I couldn’t fall asleep last night.
I should have started twitching as soon as my head hit my faux goose down pillow. Two weeks ago, I helped out at our church’s Vacation Bible School. (Read: Fun but crazy schedule.) Last week, my husband and I took our three kids – Natalie (6), Connor (4) and Teyla (5 months) – to six days of family camp in the Minnesota north woods. (Read: Fun but crazy schedule.) And the days since we got home from camp have been a vortex of laundry and fireworks and grocery shopping and the lake and more laundry.
What I’m saying is – I’m physically exhausted.
But when my mind is spinning, I’m not sleepy. Busy brain, my husband and I call it. And nothing gives me busy brain like eager anticipation.
It’s just hard to relax when you’re sitting on a secret as good as this one.
Ever since Stephanie invited me to be on the 5 Minutes for Parenting team, I’ve been flying high. Giddy, even.
Do you remember how you felt the day you first took a pregnancy test – and it was positive? Such a happy little secret. It’s like sneaking a square of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Caramel right before dinner - without the kids noticing.
I’m excited by everything the 5 Minutes of Parenting site has to offer. Great writing. Unique voices. A solid brand. The fellowship of moms. The empathy. The support. The laughter.
But as I lay in bed last night, staring at the night stand, I was jolted by the thought, “Wow, you’re more excited about this than you are about being a mom, most days.”
That’s not true, of course. At least, not all of the time.
But almost immediately, I saw a mental mash-up of the kids’ bedtime routine just a few hours earlier. I impatiently thumbed through a magazine while Teyla nursed herself to sleep. (Do cows get reading material when they’re hooked up to those milking machines? I'm just sayin'.) I rushed through bedtime stories with Connor and Natalie, gave them a peck on the head even as my body turned toward the door, and whispered “Goodnightloveyou!” over my shoulder.
And the whole time, I was inwardly glowing over the 5 Minutes for Parenting debut.
To top it all off, my personal blog is named Love Well. It’s suppose to be a reminder for me to slow down and focus on what really matters – my husband, my children, my faith. To love well, each day. To make that my priority.
Oh the irony. It’s as rich as maple syrup.
Yet, if you’re reading this blog, I suspect you understand this tension. I don’t know a mom alive who doesn’t fall madly in love with her children every night when she tucks them into bed. Sleeping children - hair smelling like Johnson’s, skin kissed by the sun - are the closest thing to angels this side of heaven. (Don’t even get me started on sleeping babies, with their little bums in the air like tiny stink bugs, cheeks rosy and damp. It’s too much to take.)
But that loving maternal glow has a way of vanishing at 3:30 AM when one of the angels screams, “Mommy! Come in here quick!”
It’s like walking a tightrope. We aim to walk steady and sure, one foot in front of the other, head held high in unwavering poise.
But more often than not, we pitch and weave and stumble and adjust.
I’m so glad we’re in this together.
Kelly is also known to blog at Love Well if the kids ever go to bed early.