Tuesday was a day of one minor disaster after another. I won’t list them all here, though it is rather comic, but they included things like overflowing the dishwasher three times (requiring a repairman) and dropping a dish of cooked rice all over the kitchen floor (and the repairman).
By the end of the day, there was nothing left to do but laugh. One of my children counted and told me that it was 17 things that went wrong. I am still adding to the list (at the end of that long day, I forgot to cover the grill, which was soaked in the rain that followed, and our kitchen floor is now buckling due to the dishwasher catastrophe).
Some of these problems were caused by my children, some by me, and some just sort of happened. The amazing part was that I did not yell at all, the whole day. My kids were sort of in it with me, they knew that I was having a rotten time and they tried to give me space, and I just dealt with each thing as it came and tried to move on.
That is SO not like me.
I think that there were a few things at work:
1. Grace. I have been praying to the Holy Spirit in this week between the Ascension and Pentecost, and I really do think it was the Holy Spirit who helped me come to:
2. The understanding that almost all of my “problems” derive from a houseful of growing, healthy, loving kids, and most of the catastrophes that day could be solved with money, of which I have enough, at least to meet these particular challenges3. Not being over tired. The more I prioritize sleep, the more I am able to go with the flow.
4. Pregnancy. I know that for many women, pregnancy, and the tiredness and hormonal changes that go along with it, make day to day life more difficult, but for me, being pregnant is like being just a little bit buzzed. I sleep well and I don’t sweat the details. I have less anxiety, social and otherwise. I put a priority on rest and I avoid joy-stealing situations because I don’t pressure myself to save (or control) the world. I don’t know why this happens when I am pregnant, but I think it goes a long way to explaining why my husband is open to so many children — I am better wife, mother and person during those 9 months.
So, I am at 36 weeks, which means that this pregnant bliss is about to end for our family, and I am thinking hard about what I can do to keep my cool at other times in my life. I was touched by Tex’s post about leaving the dishes in the sink because this would be nearly impossible for me with a newborn in the house — I would either do the dishes or, more likely, yell at someone else to do them, or, finding myself unable to do them, cry. Postpartum is the worst for me, but rolling with the countless punches of large family life is hard in general, and I wonder if any of you have any advice for a little perspective in the moment of a real or imagined crisis?