Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Fickle Moods...and Your New Favorite Song

I'm sure it's hard for you to believe, but raising six kids isn't always fun and games.  At times, it can get to be just too much.  

Since the minute I got home from Hilton Head, I have been run into the ground.  No need to go into the gory details, but soccer practices, school meetings, fun activities for COW and kids, doctor and dentist appointments, getting ready for school, canning garden veggies, and a plethora of other activities has meant I haven't stopped moving until I collapse onto the couch at 10:00 each night, with a body soooo tired, but a brain that won't stop swirling, keeping me from sleep.  This leaves very little time to spend with my husband (He has the extremely irritating ability to clear his mind and sleep anytime, anywhere) and keeps me cranky about the state of things.

Tuesday morning, as I went from room to room trying to get ready for a day at the fair with COW and kids, all I saw was the stuff that hadn't gotten done around the house while we were so busy.  Clutter and filth had taken over.  Clutter I could deal with, but the fact that, while I was running my butt off trying to get stuff done and take kids here, there and everywhere, the kids slacked off.  Their rooms were trashed.  Their crap was all over the house.  The laundry wasn't getting done.  And Tuesday morning, as I was working to get ready to go, I saw those same children sitting on their rear ends reading books. 

Mama was pushed too far.

I went out to the front porch for a good cry and a bit of "Help me, Lord!" prayer time.

When I returned, I gathered the children and set them straight.

While I appreciated the morning Giant helped me, and I very much am pleased with the way Buttercup stepped up and helped with the boys while I drove other kids around, I very, very much was ticked off about everyone failing to do the chores they know they are supposed to do.  At this point, they aren't forgetting or unclear on what the expectations are.  They are choosing to be lazy.  That just doesn't sit well with a mom who is about to fall over from exhaustion. 

Normally, I'm very good at getting them organized and doling out chores.  However, there were so many things going on, many of them in the morning, that I could never get ahead of it.  I made it clear that when Mama is looking a bit overwhelmed (You know, the crazy darting of the eyes, the sighing, the unusual snapping of children's heads off) it is the time to get their act together, not sit on the couch and read (Yes, I realize I'm upset at my children for reading.) before I blow.

I very much did not want to go to the state fair that day.  I really wanted to spend our one open day to stay home and get the house under control.  However, COW had already cleared his schedule in order to join us there at 11:30, so go we must.

Even after the 45 minute drive there, I wasn't in the best of moods.  Thoughts of our dirty house and kids who were far from helpful lately filled my mind.  Even after getting in the gate and meeting up with COW, I couldn't shake it and was unable to even make a decision what to do first.

One of the kids mentioned the Little Hands Farm, so we headed that direction.  The line to get in was long, but inside is the barn where we take our annual photo.  The photo we have taken every year to document the growth of our kids.  I didn't drag my butt out there to not get a photo.   For the first time ever, the kids saw me break a rule, and even better, force them to do it, too.  We parked the stroller right next to that long line, and marched right on through the exit. 

I was going to get my photo, and I wasn't going to wait an hour to do so.  We headed straight to the barn, and the kids lined themselves up in our usual spot.

Guess who planted trees since the last state fair?

Funny how something so small can completely change your mood.

As I looked through the frame to take this photo, seeing how they had lined themselves up behind the tree, I couldn't help but laugh, and as I laughed, the irritation floated away. 

When we first started taking these photos, we only had four kids, and the youngest of the four was a baby.  Now, Phoenix is taller than the damn barn.  Hello, Wake Up Call.  I was being ridiculouis, holding onto my anger and frustration.  While I will get upset with the kids from time to time, I need to deal with the situation and move on a whole lot quicker.  Can't be wasting prime fun time stewing over a bad morning. 

Gotta keep my mind on the prize.   Keep focusing on what's important. 

No, it isn't a giant doughnut burger.

He ate all but one bite.

But the giant doughnut burger adds to the memory of the day.

It has hit me recently (right around our 19th anniversary) that in my life, I have spent more time married to my husband than I spent living with my parents.  And I have a lot of life left to live.  The number of years these kids will be with me on a daily basis, relative to their lifetime, is very, very limited.  As a squirrel gathers acorns in preparation for winter, I need to gather memories with my kids to prepare for those years they are no longer in my care. 

Moments like this:


We had a stroller, but everyone preferred this mode of transportation.
I most certainly don't want to look back at these years and only remember cranky days of forced labor.

Tuesday turned out to be a lovely day.  And I didn't curse the state of the house when I arrived home at 9:30 that night, after the fair/soccer practices/new parent meeting at high school.

I love a good attitude adjustment.

Of course, that attitude went a bit downhill the next morning.  School started, which means when the alarm went off at it's usual 6:00, I actually had to roll out of bed and get the kids up.  I hate getting out of bed at 6:00 to get the kids up.

Doesn't help that I had to get this little guy up for his first day of kindergarten. 

While I am so sad for myself, being smacked in the face with the idea of him growing up, I am so happy for him.   He has wanted to go to school with the big kids for most of his life.

My mood was back up again when I got home, and it was just Phoenix (who starts high school next week) and Cuckoo.  That is a combination I've never had at home with me before.   It melted my heart to watch the two of them play and hang out together all morning.

