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Peaceful farewell to the weekend

Exhaustion has set in. Enticing us into the deep seductive folds of sleep. The need and want of sleep is present; the reality of sleep is interrupted, snatched away by the busyness and tasks we have relentlessly thrown ourselves into. By now it has all caught up to us. Looking back, where to start? Looking forward, how to sort it all?

Last week and this week I have something going on every single night. It is by no means a bad thing to be busy, in fact, each one of the appointments, tasks, meetings or gatherings is a chance for me to get out and re-emerge into a world which for a long time, particularly when Araiya was a little baby, I resented and felt I had been forcibly restricted from being a part of. It was a state I put myself in, moreso a mindset that it was too selfish to lay the burden of the kids, wife and home aside, even for a short while. In the few times I did get out, my mind still was bound by the guilt I felt for leaving. The first time I laid that mentality aside Araiya was 10 months old. I went out with a friend to The Chapel and had two drinks- something with fruit puree and something with Godiva Chocolate Liquor and cream. I didn’t question if I was doing the right thing. I actually enjoyed myself. I think it taught me it is okay to let my hair down every once in a while.

I have realized while I do find my fulfillment in the role of Mom and Wife and they are rewarding beyond measure, I do have a need and desire to take a break or do other things along side them. I like this feeling of busy, I have found a better balance internally. I am much more open to allowing people to babysit, to have people over for dinner and see my house a little bit messy, to go to an afternoon of training or a meeting every once in a while.

However, these past few weeks, Every-Once-in-a-While has become Right Now. And to top it off, right in the middle of the jam-packed schedule for these two weeks, both kids get sick.

This picture is the aftermath of a weekend with Matt’s parent’s in town. We took full advantage of the extra help as well as made large steps in planing and scheming house projects, tasks and timelines. This included a 6-hour long Ikea trip (complete with meatballs) for a flat-packed kitchen for the basement unit, plans for changes down there so our tenant can move in, ordering lumber and drywall to segment the laundry room in two, and outlining all the small jobs needing to be wrapped up around here. Both kids fared extremely well in the midst of it all- 6 hours in the big blue box sure took it’s toll on all the adults.

On top of feeling under the weather and being out and about, all the small behavioral issues we have been trying to handle with Araiya became magnified to much greater proportions. Weeks of not sleeping well at night and refusing to nap have probably left her immunities low. Now night wakings become hour long temper tantrums where, despite her exhaustion, she fights sleep even harder than before. Yes, there is a part of it in which she just isn’t feeling well. But the other part is her will butting against ours. I too am tired and being drug down by the effects of my allergies. When she doesn’t sleep, neither do I and I have an incredibly hard time being an effective parent through the feelings fatigue is bringing up- particularly feelings of anger, frustration and a waning level of patience. I can see the terrible two’s looming on the nearing horizon.

I have been grateful for an extra few sets of hands this weekend. I was also grateful for an afternoon that ended in peace and quiet like this- two kids asleep at the same time on the new guest bed. Then I got a ride to the evening Mars Hill service with some friends where I was able to joke about the chaos at home where I had left stuffy noses, hacking coughs, a quarter of a carrot cake sitting in the kitchen amongst a pile of dishes. A place where, for an hour and a half, I wouldn’t have to worry about how both kids and the cat had puked.

Today has been recovery day. Araiya slept in until after noon. We did some dishes and ate lunch. Tallis, who can always be depended on for a nice long afternoon nap pulled through so I could deal with Araiya’s meltdowns and the cherry pits she has spit out all over the table right next to the computer before she too has snuggled back into this bed for a little afternoon rest. Peace of mind.

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