Friday, August 9, 2013

When Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

Since we've started our homeschooling journey, one thing has become abundantly clear to me:

If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. 

Never have I been more aware that MY mood sets the daily tone for the house.  Take today for example. I'm not feeling all that great.

No, you well-meaning friends, I am NOT expecting another little blessing...let's just get that out of the way right now. Seems a mom of four relatively back-to-back kids can't be under-the-weather without someone assuming the next one must be right around the corner. Not that I blame you, because that is the precedent we've set. But no need to go there. Now you know.

I have a cold. Body aches, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, general displeasure. And all I've been wanting to do all morning is be an uninterrupted vegetable on the couch. 

But those four little high-energy afore-mentioned kids had other plans for my day. Plans that were not quiet or clean. And tired, aching Mama started to lose her patience. And the house slowly slipped into a not happy place. 

But then God stepped in. He put it my big girl's heart to help. She entertained the fussy baby in her room for an hour so I could have some quiet time. I heard her in the room, doing everything she could think of to keep him happy and entertained - drowning him in a sea of Duplo (his favorite), singing loudly and abruptly, tickling him, falling down pretending to hurt herself, hiding and then jumping out at him - and it worked! And when she was all done putting on a show, she put him to bed, and he WENT TO SLEPT. Just like that. 

My heart was softened. And saddened. 

I called her down to where I had taken refuge on the couch and thanked her for all her help today, and apologized for being so impatient in the midst of my discomfort. She stroked my hair and in her very Lily way, quietly told me I also needed to apologize to Jacob and Sam when they woke up. I smiled and promised I would. 

When Jake came down from his nap, I called him to the couch for a talk. I winced when I saw how hesitant he was to come close - what kind of precedent had our morning set? - and apologized for my earlier behavior. My sweet boy hugged me tight and whispered, "I forgive you, Mama."

Music to my ears!

And now - miraculously - the whole mood of the house has improved. The kids are happy, getting along better, and quietly, non-messily entertaining themselves while I try to steal a few moments alone to document this occasion. So next time I'm not feeling well and unnecessarily freaking out over kids being kids (which is SO HARD to do when you just want to curl up into a ball and take a long, kid-free nap), I can come back here for a solid reminder that nothing is going to improve, no matter how many times I tell the kids it needs to, until my own attitude improves.

And that an afternoon of cartoons is entirely acceptable. Just this once.


Anonymous said...

Love you for being you and for being "real". ~ Amanda

Heather said...

Hi there Leah! My name is Heather and I was wondering if you would be willing to answer a quick question I have about your blog! My email is