And then my mood went back down a bit, as we hunted for school pants for the boy.   I thought buying jeans for myself was awful.  Buying pants for a child who is 5'11" and 123 pounds is downright maddening.  Five stores we went to, and ended up having to settle with shorts and pants that almost fit.

That's life, I guess.  We wouldn't appreciate the wonderfulness in our lives without those everyday frustrations to put it in perspective.  

Today, finally, I get to stay home for a few hours straight and begin the process of getting this house back in order.   While I do so, I will be cranking up some music, 'cause music always makes me feel better.   

Now turn up the volume and dance with me to one of my favorite songs.  It just happens to fit with the theme we've got going here today.

Have a lovely day!


  1. Very cool song. Sorry to hear life's been so hard on you lately. Fingers crossed that it slackens off soon and gives you a break. Praying for a good dose of that peace which passes all understanding for ya.

    SO pleased that somehow, that ol' barn gave you a little perspective and the tree gave you a giggle. Your ability to stop, shake the creases out of those thought patterns and take a new approach is nothing short of incredible, and certainly something I could do with learning.

    And as for the kids...they better be pleased I'm NOT coming imminently to mow the lawn, or they'd find themselves looking at the wrong end of a British Hissy Fit (a.k.a 'Doing very rapidly What Needs To Be Done, whilst glaring at those who ain't doing it and shoulda been).

    Take good care, my friend, and I hope you find some time to relax after the music's run out. Have another tune on me x

  2. Raising 6 kids can NOT be easy and there are bound to be rough days! Don't beat yourself up, girl! You have wonderful kids, who are just that - KIDS! And you are right - these days will FLY by - and it won't matter if your house was messy or clean. So, yes, enjoy your precious time with them. I'm glad your mood shifted quickly once you saw the funny photo!

    I can't believe your kids are back to school already! Wow! Around here they have a couple more weeks of summer vacation.

    Have a good day! ;)

  3. Am still amazed at how you cope - six kids all at once is incredible, when two used to get me down (between us, they still can - especially now I'm alone since their Dad left us a year ago). Carry on the great work - and keep writing these splendid posts! I've missed a lot recently - been fighting malignant computers, among other things - but will try to visit and comment as of yore, better!

    Cheers. Isobel:

  4. I can so remember these frustrations. I can also remember that it was worth it all. My son is now 43 years old. There are always lots of ups and downs.

    Love the song and you're right, it's perfect for this post.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

  5. You are amazing for sure!!!! Plus, you consider it lazy that your kids are reading books. I would consider that a monumental victory over playing video games all day.

  6. I love that you gave yourself a prayer time out before addressing the kids!

  7. I have those meltdown days, too. In fact, I'm fixing to have one realllllly soon, given the present condition of my house. But when they're grown up, they're going to remember going to fair and taking pictures and eating fair food, and they're not going to remember that the kitchen floor was dirty and the laundry wasn't put away. So don't be so hard on yourself! When your nest is empty, you can clean and straighten.

    LOVE that big kindergartener smile!

    And who plants a tree in front of a backdrop obviously intended as a photo op?

  8. Thanks for sharing! Totally get it live it and survive it occasionally.

    Holy cow Phoenix is so tall next to the barn! Love the change in heart and change at the barn and LOVE LOVE LOVE that you broke rules and marched into the exit! I would have done the same thing!
    Eww for the donut burger
    Buttercup is looking so old too.
    and NEXT week you can clean the house, you can toss out stuff that you don't want in your house and you can get the house back! (says the woman who had 17, not even kidding 17 storage boxes in her diningroom since February. And we just took them to the storage room because I just could not stand it anymore)
    Go hug your kids, they need your love and hugging releases toxins and stress or some such thing I heard.

  9. Being one of 7 kids, I recall my Mum having 'those' days, too - and, as a mother myself now, can understand her frustration and anger when we didn't pull our weight :)

    She eventually put a chart up on the wall with all our names, the days of the week, and the list of chores we had to do - and if they weren't all done, and crossed out by her, we didn't get our pocket money - a great insentive to keep us enthusiastic! Lol

  10. Oooofta

    I'm glad there were some ups along with the down this past week for you (and hope I am about to witnesses a focus on some of the awesomness with the TToT). For a moment there as I was reading it just seemed to fall deeper and deeper into despair.

    Raising such a big family I'd imagine it's impossible for things to avoid being hectic most of the time. Kids can be crazy! They also seem to be fairly adherent to knowing when they should shape up and lend a hand (even if it isn't always without being asked), far far more than most other children I've experienced let me tell ya...

    Glad the fair ended up being a lot of fun, and I hope thinks are looking a bit more up as the weekend hit. Things aren't always going to look/be perfect (it seems your husband doesn't mind as much as you do on some of these points?), so don't let that overwhelm you and make you forget to enjoy life and your kids and family while you can!

    Seems really early for school to be starting >.< I still haven't even done my taxes!

    Also, I want a freakin' doughnut burger! What the heck?! I may have to check out my State Fair...

    That has been only the second or third Blue October song I've heard and I have liked them all. May have to check em out via Spotify!

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink


Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you're thinking!