Fairytale Life of a Parent: Mom wakes at 6am, has a cup of coffee, reads her Bible, exercises, showers and greets her children with a hot breakfast at 7:30.
Realistic Life of a Parent: Mom wakes at 3am to a screaming 2 year old who can't be consoled until brought into Mom and Dad's bed, where he tosses and turns until falling asleep with his feet pushed into mom's belly. As Mom dozes back to sleep, older child turns on bathroom light which shines onto Mom's face. Child is obviously distressed so Mom gets out of bed, making sure to not wake Mr. 2. Older child has wet the bed and is very upset about it. Mom helps child get cleaned up and lays a towel down over the wet sheets (She's not the only one that does this, right???) and helps child get back into bed and soothes child back to sleep. Mom turns around to leave and sees that the younger brother has woken up now so Mom soothes him back to sleep, too.
Mom gets back into bed, gently moving Mr. 2, who has migrated to her half of the bed while she was gone. Mom realizes she needs to go to the toilet so she rolls out of bed again to take care of things. Gets back into bed and lies there. And lies there. She prays. She thinks. She mentally writes a grocery list. She prays some more. She recites scripture in her head. She finally gives up and just gets out of bed. Puts on her robe and warm socks and walks out to the kitchen to start the coffee pot.
What does a mom do when her night and morning were nothing like a fairy tale? As I write it is 6:18am and I just described my night. My family is still sleeping and I've had two cups of coffee already. I've basically been awake since about 3am and I am NOT looking forward to this day. I wish that I could go back to bed and sleep without interruption, but that is simply not in the cards for today. Or the next five years. Today I'm going to keep reciting the verse that I was thinking of while laying in bed earlier:
Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you in my righteous right hand.”
I'm chuckling to myself because I'm imagining myself like Moses, having his arms held up by Aaron and Hur so that the Israelites would have the advantage in battle. Instead of my arms being held up by humans, I am being held up by God's righteous right hand. He has promised to strengthen me and help me. This life we live as mothers is truly a battle – not against our children, but against one who doesn't want us to succeed - and we CANNOT do it alone.
One of the things I love about the Preschoolers and Peace community is our interaction on Facebook! Have you joined us there? Would love to hear from you about how you survive and handle days that are nothing like a fairy tale.