20 minutes

Last night I posted this picture on Instagram with the following caption:

There was about an hour this evening that was pretty intense-- lots of tears and screaming and chaos. And then it was over. The girls were in their beds. And in the quiet I was reminded of the quote by Jim Elliot: "Rainbows are made of both sunlight and rain."

These ladies are making a lot of rainbows in my life.

And it's true-- there is a lot, A LOT, of sunlight. We are fortunate in a lot of ways. And our rain is more of a sprinkle compared to the downpour that some are going through. But when it's raining, it's noisy and crazy and my patience is oh.so.thin. I try not to be a yeller, which is something I have to consciously think about every day. But in those moments when no one is listening and everyone has to poop, or has pooped, or is pooping, and someone just fell, and Blythe lets out one of her crazy-tantrumy screams I can't even begin to comprehend... well, it's safe to say I lose it. 

But I'm learning that pretty quickly, normalcy returns, children sleep, equilibrium is regained. Sunlight. 

But those moments of rain seem so so very very loooong. And unending. 

But do you know how I got through that crazy-train last night? I thought of some of the best parenting advice I've ever heard: Look at the clock and tell yourself, "In twenty minutes, this will be over." And do you know why that advice is so brilliant? 

Because it's true. 
[I have a friend who has twins and she said she gives herself 40 minutes :)].

This is from the book "Loving the Little Years" by Rachel Jankovic, which I wrote in depth about here.
She wrote that she had to decide to stop saying, out loud and to herself, that she was overwhelmed. "Deciding not to wallow in that fact has removed one of the biggest obstacles to my work-- my own calculations of how hard the job is." And in those crazy- one- kid- screaming- for- no- reason/million- reasons- in- the- bathtub- and- one- screaming- on- the- floor- next- to- you- moments, instead of letting myself think, "I'm overwhelmed," and feeling sorry for myself, I'm reminded of what she suggested: I look at the clock. I take a deep breath. And I tell myself, "In twenty minutes this will be over." And I dive into the work. 

She says, "A moment. It passes. But when it passes, you will be very glad if all you did was work right through it. No self-pity, no tears, no getting worked into a dither. Look at the clock, look at the work you need to do, and bear down. That super intensity will almost always be over in twenty minutes." 

Sunlight and rain, friends. That's what our days are made of. 

And our days are made of moments that we need to dive into-- the good ones and the bad ones. Because I'll let you in on another tip: the bad ones are fleeting, but so are the knock-you-down-with-joy-and-gratitude good ones. 

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1 comment:

*carrie* said...

Oh, girl, I get it. We have plenty of those moments, still, even as our kids get a little older.

It's funny because as I was reading the first part of your post, I thought, "This reminds me of a section in LTLY!" =)