Monday, February 09, 2015

Everyone's Brain but My Own

It's Monday. And it's one of those weeks.  My chances of forgetting something are increasing by the hour. 

The calendar is set with reminders for each family member like big fat post-it notes on my forehead. Also, my daughter can't find her jump drive for an upcoming paper.  My son lost his jacket- again.  
Dance rehearsals, costume pieces, Valentine cards, school volunteering, doctor appointment, teacher conference, packing overnight bags and of course all of the usual meal planning, laundry, and dishes. It's all culminating into one lengthy to-do list and...oh my gosh, oh my gosh...Breathe.

I am so often required to think for my children, which clutters my brain with too many tasks.  It's a grey area in parenting for me, because if I don't remind my 7-year-old to brush his teeth, he may skip the morning ritual.  And yet, I am frustrated by constantly having to verbally direct each step of a task.  So tired of hearing my voice. Coaching seemingly no-brainers.

"Put your socks and shoes on."
"Get your coat on."
"Put your lunch in your backpack."
"Where's your backpack?"

I decide that this will be a good lesson in responsibility. So I just let my son go to school without a jacket and my daughter will have to do a little more detective work before I buy her another school supply.

The danger for busy Monday mornings and activity-packed weeks like this is that I will go, go, go and starting running on empty. I will give, give, give until I have nothing left. Then I start snapping at the kids and the husband, sighing unnecessarily loudly at each request, and emotionally retreating. 

Mom needs to create a little mental space for other things. I need to protect a little patch of green grass for pulling out a blanket and lying peacefully on my back to look at the clouds.  I have to reserve at least one wrinkled section of my brain for personal enrichment. PLEASE.

As tempting as it is to race without warming up, the risk is a pulled muscle.  Starting the day without carving out time for prayer, reflecting, reading, and just sitting with a cup of coffee only raises my percentages of impatience and anxiety. For myself, scheduling a few hours for writing, making art, or having a conversation with a friend is usually all I need to return to my work refreshed- even when I am facing such a demanding week.

So after a little break, son, I'll help look for that missing jacket...again.
And may The Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. -Psalm 90.17
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.  He renews my strength. -Psalm 23.1-3

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