I ran away tonight.
Full retreat. Glass of ice water in my hand.
Everyone was having fun. No one was listening. We were trying to get the kitchen cleaned up and everyone (but me) was having an awesome time. My husband had taken Anna to wash her feet after getting bit by an ant, and I was alone with 3 joyful but disobedient kids. I was the only one working and this was THEIR responsibility in the first place.
So I ran away. They protested at first, knowing now that I wasn't there to help it would take much longer. But I was done.
"I am leaving. You are on your own to clean this all up.
Dishes unloaded, reloaded, counters wiped, trash taken out".
They protested just enough and then they just cranked up the music and got it done. It took them a good 20 minutes but they were happy. Dad joined them to loosely oversee and the laughter echoed down the hall. It lightened my heart but also made me a little sad.
Sometimes I just need to get out of the way. I need to let them succeed or fail. I need to step back and let them have fun serving joyfully in their own way.
I wish I could be The Mom who doesn't micromanage. After a week of planning and managing people and time schedules and curriculums for Vacation Bible School, this first day at home I am trying to step back and just relax, but it is tough. I wish I could be more fun and in-the-moment. But I am really afraid if I did that my kids would NEVER get to bed, my husband and I would NEVER get any alone time, and my house would look and smell like a toxic-waste dump.
It's not that I think fun moms have homes that are hazardously messy or that they keep irresponsible time-tables... I do wish I could be more whimsical... I just wonder if it is even a possibility given my upbringing & DNA. I can manage the hell out of a group of 100 or even 200 kids and never loose the really genuine smile. I love it! But try to manage just 3 of my own 4 as they clean up the kitchen and I feel like I am moments away from a stroke.
So I am running away. To my room. To my computer. To you all. And I will return to them a happier and calmer mother, ready to say prayers and tuck them in. Thanks for listening! Thanks for stopping by!