It’s been a while since a Mama Drama installment. I have a thousand. They’re the basis for my dream book I’d love to publish one of these days.
You may recall the last couple zany Mama Drama installments recounted the rollercoaster that hits when you work from home.
So in today in Mama Drama, let’s talk about the seasons that just spin out of control.
This season: WOW!
I was talking to one of my closest friends, a rockstar mom and career woman and wife and daughter and volunteer. She has A LOT on her plate. So I was venting to her about how right now just feels like SO MUCH, because she gets it. She left two really wise and insightful voxes, a snippet of which said:
I understand the stress of having to work. And being the one who takes care of the schedule and the doctor’s appointments and the…well, when you’re the Master Puppeteer of the House. It’s a lot and when you add extra work stresses, sometimes it just feels TOO MUCH. I’m telling you, I felt like I constantly had an elephant on my chest last year. I was utterly overwhelmed.
Ah yes. I listened to the message again, more slowly. An elephant on my chest.
This year started off already busy with work, and then such sadness accompanied it with the loss my best friend suffered. The sad came with a fog that slowed my reactions, but life and school and the house and work didn’t stop. So all the things kept stacking on top.
You step into that busy season and add a bunch of travel. In one month, I have been to Minnesota, Louisiana (twice – one for a mommy-and-me trip that was planned nearly a year ago), and Washington D.C. (twice for work). Late night hours and seven day work weeks and a dog that will not quite eating my entire life around me and a few unexpected doctors’ visits that had to occur this month.
Meet my chest.
I believe this is going to be a year of big change. I don’t know what it will hold, because I asked God not to let me see too far down the road a while back, and boy He’s been super good about that… (Sigh, exhales the Type A planner.)
If I’m going to be equipped to absorb the change and press into it, then I’m going to need to find a way to wrangle that elephant.
Not eradicate him. That’s just silly. But maybe relocate him slightly, off my chest.
So I’m being intentional.
One: I stop working at dinner time. Maybe that means I’m still working at 10 pm but it allows me to eat, usually, with my whole crew. And then I read to the kids. Little bit and I are reading an American Girl book and the boys and I have just started the SIXTH Harry Potter book (they only read that with me).
Two: When they come to me with a story, I stop to listen, even though there’s a thousand things going on around me. This morning, we really needed to get out the door. But little bit wanted to tell me about her dream. She got interrupted twice but she finished.
Three: Sixty second snuggles. This morning, I crawled into bed with each one to give them hugs and kisses to wake them up. They rolled over smiling. No screaming from the hallway, come on, get out of bed already. Three minutes and a solid start to the day (but don’t let that fool you, one was still in tears when he couldn’t find his chapel sweater for school).
Four: Stopping. This weekend, I could have worked all weekend. But I didn’t. I worked some. But I asked my mom to watch the kids and I did a little shopping and got a pedicure. Two hours of being totally unplugged.
Five: Declining invitations. I’m having to un-RSVP to a few things and say no to others. Not everything. I’m still doing some things that are important, but I’m saying no to otherwise good stuff that I just can’t make work in the next 30 days.
And…hopefully…SIX: Writing. I love to write. It’s therapeutic. I really want to make it a bigger priority in the next 90 days. That sounds insane of course. But it’s important to me.
And I’ve agreed to participate in a spiritual formation retreat over the next year which I’ve long wanted to do. This seems like the absolute worst time to do it which I think makes it the best time. Two days, four times, over the next 12 months. To sit. Chill out with the Creator. Figure out what’s next. Over and over again God has brought me to this scripture: He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. (Psalm 18, 2 Sam 22)
I’m always better after that.
So I’m going to “retreat” in the truest form of the word. I’ll write and pray and relocate that elephant. In March, the five Vincents get to venture into another spacious place: Sedona and the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. In April, we get to slip away with my best friend’s family at one of my safest and most regular spacious places, the farm.
And in this pressing season, this one that feels oh so overwhelming at times, I will stand on the promises which I know to be true and look forward to the hope that lays on the other side of the test: We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed… (2 Cor 4)