I don't remember putting "get frustrated" on my to do list

Today has not gone as I planned.

Teyla shuffled into my bedroom at 6:30 AM, bleary-eyed and wild-haired, and motioned me toward the stairs.

Barely awake, I shook my head and held out my arms in the universal signal for “Come snuggle with me.”

She immediately started to scream.

Apparently, she wasn’t in the snuggling mood. She was more in the I’m-two-and-I’ll-scream-if-I-don’t-get-exactly-what-I-want mood.

Desperate to keep the other kids sleeping – oh, and did I mention Corey’s out of town? – I grabbed her, tucked her under my arm, shut the door to my room and ran into the bathroom, in one fluid move. I held a towel over her mouth for the next 10 minutes while she screamed and howled and screeched and yelled. I kept saying in her ear, “Be quiet. You need to be quiet. Everyone else is sleeping. When you’re quiet, I’ll move the towel.” But it took a long time for her to exhaust her fury. Finally, at 6:45, she settled down and motioned for her pacifier, which she had spit out during the first tantrum chorus.

Good morning, sunshine. Where’s my coffee?

My plan today was to get through the morning routine, put Kieran down for his first nap, take a shower, then load everyone into the van, hit an exercise class at the YMCA and spend a few hours hanging at the pool (which would end with naps for the littles and quiet time for Mom). It’s a perfect water day – sunny with a few decorative popcorn clouds, temps in the mid-80s, dewpoint tolerable in the mid-50s. And goodness knows Teyla needs a nap in the worst way.

But ‘twas not to be. Kieran only napped for 20 minutes instead of his usual 90 minutes, so I didn’t get a shower. Teyla continued her reign as Miss Queen Cranky Pants of the Universe. Kieran fell asleep again 20 minutes before we were supposed to leave for the Y. He woke up again 40 minutes later.

And so on and so on. Lather, rinse, repeat.

To be transparent, the thoughts in my head this morning have been less than Christ-like.

“Nothing is working out,” I grumbled. “Instead of soaking up some sun, I’m stuck inside again with a grumpy toddle and a baby who won’t nap. I can’t even sit down without Kieran freaking out. When was the last time I had a break? Other moms get a break, don’t they? The only time I’ve been alone this month was when I went to that one workout class. Otherwise, I’m always on duty. And no one appreciates it. And I can’t even talk on the phone with a friend without someone demanding my attention. ‘Mom, I need milk!’ ‘Mom, can I go in Regan’s house?’ ‘Moooooom!’”

Pity. Party.

Which, when I realized I was in the thick of a good pouting session, made me even more frustrated. Because I hate pity parties and general kvetching.

But I can’t escape the fact that parenting four kids through the thick of summer is like running a marathon. I’m up for the challenge, and I believe the pay-off is worth the work.

But it’s hard some days. It just is. (Can I get an amen?)

A few minutes ago, I was sway-walking around my garage with Kieran in the sling, trying to lull him back to sleep. I was praying and stewing about how to get myself out of this funk. And Amy Grant’s “Hats” came on my iPod.

Oh. My. Word.
Sun goes up.
Breakfast show
Can’t you see me running?
It’s crazy, don’t you know.

It don’t stop.
No it’s never gonna stop.
Why do I have to wear so many hats on my head?

This may be a dream come true.
This may be poetry in motion.
This may be a dream come true.
But when it all comes down,
It’s an awful lot to do.
Preach, Amy.

Maybe the fact that I’m not alone is enough to get me through the rest of today.

That, and the hope that tomorrow will be better.


  1. love you, Kel. Praying for a peaceful evening that makes up for a cranky day. But if not, I'm praying for bedtime to come quickly for all!!!

  2. You are definitely not alone. Praying for a better tomorrow...and maybe even a trip to the pool.

  3. Hats is a great song!

    But this post cracked me up at something I bet you didn't realize you did:
    The only time I’ve been alone this month was when I went to that one workout class.
    and then at the end:
    Maybe the fact that I’m not alone is enough to get me through the rest of today.

    They each made perfect sense, but they still kinda contradicted each other.

    Tell that Teyla kid to give you a break. She's much too cute to be cranky.

  4. I've never heard that song. I need to look it up! And to echo everyone else, you are not alone! Praying for you now friend!

  5. Awww, Kelly, some days just ARE hard. Amen from me. Even though it gets physically easier, emotionally it gets harder when your kids get older. I have three teenage daughters (Can I get an Amen back??!!), and one is gone for 8 weeks this summer. Every time I think about her my heart hurts. :(

    Hang in there.

  6. Amen, sister.

    Frustrating day on this homefront, too. Maybe now I can quit feeling bad about it and prepare for a better tomorrow. (right, it will be better?) :)

  7. as long as we believe tomorrow will be better, we will always be ok

  8. I remember those days SOO well! That's why I cringed every time I heard the song 'One Day at a Time Sweet Jesus....' Twenty-four hours were just too long! I wanted to just keep sane until the morning nap time or lunch!!

  9. Just sat down to write--the thoughts in my head were "Summer Funk." I hear ya!

  10. I'm hoping today is going a little better for you. We've all had those days. Anyone who claims she hasn't it a liar liar pants on fire.

    I found myself getting irritated at Archie for taking an extra long nap this morning because we needed to go grocery shopping. And then I realized it was pretty crazy to begrudge a toddler his nap. There are days when I BEG him to sleep, and when he finally does? I find fault in it!


  11. Don't worry, everything will turn out well.:-) Sometimes, as parents, we are faced with a difficult day especially when the kids got out of hand. Just take a deep breath and never allow irritability sink in into your system. Just take one step at a time. Tomorrow will be okay.:-)

  12. Hang in there, I've been there before, I thnk most moms have. You are a strong person, I can tell. You're doing a great job!

  13. Yes, it's hard. Amen. And one of your 4 is still a newborn. Hard, hard, hard, and "get frustrated" never needs to be put on the list, it's just a part of life. It's one hat that I all too often am ready to throw out...cuz it doesn't go with the rest of my outfit.
    I loved that entire Amy Grant CD when I was 14; loved the whole maroon velvet dress with the long heart necklace look on the album cover. Thank you for the memory.
    Amy Grant's kids are grown now; soon ours will be too. I'm sure there is much of this crazy madness that will be missed, though it's hard to imagine now. Hang in there. You're doing great!

  14. It's definitely tough when things don't go as planned. I get frustrated when things are so out of control that I can't even get around to making a plan. And then it's midafternoon and the day feels "wasted" and I haven't accomplished anything...

    So yeah, I love those lyrics. Hope your week improved and this one is even better yet!

  15. Not alone. You are brave to go to a pool with a baby and 2 yo. I won't do it with my crew, much to their dismay. So glad you got the right song at the right time. ;)

  16. YES you are right that I HAVE been there. But with three, not four. ;)