Most days I get to work before 8AM and don’t get off work until about 6pm.
It’s a long workday.
If I weren’t able to load Will up in the car and get out to do stuff sometimes, I probably would have lost my sanity long ago. As it is, I’ve taken him on errands, to different places for walks, to the pool, to my brother’s house to play with my nephew and nieces, to my house, and even to his doctor appointments.
Add to that list: Mothers’ Morning Out at a church. I haven’t had to actually take him there, yet, but I’ve picked him up each time. He’s been going for two weeks now, on Monday mornings. I love MMO because I get to run errands (harder to do with a baby when you’re juggling coupons), clean the house, do laundry, etc. and also to sleep in a little bit.
The downside of MMO is that Will’s naps get all out of whack on Mondays. And that gets Will all out of whack.
So as I watched Will yesterday, and my allergies kicked up (way to go forgetting that Zyrtec yesterday, Meghan), and my head felt like it was being crushed, and a pain started to push all the way through my right eyeball, I thought, “this is not the time to be watching a cranky, tired, one-year-old.” Because, you see, you don’t just call-in sick or go home early when someone else will have to leave their job for the day as a result. I only call in sick when I’m literally too sick to leave bed.
And so, as the headache raged on, and I watched Will lay down on the floor and kick his legs, screaming and crying, in frustration with me because I wouldn’t hold him in my arms while I was using the bathroom, I was surprised to feel some calmness come over me and some of the fruits of the spirit just pop into my head. I don’t even have those verses memorized (though maybe I should, now), but a surprising amount of those “fruits” just came to me. God knew I needed it.
And I thought about how, before as a teacher and now as a nanny, I’ve really had to work on my response when kids are just having a rough day. I know anyone can relate to this because it’s just as hard to respond well to adults who take out their bad day on you. And parents, I can only imagine that you have to draw on this daily for help.
So, I flushed the toilet, washed my hands, and went to pick up Will. And as I did, I prayed, “Lord, please give me peace because I know his attitude will pass, kindness when I don’t feel like it, patience when I’ve had enough already, and gentleness when I feel like being harsh. And please make me slow to anger, responding in love. Help me to love him the way I know his parents want me to love him, the way I do when he’s being normal and easy.”
I left off some of the “fruits,” and pulled from different verses in the Bible. But it doesn’t matter.
My headache didn’t go away. He didn’t magically quit throwing tantrums over every little thing. But my attitude was completely altered. And that gave me the ability to respond sweetly, firmly when needed, but not angry, impatient, fed up.
Have you had a time where you’ve had to pray for help responding to people at work or at home?