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Have you seen those t-shirts that read, “I just can’t adult today?” Well, I woke up feeling this way early this morning. My two sons were up in the middle of the night – several times. At one point during the night one son accidentally urinated all over himself, the bathroom floor and, unfortunately, me. Needless to say, my night was interrupted.

I woke up groggy and angry at my alarm. I pulled the covers over my head then contemplated letting the kids miss school so I could stay in bed all day. It was clear my brain was fuzzy because if they were home, staying in bed all day is not a reality. So, I desperately prayed, “Lord help me, I can’t do this today!” While a loud thunderous voice from heaven saying Jesus would take over from here would have been nice, I didn’t feel any supernatural strength or motivation, but I did feel a bit more grounded so I managed to drag myself out of bed.

I walked out of my bedroom to find my seven year-old reading a book. When I asked him to get dressed for school, he groaned and said, “I thought we didn’t have school today!” Since we had a birthday party the night before, and they were up later than usual, apparently both boys mistakenly thought it was the weekend.

I sat down while my son climbed onto my lap. I shared how I wished today wasn’t a school day, and how I desired to return to my bed for more sleep. We synchronized over our desire to avoid doing what we needed to do to start our day then we reluctantly prepared for the day’s events.

My head was starting to pound with a headache. Once again, I wished I could return to bed. By the time we all climbed into the car some arguing between the boys started. As is our custom, I suggested some appreciation on the way to school and we all took turns. Thankfully, the boys climbed out of the car with smiles. I felt a little more grounded as I drove home, but I still did not feel like myself.

Once home, I looked at my calendar and realized my morning was free from appointments. I celebrated by crawling back to bed for some rest. After a short nap, my head was still foggy and I felt off. At this point I decided to take a sick day, so I whittled my schedule down to the bare minimum.

I share my morning with you because having relational skills does not mean we always feel happy or even joyful. It does not mean we are always able to jump back into relational mode completely and suddenly turn into superwoman or superman. However, what it does mean is that I can show an example to my family how to have a bad day. I can help my loved ones interpret my grumpiness so they do not take it personally. Then, I can give myself some grace.

Is there a place in your life where you need lay down your cape and pick up some grace?

Posted in Parenting

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  1. Erna Topliffe

    Thanks for the support, Jen. My brain feels foggy this morning, so am going to pare down what I do today especially since tomorrow is jam packed again!
    Instead of doing a complicated, work intensive salad for tomorrow’s Christmas luncheon, I’ll do a salad in a bag!

  2. Brad Gustin

    Wow! Thanks for sharing. Urine everywhere is a bit of a challenge. Some parents would consider it reasonable to lose it and attack the kids. I think there probably is some opportunities here for growth in your kids. Maybe you could think of running through the night and morning with them like a mad lib. Reframing is good after we’ve had our chance to be over the top at how ridiculous it was that all that happened. I’ve done it a few times with my kids and they love it. Modeling. Like

    “kids I went to bed last night after the party and you know what I was thinking? No. Well I was thinking I was going to have the best night of sleep ever! Then when I woke up you know what happened? What mommy? You were awake and not feeling good. Oh no! And then….” At this point even the smallest kids will try to be part of the action. It’s really fun being a parent even after days it isn’t. Try it and see if they can’t wait to tell what they wanted to happen but didn’t. Empathy is huge, connecting with our kids disappointments starts by us allowing ourselves to connect with our own in front of them. I dunno. Just an idea to try.

    • Jen Coursey

      Hi Brad, thanks for your note. I am not sure I am fully tracking what you are saying here. Maybe we can email more about it.

  3. Anna Kang

    Thanks Jen. I always need examples of living out relational skills. I loved how you synchronized with the kids about not wanting to go to school. I usually end up steamrolling their feelings because I don’t want to deal with it! Much love to you guys.

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