Be Still

Being a single stay at home mom affords some unique opportunities and challenges. After doing this for a few years, I’ve discovered meaningful connections are key for my success. I’m an introvert. My kids are generally in bed by 7pm. So I have evenings to myself. That really helps me recharge for the next day, but isn’t always enough.

So I make a point of connecting with at least one life-giving friend a week. This week, however, afforded me the opportunity to connect with 5 great friends in two short days.

Wednesday morning we arrived slightly late for story & craft time at Chapters. It was a struggle to get out the door. The night before, Athena destroyed the bathroom. Because I was downstairs working on the other bathroom, this went unnoticed until long after she was asleep. So first thing in the morning we chatted about the chunk she’d torn off the wall and the pieces of soap shoved down the drain. In to time out she went. It was not pleasant.

Then Raine decided she wouldn’t take her medication. As much as I understand, she really can’t function without it. After failing to find a pharmaceutical that works for her, we’ve found an herbal product that helps take the edge off without diminishing who Raine is.

I knew she wouldn’t be able to cope with out the medication. A lengthy battle ensued in which Raine told me she was leaving to return to her birth mom. “Because it’s so much better there!” Eventually, after the contents of one capsule was thrown around the kitchen, Raine complied.

We arrived in our nice dresses and I ordered myself some coffee. The day got better.

samples of chai tea! Athena's favourite

Samples of chai tea! Athena’s favourite.

“I can’t believe it,” my friend said when I relayed the story of our morning. “I never would have guessed.”

I am a firm believer in the beauty of adoption. The fact remains, parenting kids from hard places is hard. That doesn’t change my belief that it’s right, necessary, and worth it. The reality isn’t as lovely as we looked walking into Chapters Wednesday morning. That’s ok. My life is a beautiful mess as we navigate the experience of family that is uniquely ours.

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Raine, eying some interesting books.

Sipping coffee with my friend while my girls were enraptured by the story being read by the Chapter’s employee, gave me a chance to be still. The struggles of our morning faded away.

Last night, after the kids were “in bed”, another friend came by. There were a dozen reasons my normally compliant kids found to leave their rooms. Mainly they wanted to be part of the conversation going on in the living room. I let them say hello then sent them back to bed. When they settled, I got to pray with my friend – something that energizes my spirit. It was so refreshing to be still in the presence of the Lord.

This morning was another race. Up so late, the kids slept in. For the first time since becoming a mom 6yrs ago, I got out of bed at 8:30am. Normally it’s 6:30am or 7am if all goes well. Lovely – except we needed to be at the chiropractor’s for 9am. It was a rush. And Raine ended up on the floor of her bedroom crying that the capri’s I picked out were completely unsuitable. “It’s freezing outside!” she sobbed. “I’m going to freeze!”

Being perfect, I wouldn’t have let the looming appointment dictate how much time I spent consoling and convincing her. Far from perfect, I told her it would soon warm up outside and offered her some pants. That didn’t help. She kept crying, for reasons I didn’t quite catch as I tried to grab a couple of granola bars for the kids’ breakfast (to be eaten in the car).

We made it to the appointment, then went on to a park where I was having an informal business meeting with a friend. She was a little late, so Raine pushed Athena and I on a swing. I loved the chance to be still and let my body move with the rhythm of the swing.

Our meeting went long. The kids were playing so well, I didn’t notice the time.

Exhausted and happy after a day of play, the kids rested while I made dinner.

Exhausted and happy after a day of play, kids rested while I made dinner.

We rushed from there to a play date at an indoor playground with two other friends. The place, normally crowded, was completely empty. Our kids – six in total – loved it.

Normally, I’m somewhat nervous when Raine’s around kids & parents we aren’t familiar with. Sometimes her reactions are out of sync with what’s going on. Often she’s loud and bossy. Maybe no one else cares, but I worry. Not having any unknown kids or parents around I could be still and enjoy the conversation with my friends. It was blissful.

This is what helps me carry on – the moments I’m able to be still and drink in the company of a like minded, trusted friend. I’m so grateful for those the Lord has brought into my life – including the ones I didn’t manage to connect with this week.

 

 

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