10 Minutes to “Better”

Yesterday, my husband arrived home at his expected time – just before dinner – and the house was chaotic as usual. Eden decided to remove a poopy pull-up and go traipsing around the living room, which elicits sheer panic in me. We captured the dirty diaper before any disasters occurred, and I whisked her up for yet another early bath thinking nothing but, “Man, this stuff just s.u.c.k.s.” Yep. It’s no fun around here sometimes. And while I enjoy my babies so much and wouldn’t trade my time with them for anything, sometimes, it just feels difficult to keep my cool.

After the bath, we sat down for dinner (hubby grilled and it was really good – more on that in a different post), and then, before I could wrap my brain around flying solo for another few hours, he was out-the-door and off to a men’s meeting. Sometimes I’m so jealous of him…adult conversation, great food prepared by people who actually, truly know what they are doing, a change of scenery… Anyway, after allowing some outside play time, I decided to forgo baths for the oldest two and put them right to bed. I then fed and gave the baby a bath and put her in the swing for her “bedtime nap,” which at this stage has been from about 9pm to 2am. Sometimes, I take her to bed early (she sleeps in our room), but most times, like last night, I just burn the late-night-oil while she sleeps, and we go upstairs together once she wakes.

Since she was sound asleep (along with the rest of the house), I decided to take a shower (I was reaching the 36 hour mark – gross, right?!). I made the mistake of thinking I could rest on the bed and read Facebook posts for awhile afterwards.  Within five minutes, I had fallen asleep. Not a deep sleep, more like that foggy twilight sleep, but not-all-there nonetheless. Thankfully, I was startled awake around midnight by Ava, who had to go to the bathroom. Once I helped her back to bed, I went back downstairs to check on Miri, and the disgustingly large pile of dishes that I had allowed to accumulate throughout the day practically smacked me in the face. I was in total avoidance mode after putting the kids to bed, so I baked a chocolate cake and topped it with a homemade salted peanut butter frosting rather than tackle any of the mess left from dinner. All of the dishes were still on the island (where we eat meals most nights now that I have chairs), and the dishwasher was full of clean dishes needing to be put away.

I almost said, “Forget it. They’ll just have to wait until tomorrow.” But I pictured my husband trying to get his breakfast and coffee in the morning, and struggling to maneuver around the mess. I decided that I would just knock it out and be done with it for both our sakes. So that’s what I did. I put all of the clean dishes away, loaded the dishwasher to the max, wiped down the counters, stove, and island, poured myself a glass of water, and looked at the clock. Just 10 minutes. That’s all it took for me to tackle that disaster. 10 little minutes.

It was then that I kind of looked back on my hectic day and recounted the good moments…

I made a conscious effort to read my Bible yesterday morning. I sat down at the island with my cup of coffee and read from Proverbs. I knew it was at least a good attempt to start my day off on the right foot. I need to be in the Word. I need to read the Bible. I need, need, need it. It felt so good to grab that little slice of time. It was probably about 10 minutes.

I stopped what I was doing when Eden was having a meltdown. I scooped her up and held her. She was still being a pill and squeezed my chest – hard and on purpose. I scolded her and she cried. You know, if you are a nursing mama, that kind of stuff can really, really hurt! I let my flesh respond to her and wasn’t understanding. She didn’t know how badly that would hurt me, and I yelled at her. I felt so guilty when her little lip quivered and she started to cry in my arms. In an attempt to apologize, I told her that Mommy was sorry for yelling, and I tried my best to communicate to her that she had hurt me. Then, I started giving her nose-kisses. You know, the ones where you rub noses – eskimo kisses.  She responded in a way that totally melted my mama-heart. She began sniffing my lips and cheeks, and stared into my eyes, like she was exploring my face for the first time. Rubbing her little nose against mine, she’d crack a smile and giggle. It was so unbelievably peaceful. Looking back on it now, it too probably only lasted 10 minutes, but it changed the entire course of a bad situation and served as a beautiful time of bonding between the two of us. Mamas of multiples, you know those moments can be rare. We’re so busy, busy, busy that it’s hard to remember to slow down and make those pockets of preciousness happen. Just 10 minutes.

I listened to Ava read her school books…10 minutes. 

I helped Ava sort toys in the playroom…10 minutes. 

I played with and cooed at Miri on our bed…10 minutes. 

I sat and held Isla after her nap…10 minutes…

Thinking about those things and what a positive impact they made on me, my children, our day…it hit me. 10 minutes to “better”. That’s all it takes. So, today I am putting it to the test. Even if I have to set a timer, I am going to take 10 minutes of every hour today to make something better…

10 minutes to:

  • tidy up a room
  • snuggle a baby
  • play with a little one
  • read a few stories
  • stretch out on the floor and just breathe
  • walk around outside
  • dance to a few songs
  • worship to a few songs
  • read the Bible
  • enjoy my coffee or a cup of tea
  • call a friend
  • work on a task/chore
  • declutter

I’m already looking forward to what this day can bring if I make 10 minutes intentional.

Try it and share!  What did you accomplish in just 10 minutes?


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