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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Wall.

I never, never, never am tempted to do something else with my days- this is the only place I want to be, the only job I want to pour my heart into- my husband, my children, my home. This is it. I adore this job, I can't imagine anything better- and I mean that with all my heart. Our days are full of laughter and sweetness and challenges and rewards and learning and loving like you couldn't believe. My heart overflows- I am so blessed.

It's always been a mystery to me, then- How to get over The 5:00 Wall. You know that feeling you get (or used to get) when it's the end of a busy day at work at it's almost time to go home? Yeah. See, I get that every day, except, I am home. And work hasn't even begun to wind down... I'm still goin' strong- with a surge of action at the end of the day as I prepare for dinner and whatever the night holds.
If you could smell this...
I prep my dinner ahead- in the morning when things are easy and the kids are playing downstairs I dice onion, press garlic, measure ingredients, so it's super fast to get all Julia Child-like and throw dinner together as easily as I can. That helps, but, it's tough to get over that wall.

I make sure I use the blessed quiet of the hours between 2 and 4 to rest too- to read and be still, so I'm re-energized for the last sprint of the day. That helps, but, no matter how rested my introverted, I NEED time to myself away from the voices that talk all day long-mind is, I still hit the wall.

The girls have been up from their naps for about an hour, and we've had a snack and read a chapter from our book (Currently The Wind in the Willows), and then they play a little- then I have them clean up and do something at the table. That structure helps them get over their own wall- because by that time of day even after a long nap/quiet time they are absolutely owly and downright crazy, as the excitement of Daddy and dinner approach, and they've had a long day too- they seem to have a hard time holding it together most days. But that structure of table time to draw really, really helps.

I just feel tense- and ready to get outta Dodge- except there's nowhere to go and a lot of people are depending on me... So I crunch a handful of baby carrots, to get some stress out of my body. Those really help, but, there's the wall, and it never seems to fully go away.
Oh, and then, in the midst of it, he calls. So, I keep my phone in my apron. My best friend, the love of my life, the other adult that lives here, the one who will take over as primary caregiver as soon as he crosses the threshold. He calls to say hi, how was your day, and I'm on my way home. It will be 35 minutes before he's here, but all I want to do is talk and talk to him , about all the stories and funnies and screams and fights of the day. But...I gotta cook, and do crowd control for the ones over there at the table. Sometimes I push speaker and talk while the pots bubble and I stir. Most days, I regretfully say an early I love you and goodbye- since real conversation is a challenge- it's hard to talk when I'm busy climbing the wall.

Over the years, I've learned a few good strategies for getting up and over that bad boy without flippin' my lid in the process. I try to do it, by the help of the One within me that gives me access to all the self-control and peace and joy I need, if I'll only receive it from Him instead of trying to muster it up out of my own resources- which are quite depleted by this time of day.

So, I keep climbin'- every single day, that same wall, and I sincerely want to do it with a smile... not a temper. Lord help me...

17 comments:

Morning By Morning said...

I like the picture of the dog he is looking at you like~“what are you doing?”

That's a crazy time of the day. That is awesome to know that you can't do everything on your own but with Him, you can do all things : )

Shannon said...

I hear ya sistah! Life is crazy around here too at that time, esp. in the winter, I'm often ready to go nutso. I've learned some good strategies too . . . some of them include duct tape.

(ok, ok, I really am kidding!!!)

Kim said...

Help me too Lord! A woman at my church calls that hour before Daddy gets home "the witching hour". She is so right. Everyone is on edge and twitchy. OUr house is much the same. And I'll admit that is when I am most likely to lack patience and growl at the kids. May today be a better day for us all!

Jen E said...

Lordie, I think that wall is inescapable - no matter how good the day was, that hour is the worst...

the student said...

Hey there, I am new to your blog! *waves*
I found you through Sgt & Mrs Hub, and am in awe by you! I had to comment though, because my husband and I have a two year old pug and I am a bit of a crazy when it comes to other pug owners :) Anyways, hope you don't mind if I stay on and read, I love what I see!

Elizabeth said...

YES! I totally know that wall! It isn't always easy...but I do try to remember that this is what I am called to do & God will give me that joy when things are a little chaotic! :-)

amanda said...

oh the wall...perfectly said sister.

amen.

oh and love the picture of the phone in the apron pocket - classic!

Katie said...

Wow. What a SUPER post. Super, super post. Not only have you given me some great ideas (carrots and morning prepping) but this is beautiful writing and so true AND makes me feel better- that you are taking all precautions to avoid the wall and still it's there. That makes me feel much more normal! Haha! Thanks for this, Megan!

Eva said...

Isn't it soooo great when the hubbie gets home? I love that.

Shari said...

Megan, I really like reading your blog. You are an amazing writer and an amazing mother, wife, and lady.

Jake and Jenn Boerger said...

I feel it, too. And that call. The "I'm on my way home" call. I just love it, and yet, I wish it was an "I'm at the front door" call! The minutes tick by slowly here, too, but with the warmer weather, we're combating by taking a short walk after the kiddos are picked up (dc).

Lisa said...

We all know that wall all too well. You know what's funny? When I taught, there was a wall too. About 2:30 in the afternoon when it seemed like the clock stopped....

A good friend of mine & I have decided it's more fun to climb the wall together & have started having before dinner playdates. At least there is another adult in the game then....

Well written, as always, Megan! I missed you while I was out of town!

Celia said...

Aha! I am not alone in this. My husband can not understand how it is so hard at this time, and why don't I take advantage of nap time and... I pray for patience every night. We have a guest minister at church and he says all the time that God is in the Pause - take a deep breath before you speak and He is there. That gives me comfort (when I can remember to take that deep breath).

My husband works from home so I will sometimes pass the dinner prep off to him and go for a run (or a walk) just to clear my head. Unfortunately, he's going to have to get a j-o-b (he's a real estate broker in CA) for the foreseeable future. Those days are at an end.

The playdate before dinner sounds like a good idea though.

Take care and good luck
Celia

PS - I love your blog! Very fun reading.

Kristen said...

We call it the Witching Hour at our house.

The time of day when I keep looking at the clock waiting, hoping, waiting and hoping!

Then he arrives and all is well again.

Well written Megan! Loved it!

Ris said...

its crazy here too between dinnertime and bedtime. Meals, baths, reading, praying, and bedtime. Hubby and I always sigh right after we get the second child in bed. LOL

My fav time of day is my call from my husband too. He calls me midday and on his way home. I hate it when I accidentally miss his call!!! I need an apron. Might not go with pajamas though. LOL

Awesome post Megan!

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

I use to have that wall in the evenings - when Daniel was recruiting it was awful. And I truly mean that. Our days were so long, so stressful, and most nights Daniel wasn't home before the kids went to bed.

Now, I don't have an evening wall. Daniel comes home before the kids are up from their rest time (Praise the LORD!). My wall is from 11:30 to 1 now. It's the bored, starting to get grumpy, it's almost but not quite rest time wall.

Lord help me too!!

-Andrea

Tarrah said...

What a beautiful post. I have been hitting that wall way too often lately. My husband works a 24 on 48 off schedual so when I hit on the day he isn't coming home it is really hard.

I have been praying that Lord help me prayer often, and you know what, he does :)