Friday, January 4, 2008

Some Days...Some Months...It's All About Survival

As a mother of 4 children 8 years and younger…some days, I simply feel like I am in survival mode. That is, I feel like “going through the motions” is simply the best I can do. I consider it a great feat if we all manage to get dressed and out the door without screaming, yelling or someone getting hurt. My plan to spend quality time with each child often gets lost in the day-to-day near-Herculean effort it takes just to get by.

Each morning, I wake up with the best of intentions: no yelling, regardless of whether or not Cannon teases his sisters to the point of high-pitched shrieking. I will keep my cool whether or not Brynnley refuses to put on “real clothes” (that is, not shorts or skimpy little ballet dresses. It
is, after all, January in Cleveland and our inside temperature only tops 64 degrees!). I will simply sigh a deep breath and clean up the mess not if, but when, Kenzie throws her soggy Bran Flakes all over the kitchen floor.

“I will try to stay calm and happy.”
“I will try to maintain my composure.”
“I will try not to lose my temper.”
“I will try to let it go.”
“I will try...I will try…I will try.”

Despite my heroic intentions…most of these attempts are out the window by 9:30am. And that is on a good day.

I think we’re fairly normal in our attempts to survive “normal” life.

These last few months, however, have truly tested my limits as far as patience, sanity, and overall emotional perseverance are concerned.

You’ll notice, we haven’t posted a blog on our website for months. That’s because, we’ve been in all-out-I-can’t-handle-one-more-thing-survival-mode.

Sparing the details, let me just say that some rather unexpected events could have derailed us from the path we hope to follow on this journey we call life. We’ve been in survival mode – since August.

As is so often the case – as we are forced to look at and re-evaluate our lives and our direction, I can see that we aren’t meant to stay in survival mode forever. Life, as defined in the dictionary, means, “the state of an organism characterized by certain processes or abilities that include…growth, reproduction and response.”

“Survival Mode,” or the act of “going through the motions,” is merely a stepping stone - -meant to give us a little break – a rest along the way if we need it – but it’s not a stopping point. Just because I clean up soggy Bran Flakes and spilled milk every day doesn’t mean I quit allowing 20 month-old Kenzie to feed herself. She needs the growth this experience provides and I need to learn to master my response to her growth.

And just because Brynnley and I don’t agree on the effects of wearing ballet dresses in January in Cleveland, (she thinks she’s beautiful; I think she’ll get sick.), that doesn’t mean we quit trying to reach a compromise. Again, she needs the growth that learning to make decisions provides her. And I need to learn to master my response to her growth.

Some days we battle the same issues…over and over and over again.
And we survive.
Other days (and months) we battle new issues…many of which we hope to never repeat again.

And we hope to survive.
I hope to survive.

Someday, as a parent and as an individual, I’ll be able to look back at my times in “survival mode” and realize that I’ve somehow crossed the threshold into "survivor mode".

We can all become survivors…that is…we can all become, “one who will not accept defeat.”

Let this be our year.


Hatsuho said...

Tacie, you are amazing, and your family is so lucky to have a mom like you! We sure miss you in Mayfield. How's your "new" house, are your kids adjusting to new schools, and did you have a good holidays? My blog is at :)

lexi said...

Hi Taci,
I just saw your link on Aaron's blog. I added a link to your from my blog, hope you don't mind. Looking forward to our birthday get together soon!

Dave, Loralee, Emma, & Bree said...

You amaze me! I love your perspective! We totally miss you out here...and I miss seeing Brynnley's outfits at school :) Hang in there...the sun will come out soon (at least, that's what I keep telling myself)!