Before everyone gets bent out of shape, please read the entire post. Yes, I could choose to title this different, but I believe it’s the right one.
I decided to write this post today, rather than yesterday because I was/am still wrestling with my feelings. Sundays are supposed to be days of rest, relaxation, time to focus on Christ and our blessings from Heavenly Father. Well, that always feels impossible for me. No matter how early I wake myself and the kids up, we are always late and it’s always a fight.
Yesterday morning was no different. I woke up at 8:15, picked out everyone’s clothes, and headed downstairs where Zed and the older girls were playing. Everyone was happy and I had great faith it would be a great Sunday. Within 5 minutes there was yelling and crying and poop in underwear. You see…we’re working on potty training Dax. What I quickly found out was he is scared to poop on the potty. After cleaning him up the fight to get everyone dressed began. The girls no longer wanted to wear the outfits they had picked out the night before. After 4 different decisions on outfits they returned to the original decision. Thank goodness for Zoe who doesn’t quite have a say yet, but she’s learned to spit from her older siblings. So though her outfit wasn’t needing changed, it still needed some attention so the Nutella mixed in with the spit didn’t stain.
Dressed and with shoes on, the fight to control unruly locks began. The fight over who had to go first was quickly followed by the fight over who wanted to go first. In between Dax needed to potty again and decided his vest and tie were not suitable clothing to wear while doing his business. Successful in peeing on the potty, I went in search of finding which girl still needed her hair brushed and pulled back because I had already forgotten. Finding Zoe and turning it into a game to accomplish a small ponytail, all kids were now ready to go.
Being about 915 (we have to leave no later that 935 to get seats) I knew it’d be a quick shower, messy bun kind of day. Shower accomplished, dressed, and shoes on I set out to begin loading kiddos up. I hoped air drying my hair by running around collecting kids would be a good idea (it wasn’t). I couldn’t find Dax and realized he was again on the potty. I couldn’t get upset because he was really picking up the potty training thing, but it was 935. Once finished I picked him up and plopped him into his seat. Ready to run back inside and grab a brush to do my hair on the way I realized he didn’t have shoes or socks on. Guess those are not suitable items to wear while pottying either. I grabbed the brush and shoes and headed for the car.
As Zed climbed in I realized I had no diaper bag (not smart when you’re potty training) and no activity bag (not smart when trying to keep kids quiet during church). Back inside I quickly throw together both bags and head back out. 945 and we were finally pulling out of the driveway.
With all 4 kids yelling (no joke) my name asking random questions I snapped. All that kept running through my head was “I hate Sundays.” I turned around and in the calmest voice I could muster I said “Mom is off the clock. I need from now until we get to church to have some quiet time. If you need something, ask Dad. Otherwise talk to each other.” It took about 2 times for the kids to learn I was serious, but then it was the best ride to church I’ve had in a long time.
What did I do during this time? I looked out the window. I said a prayer. I let myself relax. Most importantly I went off the clock for 15min and reset myself rather than getting upset with the kids.
And what was the result? No kids ran in the street as we walked from the parking lot to the church building. The kids were well behaved during the meeting. All kids went easily to their Sunday School classes. Zed and I’s first Sunday School lesson (we team teach the 10-12 year olds) went really well. And most importantly, I was able to focus on the Spirit and enjoy Church for the first time in a long time.
I learned an important lesson, and typing it now is helping me to remember the lesson I learned. Everyone needs a timeout every once in a while. Anger and frustration will get you no where. Taking a few minutes off, even if that’s putting yourself in a bubble in a very energetic car, does wonders.
So do I really hate Sundays? No, of course not. What I hate is how that is the one day every week I am easily frustrated and agitated. I had the thought, I’m just going to stay home today before getting in the car the final time. But, if I would have done that Satan would have won and I would not have learned an important skill.
For those wondering where Zed was in this whole ordeal…he did breakfast for everyone, found all the shoes, cleaned up the dishes from the night prior, coaxed the girls into keeping on their clothes and not changing their minds for a fifth time, and got himself ready. He was very much a help, not looking forward to when he begins traveling for work again.