived at church and the boys (the two who can walk anyway) ran into the sanctuary and sat down on the bench. A little wiggling is to be expected from a 6 and 3 year old but they weren’t distracting anyone, not even me. Before the pastor started his long prayer, I prepared myself. “There is the exit and I can reach it in about 15 steps. Put the baby in the sling right now and note the location of the diaper bag so I’m ready to go if one of the kids start to lose it.”
No Emergency Exit!
Other than my 6 year old laying down on the bench and my 3 year old not closing his eyes, prayer time went off without a hitch. No emergency exit for the third week in a row, a new record! Well, the baby was so chatty that I put my hand over his mouth to muffle his adorable words. (Which only led to giggling from him as he licked my hand.) But he is young and easily forgiven. And he will mature.
A year ago, my then 2 year old couldn’t sit still or keep quiet. I would bring him to the nursery but had to stay with him as he did not do well without me. My husband had to stay with our then 5 year old in Sunday school because he wasn’t quite ready to be left without a family member. It felt pointless to go most weeks because neither of us could even stay to listen to the sermon. So we often didn’t go.
Time Changes Things
It is amazing how time can change things. All those week (years actually) when we felt like we would never be able to live “normal” lives because we were too busy raising (running after) children seem to be fading into the past. Those years when we couldn’t go to church, or a restaurant, or on a date, or into the grocery store, without it being a HUGE (and draining) event. For the first time in about 5 years I can sit next to my husband and not have to juggle children because the older two are in Sunday school. (Oh right, I do have a baby in my arms but going from 3 to 1 is way easier. Until the baby starts wanting to run….) I never thought this day would come.
My Favorite Advice?
There were times when I felt like I would be in the “newborn haze” forever. But it doesn’t last. Sleep comes (eventually). Kids learn to pitch in with housework. They learn to manage their personal hygiene. They even learn to feed themselves. The heavily hands on phase of parenting passes. My favorite advice to give to moms who are at the beginning of their mothering marathon is that “this is a phase, this too shall pass.” If you are feeling stuck at this phase and are having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, take hope. Your goal right now is to survive and keep the kids alive. Rest will come.