So I’m writing a book on “Enjoying The Chaos”. This doesn’t mean I am perfect about enjoying the ups and downs of life, it doesn’t mean I am a master at controlling my happiness in stressful situations. However, I feel like overall I have a pretty positive outlook on life, and with 4 kids, I work hard to enjoy as much of this craziness as I can.
This being said, there are going to be times we just don’t enjoy the chaos. Today was one of those for me. I woke up in a good mood, knowing the morning would go smoothly and quietly due to the fact my angelic Mother-in-law had kept my 3 and 5 year old boys overnight. How peaceful would it be to just take two older kids to church in the morning? Trust me, getting 2 kids ready versus 4 kids makes a big difference!
My good mood did not last long. As my daughter cried because she needed help picking something out to wear, I lost my patience after pointing to the 15th outfit she disagreed on. My son got dressed with only minimal complaints of how boring church is and how much he doesn’t want to go, and I got myself ready in a pair of printed Old Navy Pixie Pants, a black Express shirt, and even had time to spritz some of the expensive perfume my husband bought me for Christmas and put a necklace on (I rarely get the time to do this on a normal morning).
Fifteen minutes before we had to leave, my husband asked me if I was going to get dressed. What do you mean? I am dressed! Come to find out, he thought my outfit looked like something I would wear to bed…I know…he was just being honest…so of course I run up to change, trying 3 more outfits on and finding nothing seemed to fit or feel comfortable. I finally settled on a mid length gray dress with a black sweater over it as my daughter came upstairs still not dressed.
She whined, “Why does getting ready for church always have to go like this?”…implying that it is always stressful and ends in yelling. Good question. I often find myself wondering if it is worth it? Is it worth going to church when everyone is miserable by the time they get in the car? To add to my unenjoying the chaos morning, the shoes I would have worn with my dress had gotten chewed up by our Great Dane the week before, so I frantically chose between summer dress shoes I had (though it was 15 degrees out with snow on the ground).
When it was time to leave, I realized I needed to empty out my trunk because we were going straight from church to try the new Clicklist at Kroger afterwards. As I was carrying in two 24 packs of bottled water..walking through the snow with my legs bare and summer shoes on, the packages began to rip and at least 24 bottles rolled all over the driveway before I made it into the house.
The kids pouted into the car. Church went well. The kids were quiet, I felt at peace with our decision to still go even though it added stress, and I realized that it wasn’t supposed to be easy. I train and learn in my business that it will not be easy. I constantly tell my team, you have to have the mindset to overcome the stresses, to not give up when you hit roadblocks…because you WILL hit roadblocks…things WILL go wrong…but when you focus on your mindset and your goal…your reasons for doing it… you find you can get past these times and come out stronger.
Why do I think going to church should be easy? Why do I think finding time to focus on God should be easy? In this busy world, it is not. But I need to not let anything become a roadblock to my faith. I need to have the mindset I will overcome the events that try to pull me away from my faith. If I can have that mindset with my business, I can have it with my faith. Nothing worth having comes easy.
There we go…me finding a way to “enjoy” the chaos…learn from the stresses of my day.
I left church with the kids and we drove to pick up my groceries. The entire ride, my two oldest whined, fought, hit each other, talked back to me, purposefully did whatever they could to annoy the other sibling. I yelled, I took away electronics, I ordered a half hour nap when we got home, I added an 8:00pm bedtime for that night, I added to their chore list…none of it seemed to matter. I think they had reverted to the age of 3, knowing my 3 year old was not present at the time.
I think I even said, “I quit”.
My Norwegian daughter said, “You quit being a mom?”.
I replied, “Can I just quit for the rest of this day?”.
I didn’t enjoy today. I tried not to lose my patience, I tried to turn it into positive…but I just didn’t have the strength to enjoy the chaos this time.
No matter how many tips and tricks I learn and share, we just can’t do it all the time. That is an unreachable expectation. It’s okay if we sometimes don’t enjoy it. This doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying. And I have not given up that when my 3rd and 4th offspring join our house this evening, adding to the chaos, that we will laugh, have fun, and resume the enjoyment…at least until the bedtime drama.