This week my husband was working out of town following the weekend when we learned that the house we had under contract in the city needed $20K worth of structural repairs. Ouch. My idea about keeping things simple was a good one, but this week I was single parenting and making an offer on a new house on my own. No choice about that. Just had to. Mid week sometime, some things got out of hand, my kids lost it, then I lost it. I was up half the night being pretty unkind with myself because I wasn't managing very well.
A gift that comes with age perhaps, but I do not listen to unkind words about myself for very long. I was able to realize the extreme circumstances and even feel a bit pleased that I am a very patient person and it took SO MUCH for me to lose my cool. I don't know why clarity so often comes knocking at my door in the middle of the night when I'd really like to be sleeping, but clarity is welcome whenever it comes. It eventually dawned on me that the kids and I were all missing the simplicity we usually enjoy, the simplicity that allows me to be patient and present with them.
I thought about my next two days of single parenting and made a decision. I canceled every commitment I had made. I didn't spend any time on the phone. I didn't pack a single box. We snuggled, we read, we crocheted hats, we played charades, we went out for lunch together. My only goals for those two days were to be present and patient with my kids and to like myself at the end of the day. Those are not small goals, but they are simple, and I was successful.
Late at night, after my first successful day with the kids, I talked with my husband on the phone before bed. I was half asleep during our conversation since I'd been up half the night before. That brilliant husband of mine said something like: "Remember when we talked about having you at home with the kids and how you wanted to just be available for them? They love that. You can tell, things are just right in their world when you can do that." He's right again.
**On a similar note, Glennon Melton's post this week was about how kids just want a happy mom. I loved it.