I type this as I attempt to rock the baby back to sleep. I have been humming “Away in a Manger” for the last hour. My arm is nearly asleep and my leg is cramping. This is not how I had planned to spend my afternoon. Doesn’t she know that I had work to do and deadlines to tackle? And that I had high hopes of digging into that fiction book that, while I’m loving it, is taking me longer to read than I had hoped? And that I wanted to drift off to a short nap in the process? Didn’t she know?
No. She didn’t.
I’m going to be honest that I have had a few trying days of motherhood recently. A cold virus has attacked all 5 of us and has affected the moods of the girls especially. While I’d like to just curl up in bed with my book until my scratchy throat and stuffy nose are a thing of the past, I can’t. Motherhood doesn’t come with sick days.
And so even though I’m tired and not feeling my best, I must show up. I must dry the tears and confront the tantrumming, even when I feel like throwing one myself. And I must refrain from thinking I am owed a pity party.
But I didn’t want to spend my afternoon in this rocking chair!
But I just wanted some alone time after spending the last few days defusing whining and tantrumming!
Here’s the thing: I have a choice. I could get all huffy and upset and woe is me. (Admittedly it’s a path I have taken in the past.) Or, I could choose to be thankful for this interruption.
Let me just say that interruptions are not something I usually welcome. In fact they are a great annoyance of mine. Every mother knows the frustrations of interruptions–a constant reality in our roles as moms. Whether it’s during a conversation, in the middle of the night or while going to the bathroom, interruptions are part of the job description.
But as I feel the warmth of Addie’s body and hear her little congested snores, I am reminded that perhaps my agenda wasn’t as important as comforting my little one. Perhaps I should welcome this opportunity to cuddle and comfort, while I can instead of wishing away these moments. And, I need to remind myself that my children are not interruptions. They are blessings. Even on these days that are less than ideal, being a mom is a privilege and my job is to be the best mom I know how to be.
So right now I choose to cancel the pity party (even though a part of me still wants to stomp my foot and pout). Instead I choose to count my blessings and give thanks:
I am thankful for my kids.
I am thankful for their loving and supportive father.
I am thankful for our warm house on this blustery day.
I am thankful for the cup of hot tea that will soothe my dry throat when I am done rocking and lullabying Addie.
I am thankful for the technology that allows me to write down my thoughts in real time even when I’m in the rocking chair.
And, I’m thankful for this moment to force myself to remember that this motherhood business isn’t about me or my agenda or my schedule. It’s about something far greater. And sometimes it takes an interruption to remind me of that.
I encourage you to do likewise. In those moments when you want to throw the pity party, take a deep breath. Reevaluate. Try to see the situation through a new lens. You have the ability to choose how you will respond. You can stomp your feet or you can shift your perspective and count your blessings.
Now it’s your turn. What blessings are you counting?