I've been running on empty lately.
I'm super tired because nights are never full of sleep, and my sacred nap time is slowly going away.
Being tired just stinks.
When I'm tired, I have a hard time controlling my emotions.
So, last night when Lily woke me up at 1 AM deciding to wage an all out battle with me over sleeping in my bed, I just didn't, I just couldn't let her win. I won.
It wasn't pretty. I was definitely not a sweet, loving, kind, patient mommy at 1 AM. I was a tired human who desperately wanted sleep. So, I returned to my bed feeling slightly like a monster, and continued sleeping for a few more hours before I started my day.
Today, the kids and I went to the gym so I could do a half-hearted work out, we had a picnic and we went on a bike ride all before 11:30 AM. By noon, I was ready for nap. And 3 of the 4 kids were ready too.
Lily asked me to carry her to bed. I obliged. I laid her down and told both the girls that they needed to get a good rest because they were having a sleep over with their aunt tonight - and they wanted to be able to have enough energy to enjoy it. Emma, who can't stand naps, quickly rolled over and fell asleep.
I walked down stairs excited to lay down on the couch and join my children in a few minutes of glorious shut eye.
But here came Lily.
She had a ridiculous explanation as to why she was out of bed and then she asked me to carry her to bed...again.
I replied with something very loving like, "Walk your little tushie upstairs yourself."
Lily then looked at me, dug her heels into the ground, and said, "MOMMY!!! CARRY ME!!!"
After we went back and forth, I threw that little girl over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes, stomped up the stairs like a mean ol' giant and tossed her on her bed and demanded she fall asleep (Yes, I win the "Stellar Mom of the Year Award)
I walked downstairs, as I plopped myself into my chair and I felt this quiet voice speak...
"Was that really necessary?"
"She's just a little girl. Was that really necessary?"
As I heard His quiet whisper, I was suddenly humbled...but then, I dug my feet into the ground and said, "BUT GOD!!! If I carried her upstairs all loving and sweet, then she would know she could throw a tantrum like that every time and get what she wants. If I carried her like she wanted me to, she would think I was wrapped around her finger. If I didn't respond the way I did, she would think she was in control...."
"But Melissa, I love you. Sometimes, I make you walk...but a lot of the time I carry you. And even though I'm holding you, you are learning you aren't in control. It's taking you awhile, though."
Tonight, as I drove away from my aunt's house waving goodbye to my precious children and Lily screaming, "I WUV YOU MOMMY!!! I WUV YOU MOMMY!!!" the words I felt whispered to my heart today resonated with me. She is just a little girl. They are just little precious babies.
I know they are 5,3 and almost 2. I know there are times when boundaries have to be clearly in place, but soon, before I want it to happen, they won't be little anymore.
Soon, she won't want me to carry her to her bed. Soon, she won't be living in my home. Soon, she will have a strong willed daughter just like her that she calls me to share the crazy stories about. Soon, she won't be a little girl anymore but a grown woman and I will think about today and long for the time when she just wanted to cuddle.
So, tonight I am going to bed and I'm going to sleep all night long (well, as long as Will decided to allow me) and in the morning I will be reunited with my three oldest children and I, running hopefully on a half tank by the morning, will embrace them and remember they are just little, precious, wonderful children...
And then she will dig her heels in and I will, hopefully, respond more...kind,gentle,patient...loving.