Last Saturday and Sunday morning, I had to leave the house by 9am. Saturday morning Charlie had a birthday party for a friend and Sunday morning, of course, we had Sunday School and church. Ryan worked all week-end (leaves before 6am) so I had to walk the dogs, dress and feed the children and myself, and load up the car solo both mornings. None of these things were too unusual, except the fact that it all had to take place before 9am...
Bad night's sleep. The gals upstairs "work the night shift" (I think that they are strippers but that's another post) and pounded and stomped around pretty much all night. So after Ryan left at 5:45, I fell back asleep and woke up to Charlie's calls in the monitor at around 7:50. Oh dear, short on time and just getting started on the day! So I started running around like crazy, showering, fixing breakfast, nursing while eating, drying hair while putting on make-up (not a good idea, btw), packing all the supplies required to take two kids in diapers out for the entire morning, etc. During this time, I did not speak one word to Elliot and managed to snap at Charlie about 5 times (and did I mention yelling at the dogs?). And this time, he wasn't really doing anything to deserve those snaps - he just wasn't moving fast enough for my liking. I'll leave out the details of my grumpiness and impatience and it's effect on my family but suffice it to say, it was not a pleasant morning and Charlie and I were both sad and quiet on the trip "into town" (we live in a suburb of Savannah right now and doing anything in Savannah requires about a 30 minute drive and two major highways).
During the drive into Savannah, I prayed and reflected on the chaotic and very unpleasant nature of the morning and realized that such a morning was an un-blessing to my family. Not only was I not taking the opportunity to enjoy and love on my babies but I was really making their lives not very pleasant with my silence and brusque attitude. It was as if the Lord was speaking directly to me and saying, "Look here, it's not Charlie's fault that you chronically underestimate the time it takes to get out of the house in the morning. It's not his fault that he's still only 2 years old and can't help. You need to get up earlier and be cheerful!" I have purposed in my heart to get up earlier in the past and have loved the effect it always has on my day. But living in the apartment, I have just been so tired. We sleep on cots on the floor and that fact, combined with the aforementioned upstairs neighbors, make sleeping really difficult. So I have been overtired and not into getting up a second before it's necessary. But in spite of that, I decided to try getting up early on Sunday...
Bad night's sleep. The gals upstairs "work the night shift" and pounded and stomped around pretty much all night. So after Ryan left at 5:45, I fell back asleep and woke up to my alarm at 7:00. I first spent some time reading and praying and then took a long, leisurely shower and then read The Screwtape Letters (we are studying it in SS this summer) while I dried my hair. I then got Elliot up, dressed him and fed him before Charlie was even up. Much more reasonable and relaxed, to have an hour to eat, dress just one person and load the car. We were early to Sunday School.
So I'm back on the get-up-before-the-kids bandwagon. I was a blessing to my family Sunday morning. And that is worth more than a few extra minutes of shut-eye.
A mother's part in sustaining the life of her children and making it pleasant and comfortable is no triviality. It calls for self-sacrifice and humility, but it is the route, as was the humiliation of Jesus, to glory.