Life is in the Interruptions

Interruptions, oh how I am constantly being interrupted. Many days I do not sit down to eat until two o’clock…. By the time I feed the baby, prepare my daughter’s meal, then take her to the bathroom, change the baby’s diaper, get them both down for naps at the SAME TIME! (That’s my goal anyway!)

Interruptions are a way of life. It took me 34 years to figure that out!  I hope this helps you know that before 34 years!  I have finally come to expect that I will never be able to complete one task in a day, or at least not while I have a three year old and a baby.  It is just…not… happening.  I try, oh, how I try. I start to unload the dishwasher, then it’s “Mommy, I need to go potty”.  I try again, then the baby starts crying. Then the dog needs to go out. Then I turn my back, and my daughter is handing her seven month old brother paper to chew on and hard peppermints within his reach! (I know, I should have moved the peppermints! Don’t worry, I did after that!)

I have finally just decided to accept my interrupted life. That’s not a bad thing. I’ve decided to change my perspective. If you can’t change the circumstance, then change the way you look at things. When I look at my children as interruptions, then my day goes much smoother.  I expect to be interrupted every five minutes.  And that’s OKAY. This is just a season. My children need me now, they will not always need me. God made me to be their mom, the dishes can wait.

I often think this is how Jesus felt. He was constantly interrupted as well. He was constantly giving, with very little in return.  I wonder if he ever got frustrated?

Just this evening, I was actually sweeping the floors (this is a rarity in my house! Who has time for that?).  My daughter was “helping”, and by helping I mean sweeping my piles of dirt out of their piles in order that I had to sweep again! She was trying to be helpful. It’s really my fault for showing her how and buying her a mini broom. (Yes, I did!) How often were people trying to help Jesus, and they just made it worse. What did Jesus do in those moments?

I think so many times we focus on life in between the interruptions, on the tasks on hand. We so often forget that Life is IN the interruptions.  Our life is those little interruptions:  the baby crying in the night, sticky hands hugging you, tears that need wiping, knees that need to be kissed and cleaned. Our life is in those phone calls from a friend who needs you. Or perhaps it’s in putting down your electronics to look your spouse in the eye. Maybe it’s the person in the hall at work or school who is lost, just needing directions and guidance. Take Martha, for instance. She was a busy woman, and I think she may have been a little resentful of Mary. Mary was her interruption. She had to stop what she was doing to go ask Mary to help. I can relate.  BUT, Jesus had it more right. He delighted in the interruption. He saw Mary’s heart and accepted her. He loved her. He loved Martha too; he just needed her to stop and slow down, to take joy in the interruption.

I’m not saying I’m great at this. Not in the least.  I am a work in progress, and I am just praying along the way that I don’t screw my kids up too bad.  I probably would have been a Martha. But when I look back on my life, I want to remember what I did with my life of interruptions.

Remember, Life is in the interruptions.

What interruptions have you had today?

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When All You Can Do is Laugh

An adorable mess of constant exhaustion and joy. (See the dog in the background staying out of her way! Smart dog)
An adorable mess of constant exhaustion and joy. (See the dog in the background staying out of her way! Smart dog)

I am exhausted.  It is all I can do to make it through my day lately.  Between being 9 months pregnant and chasing an exhausting toddler who has been very belligerent to my admittedly increasingly impatient self, I don’t know how full time working moms or dads do it. I really don’t.  You have all my respect and compassion. I only work 24 hours a week (at an “away from home job”). I often say I work harder at home then at work. I can’t  clock out and leave my job at home, it is always there, with mountains of laundry ever mounting, dog hair blanketing my floor, a sink that constantly needs cleaning, and mouths that need to be fed. When I do get my floors clean, I turn around and see every single book off the bookshelf on the ground. My toddler’s latest pastime is clearing out all the contents of her drawers that she can reach during “rest time”.  I know that these are things I will laugh at one day, and I do laugh at them even now, because sometimes that is all you can do, laugh or cry. I need to choose to laugh.

This week has been an especially rough week, with constant reprimands to my independent and stubborn toddler and the stress of getting ready for our upcoming baby.  A recap for the week:  My toddler, while at daycare colored on the walls, and then the next day at daycare, she pushed a baby down on the ground (not a reassuring fact considering we are about to have an even tinier baby in our own household).  Just today, we have had at least three moments of disciplinary actions and two to three temper tantrums, one while in a store. Three temper tantrums total in public this week, one in a public library which ended in me dragging my screaming two year out of the library, one in which she was throwing merchandise on the floor which resulted in a battle of wills and a public sit down, and the last one where she just laid down on the ground and screamed (which was short lived thankfully). Most of these were from sheer disobedience and others admittedly from this momma already being on a short fuse and not having much patience for two year olds these days.  (Pray for my patience and to not be too hard on my two year old or my poor hubby).

Not to say there have not been sweet moments, because of course there have been, moments of us all playing with play dough together, a nice reprieve from the heat to enjoy a leisurely walk, and time to play outside without melting in the hot southern sun. Moments of tickles and moments of  laughter while flying through the air with her daddy. Moments where she says “I help mommy” .  I don’t even mention all the above to air my complaints, but rather in hopes that I am not the only crazy pregnant mommy and to hope I can encourage you to laugh instead of cry when nothing seems to be going smoothly. (although there are moments where all I wanted to do this week was cry) Sometimes all we can do is get through the day and take things one day at a time. I am all about trying to find routines and lists and stick to them, but sometimes that is just is not possible.  And believe me, I have been trying. I have finally decided that this is not a season in life for me to stick to a strict routine, perhaps one day that day will come or perhaps that just does not fit my lifestyle.

I keep trying to compare myself to stay at home moms who homeschool their children and I am not that kind of mom. I have no desire to homeschool, ever. I don’t see that changing, though I do try to keep an open mind, but right now, nope, not going to happen. I don’t fit in with the home school moms or stay at home moms, because I have an outside job. I don’t fit in with the working moms, because I only work part time, and the rest of the time is spent with my child.  I can relate to aspects of both and yet not relate to either group. For those of you out there who are in the same boat, know you are not alone.  It’s okay to want to work part time or full time or stay at home.  Whatever you choose, it has to work for you and your family. You do not have to do it all.  I put so much pressure on myself sometimes to do all the “stay at home stuff” on the days I am home. (clean house, take care of my child, make dinner, well that’s about all you have time for really). I am trying to pack 5 to 7 days of work into 3 to 5. It… Just… Doesn’t… Work.  So, my encouragement to you and myself, is to take one day at a time. Do not worry about tomorrow til you have finished the work for today.  That is literally how I prioritize my days sometimes, What do I need to do today and what do I need to do to prepare for tomorrow.  That’s it. And that’s enough.

Let us remember when our days our ever exhausting to lean on the Lord!

“Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of this understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31