Monday, October 8, 2012

playing the game

my husband is a college golf coach.  he has a crazy busy schedule.  his team only spends about 30 days out of the entire year competing in tournament play but the remaining 300+ are spent preparing for those 30.  
{isn't he so handsome in his shades and golf attire...i just love that man}
recruiting, practicing, working out, modifying equipment, team building...
the 30 days are important because that's when results's the other 300+ that actually determine what those results will be.

sometimes i wish it were that way with parenting.  i wish there were only certain days of the year that really counted and then all the other days were reserved for preparation.  but here's the thing i've learned about having kids...
1 :: every day counts
2 :: you must be prepared if you want good results

today i was most definitely not prepared.  after being out of town for several days and running on much less than my preferred 7 hours of nightly sleep i was behind the eight ball for sure.  i fell into the bed at 11:30 last night after a 16 hour day.  when my head hit the pillow i knew there were piles of laundry in my closet, dirty dishes soaking in the sink, a sparse selection of food in my refrigerator, and no organized play space for my kids to step into in the morning.  in other words - my house was a wreck and i had no plans for our monday at-home day.

to make matters worse...i also knew that i needed as much sleep as i could get so my usual 5:30am alarm would have to be silenced.  oh what a tough trade-off...30 minutes alone to prepare my heart and mind for the day in exchange for some extra rest.  i really, REALLY hate to make that swap but you have to know when your body has physically reached it's limit.

so without any preparation this morning looked a lot like this...
and my bed looked a lot like this...
{please note all the toys that i one-by-one had to remove from oliver's room every time he came out of time out...and i was attemping laundry during all of that}
i tried my best to hold things together but it was a rough morning.  the kids watched a little too much t.v. while i tried to tidy up and make breakfast.  my brilliant plan of leaving the trashed house behind majorly back-fired when both kids had meltdowns over who was sitting where in the car and i had to follow-up on my threat to ditch the park and send them to their room for not obeying me {i hate it when i promise consequences that are punishment for me too!}.  i slipped back into my old terrible habit of yelling...ugh...i cringe. i only did it once out loud but i did it in my head at least a dozen more times.

after taking a few moments to compose myself a lightbulb went off and i declared that we were all heading to the back yard to wear ourselves out.

it's a mom i don't have hundreds of days of the year to prepare for the times that will really count for my kids.  i have to make every day count whether i'm prepared or not.  that's the bad news.  
the good news is this - the only person keeping score is me.  and i've really got to stop that.  we are all on the same team and the only competition i really face is my own unrealistic expectations of myself.

i didn't need a clean house, an elaborate homeschool lesson and 30 perfect minutes of quiet time to win this day.  sometimes you are more prepared than you think you are...and running and laughing and kicking balls and rolling in the grass are all you need to turn a bad round into a good one.  

thank you God for this grace-filled game of motherhood.

this is day 8 of 31 days...