Thursday, March 5, 2009

An Essential Quality

Today I'm pondering the importance of one thing as a mother of 3 short people: Flexibility. Not in the physical sense, (though that helps too:) but in the sense that if I have hopes and plans, be it for the day, week or my life, I need to hold them loosely, or I may crack (or explode).

For the past few nights, Haley has decided to sleep in two big chunks during the night, waking around 2 or 3ish for a feeding, then sleeping till 7:30 or 8. How has it been for the last four months or more? Going to bed around 7 p.m., waking for a night feeding around 11 or 12 and again around 4 or 5. On especially rough nights, she would wake another time in there as well. (Between Haley, my other two and my husband, I have been getting two or three chunks of 1-3 hours of sleep since December.) So, it is no surprise that when I have had two large (4-5 hours is large to me right now!) chunks of sleep without interruption, I find I have much more energy for the day!

I also find that having more sleep greatly improves my outlook on EVERYTHING: the snapping and barking at my children gets severely minimised, and my patience level is much (much, much!) higher. Who would have thought?

So, after a few nights of this, and the days going extremely well, I decided yesterday that a loose schedule would be good to map out: pack Casey's lunch and see him off to work, feed the girls breakfast, read the Bible and review verses, throw a load of laundry in, let the girls watch Little Einsteins, put Claire and Haley down for a morning nap, do some school with Ruby, playtime outside, lunch, naps and dinner prep. It worked really well yesterday, which is why I bothered to write it down.

You know what's coming. That schedule just wasn't going to happen today. Perhaps it was that I went to bed a few hours later than my new bedtime, perhaps it was that Haley woke twice, perhaps it is that I am sore and slow-moving from the salsa aerobics class I tried for the first time last night (boy, am I out of shape!). Perhaps it is that my plans for today included wrestling a turkey nearly the size of my two-year-old into the oven, then de-boning it and making broth/soup while cooking a few pounds of chicken breasts; baking two kinds of bread, doing that last load of laundry for the week and putting away all the other piles of laundry from earlier this week that are scattered in at least 4 different rooms.

It would just so happen that Haley would be needy and whiny today, and both H & C would boycott their morning naps. Put those two simple changes together, and what may have worked into yesterday's schedule was just not going to happen today.

So, I sit here on the love seat, amidst several piles of laundry yet to be put away, the other load sitting in the dryer (don't know if I'll get to it at all), one kind of bread in the oven, the turkey and chicken in the refrigerator waiting for me to de-bone and cube tomorrow. If I were to guess based on my current energy level, we will not be having soup--or anything too complicated--for dinner tonight. Maybe some chicken breasts and pumpkin bread! Hmmm. Maybe not. I'll figure something out.

As much as half of today's plans were thwarted, and as much as the house is not in the shape I'd like it to be in for Casey's long weekend, this is the way the day has gone, and that is okay.

Thankfully, I have an understanding husband (as long as he's not stepping on Legos in his bare feet!) who is growing in flexibility as well, and will appreciate the things I did accomplish.

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