At about 3pm, my hubby was able to swoop in to save the day by taking all the kids out for about 2 hours so I could reclaim my sanity and put everyone to bed without going completely nuts.
Throughout that entire morning my babysitter/mothers helper was here to witness the chaos. Through each tantrum and fight I would make eye contact with her while she was folding laundry or with my little ones and give her a smile and a look like, 'what on earth is going on here today?!?!' Before she left to go home, around 1pm, she asked me in her broken English, "how you stay so calm? how you keep a smile on your face? how you do it?"
I pretty much told her (in my broken Spanish) that yelling and screaming at the kids really wouldn't do much to help the situation. Walking around with a pout probably wouldn't help either. But breathing deeply and telling myself over and over and over (and over) again that 'This Too Shall Pass' and this is just one hard day that will ultimately end by 7pm when the little rascals were all in bed really helps.
And guess what? After a really good nights sleep last night, I woke up this morning to the sounds of my kids playing. They were all doing their own thing, minding their own business. Breakfast was a breeze, school was fabulous, the kids were literally amazing. The laptop worked, I got to take a nap, they all played outside all afternoon, had dinner, took baths and hopped into bed. It was the most peaceful, most amazing day.
I always marvel at those moms with older kids who 'miss those days when the kids were younger' and I'm like, SERIOUSLY? You miss the tantrums? and the fighting? and the lack of sleep? But then I realize that bringing up kids is a lot like child birth. You really do forget (block out?) the hard times and remember the really great times. And apparently this whole parenting thing doesn't get any easier.
So next time you are having one of those really hard days, just breathe. Tell yourself a hundred times, this is one day and it will pass. Just get through it.
And with that, I will bid you all an easy fast, may you all be inscribed in the book of Life and have a happy, healthy, wonderful and sweet New Year!