Wrong side of the bed

I woke up this morning feeling like crap. There are probably a number of ways to explain this, and I won’t go into it right now because I’m sure it would spill over into shameless venting.

My pastoral care professor used to say that if you feel lousy emotionally in the morning that’s not a problem so long as you start to feel better as the day progresses. It likely means that you were just working stuff out in your subconscious while you slept.

I’m going to go with that explanation for now. And hope that my subconscious accomplished some incredible thugs last night. We’ll see.

In the meantime , I think the general thing I’m trying to work out stems from the laundry list of things I promise not to vent about.

But, swirling around in my head, three recent conversations related to working motherhood are converging.

(1) One friend of mine commented in the last week that the key right now to making her complicated life work is simply believing herself that she can pull this off. If that’s the case, she figures the people around her will decide it’s working too ( kind of the working mom’s version of the idea that if you think you are beautiful and glamorous, other people will pick up on that projection and agree).

(2) Another friend described the goal for a crazy month as “survival”. Which I’m starting to think is pretty much every parents’ root goal. It’s even somewhat evolutionary, huh? It reminded me of the comment my sister made in the card she sent for Zora’s first birthday: “Congratulations, you kept the baby alive for a whole year.”

(3) Last night after a long and not so fabulous day, a more seasoned working mom than I said the thing that I probably needed to hear: “I don’t know how you do it.” (And whether she realized it or not, I took it as a full-on Holy Spirit moment when God knew that I needed just that).

The collision of these three things: I honestly don’t know either. I have no idea how I pull together a life that involves the needs and demands of a preschooler and a baby on board, and a husband with a job he loves but. Ridiculous commute, and the tensions and pull between areas of ministry, and the ever-growing to-do list.

Some days I feel like I get one little piece of this right. Most days I can also list the pieces I completely bungled. Some days I am ready to pop out of bed and conquer the world. Others I would rather go back to sleep. Some days I can’t imagine this any differently, others I start scheming about the most drastic ways to reconfigure the whole deal.

I imagine this is true to some extent of everyone’s life. And I wish we could all be more honest with each other, and perhaps a little more grace-filled around the places where others bungle things.

6 Responses to “Wrong side of the bed”

  1. MaryAnn McKibben Dana Says:

    That is all.

  2. Katherine Says:


    This is super close to home for me right now… on the cusp of a very different phase/schedule that scares the living daylights out of me. More tomorrow.

  3. Bromleigh Says:

    I dropped both the kids off at “school” this morning — late, as usual — and it took all that is in me to drive to church and not back to bed. I am exhausted sometimes with the efforts of basic child-carting. But then there are those holy spirit moments, of affirmation, of everything inexplicably working out — and I am able to go on, and know joy. You are in my prayers, lady.

  4. Alex Says:

    Yup. It helps me to know that you gals are toiling away, as well.

    Oh, and my kids’ school may have a teachers’ strike starting tomorrow. Fabulous.

  5. Erica Says:

    Huh, Alex, maybe you should just send them up here…Zora’s preschool doesn’t start until September 20 (!!!!) so I could probably take on a few more kids and not loose that much productivity…maybe they would entertain each other.

    In fact, maybe this is a good idea…pastor kid swaps…you take mine for a week, then send me your’s the next. Do you think they could mange the train ride on their own?

  6. Bromleigh Says:

    btw, someone thought that my life would be improved today if i was given helpful advice about getting out of the house with my two small children in a more timely fashion. here is the advice: get up really early. i replied, to this person who should totally know better, the problem is not me, it is my children, who sleep late because i put them to bed late because i go to a lot of evening meetings and i work all day and so i often keep them up so we can be together as a family, you know, every now and again. but no, i’d totally be less frazzled if i, the nursing mother of an infant got up at 6 every day just for the hell of it.