overcooked and underfed

I have a story for y’all.

It’s a story about being tired, and waking up.

You see, I got stuck. I got stuck in a pattern of catching up, which made me fall behind. Not making sense?

Let me explain…

When I first began this blog, things like Instagram and Pinterest didn’t exist. There was Facebook and Twitter, and a tiny skeleton of My Space. But then, the power of social media took over like the popular kid in a middle school, and there was almost an instant shift in the cyber world. Everyone was is competing.

Who has more likes or views, comments and shares was the desire of the heart, and the point of the purpose was lost.

Back then, people would actually put up personal “what’s on your mind” statuses, real words written by real minds. Nowadays, my newsfeed is cluttered with fake news stories, memes and randomly placed ads from mysterious sources that somehow read my mind.

Things have changed.

The past ten years have been a roller coaster of paradigm shifts in our perception of worth, accountability and grace. As if we are all stuck in some sort of awkward middle school cyber battle zone. One minute we are comparing our lives to the pinterest photos and the next minute we are shunned for a particular opinion or political view. It is then, that when we feel like our daily lives don’t fit the shiny news feed- we lose our sparkle.

This happens to all of us.

Let’s add in some real life to this daily struggle:

As if, feeling that awkward middle school cyber battle isn’t enough… let’s add in the struggles of the day…

For instance, planning on grabbing breakfast on the go, but you’ve misplaced your wallet (again!) so you go hungry HANGRY. The only diapers you have are the baby’s. and guess what… your toddler pooped. So, you do what you gotta do.

I should have put that on Instagram.

Let’s add in being a bit distracted at the car line, and scraping your new(ish) van on a “pedestrian crossing” sign. (at least it wasn’t an actual pedestrian…)

Pinterest worthy, for sure.

Now; let’s go grocery shopping. (I found my wallet) I was going in for just the three things I needed, but then realized there were also eighteen other things I was out of. So the $20 trip turned into $76.32.

Kid #3 decides shopping carts are death chairs and refuses to stay in, much less get strapped into the tortuous vehicle, and Kid #4 is bombarding me with requests for yet another fluffy throw to add to the 23 she already has… “But they’re not this soft anymore….pleeeeeeeaaaasssseee…..”

Which, turns into an argument/discussion/homeschool lesson on poverty in the world, less is more, thankfulness, the value of a dollar, and clever marketing to preteen girls.

Needless to say, she has downsized her cozy blanket collection.

Typical first three hours of my day. Now, it’s 10:30 am (not literally but in my retelling of the day) and time to get one of the littles from therapy/school. (They call it school but it’s really intensive speech therapy)- and yes, it is helping.

So: it’s only 10:30ish and I have three loads of laundry to do, a full dishwasher, muddy paw prints and a pile of homeschooling books on the table. I have four hungry kids, and groceries to get out of the car.

While I was away, the roomba ran over a dogggie accident- hint: it was brown, and from our 60lb dog. And therapist for kid #2 was due at my house in 30 minutes….

How did I not completely lose my %&$#?

The thing is, there are days, when it all happens at once… there are exhausting days where life feels like it’s searing you like a steak on a flat iron grill. And, you’re done.

You’re well done.

Those days will happen. If you’re a parent, especially to little humans under 5 or bigger ones over 13- the days when you’re overcooked and “done”.

And, the days will also happen where you’re unravelled, where going to the bathroom (alone) sounds like a vacation and anything other than a cold nugget and crust from a sandwich is a gourmet meal. Days when your hot coffee is cold, and not on purpose.

Those underfed days, when you don’t have time to even feed yourself…trust me: You NEED hot coffee and grace.

You need to stop. Say no. Cancel needless plans and just breathe.

This year, I made several changes. I opted out of a job, as much as I loved what I did- I knew it was robbing me of a day I really needed.This year, I have gotten up two hours before my kids (I admit, most days it’s just an hour and a half, due to a “snooze” addiction)

And, it’s in these moments when I can sit and read my devotional while … get this: waiting on my coffee to cool down enough so I can drink it, it’s in these quiet peaceful moments, I am fed. I can prepare my heart and mind for the trials and chaos that are sure to come in the day ahead… I start the day with a belly full of coffee and a heart full of gratitude.

Not every day begins this perfectly, however- there are days that someone or all of them are up at 5. And, I have learned to go with the flow of things and try to embrace insulated mugs of coffee on the go, and some praise and worship in the noise of the day. And, embrace the chaos of motherhood in all it’s glory.

I know there’s always tomorrow to look forward to my morning stillness.

Another thing:

I don’t have it all together. I absolutely do not. As if you couldn’t tell that from the paragraphs above…

I’ve learned to cope with a lot in the past 15 years, from being an instant mom, to being a wife, having a baby and moving from management to surviving on one income, creating a food blog and the adventures it took me on…and then: hearing a calling to care for the orphans….and then ohmygoodness.…the babies that came into our life… the thing is, I still haven’t figured it out. Sure, I may have figured out how to make a batch of macaroons, or how to pull off a tidy house during a hurricane of toddlerhood…(hint: baskets hold and hide lots of stuff very decoratively) but it doesn’t mean I have it all together. Trust me. I’m a hot mess, there are days someone should throw me in a basket.

And, for those moms that seem to have it all together… check on them. They can sometimes be the loneliest mamas out there. Don’t be intimidated by the tidy house, or the fact they can make a good batch of cookies. Embrace the outward image, and know that there’s an underfed and overcooked mama in there.

That desperately needs hot coffee and a hug.

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