Give Yourself a Break

I hate to say it, but we’re starting off this week a little rough. I don’t know if it’s the weather or the anticipated break but yesterday and this morning have wrung me out to the core. 

There’s no one thing; it’s just the pile of things that weighs me down. Anyone else? 

 (photo credit

Between the late night taking Charlie the Service Dog to the doggy ER (probable abscessed tooth, we’re following up with our regular vet today) and not hitting my caffeine limit yet today, I’m dragging booty. And of course I’m not super happy about spending money on doggy dental right before Christmas.


No longer can I party at the doggy ER all night then wake up super early to get four kids out the door. Remember those days? Some of you are still living them but I’m older now and I can’t do it. Back in the day I could stay up all night, grab breakfast with no sleep and head to class where my brain would still function pretty well.

Even a few years (and a few kids) ago, I could be up with a baby most of the night, hit the coffee hard and still make sound decisions at work.

Now–not so much.

Let’s just say there’s not enough coffee in the world today to make me feel comfortable doing much with the money/number side of my job. I’ll be doing things like checking the mail and returning phone calls and scheduling site visits. And I’ll take it easy on myself and continue to caffeinate.

And remind myself that I’m doing the best I can. 

Sometimes that’s the most kind thing we can do for ourselves. Keeping things in perspective, not talking bad to or about ourselves just because it’s a rocky start or a hard day. We can turn our own days around just by giving ourselves a break. 

 (photo credit Pommel Lane)

Don’t wait for anyone else to do it for you. No matter what you’re walking through or towards today, do your best and forget the rest. And then give yourself a break, remind yourself there are new mercies for all of us everyday, and live in peace despite your circumstances.

Take a minute. Breathe. Drink coffee. 

 (Photo credit single

This is my plan before I tackle the rest of my day. And no matter the outcomes of all the crazy I have going on, it will still be a blessed day.  

 (Photo credit

I hope yours is too, friends.

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015

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It’s Not You, It’s Me

The sentence, “Yes, you’re grounded from skipping!” just came out of my mouth.

What kind of dictatorship or regime am I running, you might ask.

In my defense, I had just said that the four year old was to lose her privileges for the evening because of poor behavior at the speech therapist’s. 

She doesn’t even go to speech therapy but when Mr. Wonderful isn’t home to watch the Littles while I take the seven year old, my trek includes two extraneous (small) children. 

In response to the privilege removal, she asked if that meant she was grounded from everything.

Of course I said yes, lured into a false sense of security by her innocent question.

That’s when she asked if she was grounded from skipping too, so to prove a point I said yes. Just to show the seriousness of privilege loss.

Just to show ’em who’s boss.

It’s all encompassing ’round these parts.

So we’re at the aforementioned speech therapy and I’m trying to type this while keeping an eye on the Littles while also trying to field calls from the dentist and the insurance company because my seven year old–the one with sensory issues, a latex allergy and a horrible dental experience to boot–has to have more work done. 

For his safety (and probably everyone else’s), the new dentist won’t do the work without putting him under. And since anesthesia is apparently made out of gold dust, we’d like insurance to pay for this. Or at least help us out.

Some days I find myself running and gunning so hard that I crack. I get caught up in the busyness-phone calls, plumbers, a stinky smell coming from my fridge, a weird new sound my car makes, a call from the school-and it makes me so overwhelmed with the details and nastiness of life that I forget the goodness.

There is sweetness to life-even on the frustrating endless To Do List days if I just get my head out of my posterior.

As I tried to type that sentence for a good fifteen minutes, I find myself sighing. A lot. Which is ridiculous. I’m a grown woman in control of her own emotions, not some crazed teenager. I’ve already done that. 

And now I hear the four year old singing a song that goes like this:

Everyone’s cranky! Tate is cranky and Jack is cranky, Mama’s cranky and Lucy’s cranky. Even Daddy’s cranky and he’s not here. And our dog Charlie is cranky. We all love, love, love to be cranky!

Oh the humanity!

I’m just a Mama trying her best, and today is one of those days where my best definitely does not feel like enough.

Which means it’s time to pack it in, order a pizza and give everyone, including myself, an early bedtime. 

(Photo credit unknown)

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015