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I had a great post planned today. It was going to be light and funny and witty, all of the things that I know y’all want to read and hopefully have come to expect from me. But, like it sometimes does, life came in and knocked the light and funny and witty right out of me. And what is left is what you’re getting today. A kind of burnt, spent shell of someone who is unable to be anything but completely raw and honest, and the result of that is probably not going to be light or funny or witty at all.
Life is hard, friends. Parenting, it’s a bugger. And this morning, well, I failed hard at it.
In our house, mornings, they aren’t pretty. They aren’t easy. And they aren’t fun. I’ve talked to a lot of moms throughout the years, and this sentiment is echoed over and over and over. Whether you have one child or ten, whether they’re babies or teens, mornings are tough. Getting human beings to get along and function under the normal acceptable confines of good behavior is hard when we’re all at our best. But somehow early in the morning when social filters haven’t been firmly locked in place and the familiarity of family (and the subsequent contempt it breeds) is heavy like mist in the room, the gloves come off and everyone brings their worst to the breakfast table. From this, sometimes, chaos ensues.
Being a slave to routine, I do everything in my power to prevent this morning meltdown on the daily. I am an intentional early riser, waking long before the kids or my husband. It’s partially because I simply love the silence of this time, the fleeting moments of my day that involve just Jesus, coffee and me. But it’s also, sadly, battle prep. Like a soldier putting on his armor, I throw scripture up on my heart like it’s solid metal, praying for patience and self-control and that I can be the best mother that I can be to my babes in what is arguably the most difficult hour of my day.
And sometimes that prayer, it works.
But today, it just didn’t. I’ve got three very different children and one of them is extremely challenging–has been since birth. He is filled with love and joy and kindness at his core, but that gets lost in the early hours of morning when he’s fueled with, well, what my grandmother would be apt to call “piss and vinegar.” Vulgar, but on point.
And when he’s at his worst, say after a late night or a day filled with sugar, sugar and more sugar (I’m looking at you Valentines Day), he is a struggle. He could push the patience of Mother Teresa to it’s very end, and unfortunately for him his mother is no Mother Teresa.
We have ONE rule in our house. A rule that governs all and from which pretty much all good things come. Some call it the golden rule. We call it, in our most honest and raw moments:
Just don’t be a jerk.
And today both of us, mother and son, we broke that rule about 30 times.
Parenting him (and honestly just any child) is such a strange mix of emotions. It’s shocking how much a child who you love more than the breath in your very own lungs can also bring out the very worst in you. How you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you would take a bullet right in the heart for him, but you also need him out of your sight right now at this very moment for his own protection.
It’s hard. And after this morning I feel hollowed out. Empty to my core. Depleted. Because I know he can do better. I know his heart and his soul, he was knitted together in my womb after all. I know who he is. He’s better than who he was this morning.
More importantly, I am too. I’m better than this.
Thank God that His mercies are new every morning. And afternoon. And evening.
Today, there’s no witty. There’s no funny. I’m sorry. There’s just me, a tired, raw, sad momma who wishes she had done better.
But I know I can’t wallow. I can’t rest in this emptiness. I have to re-fill my cup by going back to the beginning. Yes, friends, I’m giving myself a mulligan. I’m re-armoring with the word of God. This time not praying for strength and patience, but rather praying for forgiveness (mainly that I can forgive myself) and for peace.
And I’m also allowing myself the little indulgence of my favorite breakfast coffee treat. I admit that I am a pretty boring and bland coffee drinker. I don’t do Starbucks very often because it seems like a ridiculous waste of money given that I drink plain old black coffee. I can brew a cup at home for 25 cents, why should I pay $2? But every once in a while I want something fancier, something sweeter. And that’s where this not-quite-a-copy-cat/copy-cat Mocha Frappuccino comes from. I’ve been making the basic version for years, just throwing some old coffee in a blender with some almond milk and a frozen banana, but then I got Valerie Bertinelli’s new cookbook and my mind was blown. Who knew that throwing oatmeal in would make it like a breakfast in a glass? Thank you, Valerie. You’ve changed my life.
So here’s to new beginnings. Even if they are just new afternoons.
Enjoy this coffee. Give yourself a break. God loves you even at your worst, so try to give yourself that same mercy.
Love and coffee,
Healthy Homemade Mocha Frappuccino
- 1 banana, cut into pieces and frozen
- 2/3 cup almond milk (I use unsweetened almond, but any kind will do)
- 1/2 cup cold coffee (keep a jar in your fridge and fill it with your leftover each day so you always have some on hand)
- 1/4 cup rolled oats, uncooked
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (more or less to taste)
- Step 1 Place all ingredients in high powered blender and blend until desired consistency.
- Step 2 Because of the oats, it may have to go a bit longer than you would normally expect. I blend for about 2 minutes.
- Step 3 Top with homemade whipped cream (totally optional but absolutely worth it)
- Step 4 Enjoy!
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