I went to bed at 1:30 am Christmas morning. Our 2 year old had climbed into bed with his daddy and since it was Christmas, I decided to let him stay. I had a picture in my head of us all waking up when he usually wakes up around 6 or 7 in the morning to go to the living room and enjoy watching him open gifts while snuggling the baby (obviously he wouldn’t care about opening gifts like his big brother).
Around 4:30, my husband and I were both awake because of a squirmy, very-much-awake 2 year old laying between us. He was tossing and turning and kicking and smacking. We had feet and hands in our sides, face, hair… in the darkness, I do believe I could have been convinced that the kiddo had grown extra arms and legs.
At one point, my husband decided to go ahead and get up. I continued to try to redirect and use all the methods that normally help me manage behavior without going all-out and giving big warnings (it was Christmas, after all). The morning was not starting off well, but I was trying to think of some way to get us back to sleep without a big screaming, crying fit to start off Christmas morning.
I was an exhausted momma.
When it was obvious that I was getting very frustrated and trying hard to stay calm, the hubby came back in to take over, but couldn’t understand why I was to the point of tears. I was too tired and frustrated at the moment to explain how disappointed I was that the morning was not going how I had hoped, or how concerned I was that the early morning would result in a day filled with toddler tantrums rather than Christmas joy. Regardless, I was thankful that, even though he didn’t really “get” why I was upset (which I later explained better, I hope), he still took the little guy and went to the other room with him (I later learned that he did get him back to sleep, but only briefly before they were both up again).
I was able to get a bit more sleep and felt much more able to function. When the baby and I joined them both in the living room, we decided to start the day more officially with prayer.
Specifically, we prayed that our rough morning wouldn’t set the tone for the day.
I believe that God honors such prayers. Not only that, but praying a prayer like that helped US re-focus and get our attitudes on the right path.
For the rest of the day, our schedules were off and napping was far from the normal routine, but we were very pleasantly surprised at the behavior we saw from our very strong-willed, energetic two-year-old. Aside from a few minor incidents/episodes/moments with his two-year-old cousin, we couldn’t have asked for a better day. He was cheerful and pleasant (and so incredibly tired), yet we had a blessed visit with family and enjoyed the evening at home with the four of us. It was wonderful and peace-filled.
The whole, beautiful day just served as a reminder that when things aren’t going as we planned… even if we’re frustrated, discouraged, or disappointed, we can always stop what we’re doing and ask God to intervene. He knows what we need, and it helps us check our own attitudes.
I hope you all had a very blessed, peaceful, Merry Christmas!
an exhausted-but-blessed momma
Keri Kitchen is a devoted wife and mother, blogger, author of Love Isn’t Selfish, licensed mental health counselor, and founder of The Carys Rainn Foundation. To read more about what God is doing in her life, visit her blog at www.aftertherainn.com