My oxygen mask fell off yesterday. Big time.
One of the realities that parents of small children live with is that we often don’t get enough sleep. Sometimes that lack of sleep starts to accumulate.
I was determined Sunday night to go to bed earlier in order to catch up.
Parents of small children don’t need alarm clocks. The “alarm clock” in our house is a sweet almost three year-old boy whose little feet running down the hallway wakes us up every day at 6am. He climbs into our bed, snuggles up next to mommy and always says “Ah want mulk” and “Ahm hungry”.
On Sunday, I went to bed around 10pm to try to get close to eight hours of sleep. My mind was not racing; however, sleep still did not come until around 10:45.
At 10:48, I woke up to the sound of my daughter crying in her room.
She felt hot so we took her temperature. 101.
I gave her some medicine to bring the fever down and put her to bed next to me. She woke up close to morning time crying out. I said “Mommy’s here” and she went back to sleep.
That morning she complained of a sore throat so I prepared to take the kids to the doctor.
Our pediatrician’s office has walk-in hours every morning starting at 7:45am so we didn’t have much time to prepare. I would have to postpone my morning prayer time to get her there.
It was pouring down rain and we had left our large umbrella at ChickfilA a couple days earlier.
I pulled into the parking lot of the doctor’s office and got both kids out of one side of the car and under the small, broken umbrella, I had. They both preceded to walk the opposite direction of where I needed them to go which resulted in them not being under the umbrella and them walking in an inch of water.
They arrived inside the office all wet. The only thing I could find to dry them off was paper gowns.
After a brief and traumatic throat culture, it was confirmed that my daughter had strep throat.
I used the same paper gowns to envelope my kids so they wouldn’t get totally wet going back out to the car.
We headed to ChickfilA first to get our umbrella, and I began praying on my armor on the way.
(It must have been a funny sight for the people in the car behind us in the drive thru to see a rather large black umbrella with colorful dots on it being passed through the window to our car. It felt a little Mary Poppins-ish at the time).
We went to our favorite grocery store where not only are the cookies free for the kids, but so are the antibiotics at the pharmacy. By the time we got home, it was 10:30 already.
After resting for a little while, I began to make them lunch and mercifully my husband arrived home early from work around noon. I was scheduled for an ultrasound of my kidneys at 2:30pm. (Remember the kidney stone?)
My husband got a call to go back to work that afternoon. I arrived home from my ultrasound in time for him to leave. I knew he wouldn’t be back before it was time to feed the kids dinner.
I was already starting to feel the accumulation of stress and weariness in my body.
After a couple of hours, I heard from my husband. Things had been very stressful at work and he was trying to tell me what happened.
At just that moment, I found my son wandering around the house with a piece of birthday cake that had been in the fridge. We hadn’t even had dinner yet and I thought I had put the cake far enough in the back that he wouldn’t get to it. (I have one kid who has never once gone into the fridge to get food without asking and another who never stops doing it.)
I didn’t feel the oxygen mask fall off my face nor did I hear it hit the floor. But it was off.
My son went to his room for timeout and I preceded to start melting down.
This was not an Instagram moment. This was one of those moments that I’m so glad I was not part of a reality show.
I believe that I was already close to my breaking point before the day began.
We’ve been going through a hurricane lately, I have been struggling from lack of sleep, and the day was VERY stressful.
It got ugly and my kids had a front row seat.
After calming down, I put my kids in their highchairs for dinner. I then asked them both to look me in the eye.
I told them it was not their fault mommy yelled. I told them they had done nothing wrong and that mommy just didn’t feel good.
My daughter (the almost five year-old) cried. My son just continued in what he was doing in blissful ignorance. I’m not sure if it’s his age or his temperance but he was pretty much over it already.
This episode reminds me of what happened when I ate the cake in the sense that it was a moment that I felt out of control. I realized that God didn’t expect me to keep sweets around and resist them.
Maybe He doesn’t expect me to go days without oxygen and be okay too.
Oxygen for me means rest and balance. I had gone too long without being able to recharge my batteries properly.
I am an introverted person by nature so I think that hinders me more in the stay-at-home mom department. I’m also not one of those people who does well with too little sleep. I have been challenged in being able to exercise lately as well because of some foot issues.
Today is Tuesday and I can’t say that I woke up overnight having the perfect solution to rearrange my life and make sure that I don’t blow a gasket again.
The only thing I do know is that I feel God calling me to trust Him.
Trust Him when I can’t get enough sleep.
Trust Him when I can’t get enough exercise.
Trust Him when I can’t get enough time alone or away.
Trust Him period.
The verse for the day that He gave me was:
Take My yoke upon you
and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
The part that He emphasized for me was learn from me.
I believe He wants me to learn how to rest. He knows how and He will teach me.
Image Courtesy: Leon Biss