Today My Best Parenting Was From the Couch.

Friends, these last few days have been rough. Not only have I had The Cold of the Summer of 2016 {aren’t colds in the summer the worst?} but all the lack of sleep I have had since the start of the year has caught up with me. I am sleep deprived and sick. The best of combinations.
Since the start of the year, Rosalie has not slept well overnight. Either waking several times and going back to sleep and/or waking up for several hours at a time, crying/whining on and off. It has been frustrating/hard/exhausting. Catching this cold has just brought me to the wall I was heading to faster than if it had just been lack of sleep.
And I still tried to do everything. 
Despite every inch of my body and shrivelled-up brain screaming at me otherwise, I still took the kids out to the museum this morning. I still did the chores I intended to do. I still pushed myself when I should have been resting. As a result, this motherhood thing became the last thing I wanted to do. Impatient, low, irritable. I was grumpy mum. And the kids matched me one-for-one.
Until I sat lay down on the couch. Then I did the best parenting I had done in days.

I played. We giggled. We read books. I had more to give because I was giving my body what it genuinely was asking for: rest. Granted, no mother can fully have what she truly needs when she’s sick and still taking care of little ones. But I did what I could, and there was grace in that.
While the kids were having their allocated TV time in the afternoon, I sat down in the shower for time to breathe, space and hoping the hot water would wake me up and stop my eyes from burning from lack of sleep. I prayed, “Lord, please help me. And please help me be able to give when Tim gets home.”

And it was after that shower that I stopped trying to run to my agenda and I ran to my body’s agenda and, truthfully, to the kid’s agenda. Rosie and I played “Where’s the Pom Pom?” which is her favourite game. I hide a little pom pom in my clothing or hers, and she finds it, giggling the entire time. It is a simple game that doesn’t require much of me, but which gives much to her. And it gave me joy. We bonded. 
And when Tim came home, and he was as equally tired and worked-to-the-bone, I had empathy. Not a sense of competition {the “Who Is More Tired Game?”}. Not a sense of “What about Me?”. No, by grace, I had enough to care. And he cared for me. It was a gift of mercy to two very tired parents, by their kind Heavenly Father.
Mothers, the point is this:
Most days, our agenda’s work. We run to a general schedule of play/food/work. We generally have energy, sleep-happy minds, generous hearts. But sometimes we don’t. And we shouldn’t fight it. 
Sometimes we are sleep-deprived from newborns {or daughters at twenty-months-old}, sick from bugs, exhausted from the general chaos of living. Don’t try and prove to yourself/God/another-mother/some-invisible-person-of-your-making that you can do this. You can’t. So don’t try.
Rest. Recover. Parent your best from the couch. And receive the grace that is waiting for you to take. You’ll be a better mother from the couch than you would be ticking off your to do’s. 

“Out of his fullness, we have received grace upon grace.” ~ John 1:16

PS: Since writing this, I have learned that Rosalie doesn’t need her day sleep anymore. I dropped her nap and she slept twelve-hours straight. I praised the Lord.

4 thoughts on “Today My Best Parenting Was From the Couch.

  1. My heart absolutely goes out to you. I can completely relate to what you're going through and pray you find healing and rest soon. It's amazing what The Lord can minister to us when we're on our knees–or on the couch. In our weakness, He is made strong. May He pull you through every step of the way. Praying for you.

  2. Thank you, so feeling it at the moment, my husband and I both. Every now and then the constant work and never-ending expenditure {of all bodily faculties} just hits me and I can only “do the next thing.” Hugs x

  3. YES! Sometimes we all need this reminder. I'm 8 months pregnant with a 21 month old and my husband keeps telling me I need to cut it all back because I try to do it all. “Doing it all” is just creating even more work if “it all” is just done half way and rushed.

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