Every semester has it’s struggles and it’s joys.
For a number of reasons, the spring semester is much more emotionally draining to me than the fall semester. First of all, we’ve lost the newness of the back-to-school routine. Then, there’s the point when the weather turns nice finally and we want to abandon those hard-won routines and throw a football in the yard with both parents and children feeling a desperate loathing toward reasonable bedtimes, baths, and homework.
On a more personal note, for our family there’s the physically and emotionally taxing calving season that rolls into and merges with the demanding planting season. We’ve created some routines to help stabilize our family life during these intense annual farm cycles, but it’s still a taxing season for everyone no matter their.
Music helps me cope.
The song I’m sharing today is called Go In Light by Marcus Mumford and Monica Martin.
For a good portion of the semester, this song has been in the lead on my Spring Semester 2023 playlist and it’s been such a helpful intentional reset toward the lighter side of life. (For the last few years, I’ve been building playlists for Summer Break, Fall Semester and Spring Semester.)
It’s been an encouraging and gentle starting song to listen to over and over as the moments arise when I’m too stressed to listen to an audio book. Let’s just say, “Alexa, play my “Spring 2023 Playlist” is a very common phrase for me.”
And, I’m so grateful for music and it’s ability to lift our spirits and redirect our thoughts.
Here’s the opening lyric that connects for me in an interesting personal way:
“Cry havoc in the evening / Sirens in the morning / Peace by the afternoon”
That routine was undoubtably not written with farm mothers of little children in mind, but dang it resonates.
The mornings are a siren in the non-greek mythology sense: loud, piercing, and quick. The mornings with little kids are a strugggggle.
But, we’re making progress. Inch by inch.
I’ve tried this semester to continue cultivate a sense of peace at some point in each afternoon before the bus pulls up to the driveway. Usually with coffee, my cat, my plants and a book. This sliver of time is sometimes five minutes sometimes forty five minutes, but it helps me tremendously to welcome the kids home with open arms. All of that to say, gosh, I loved the portion of the song that says, “peace by the afternoon.”
Here’s an instagram post I shared of an especially aesthetically pleasing afternoon pause.
When I’m facing off with mundane tasks, I am learning to tell myself some version of, “I can rally and make it to a bit of peace by afternoon.”
All in all though, I’ve really tried to discipline myself to rest a bit before the evening rally begins. I’m better for it, especially in the solo parenting seasons!
And, lastly, the song lyric I’m highlighting mentions night by saying, “cry havoc in the evening.”
This is this family life, yes? Backpacks, sweaty socks, shoes, clothes, papers … exploding at some time between 3:30 PM and 5:30 PM. I’ve worked to come to terms with the level of chaos that unfolds when the kids roll up for the day. It’s part of the process. It doesn’t mean it’s bad or mis-managed. It’s messy and it’s human and it’s normal. It will, undoubtably, get easier over time.
Finally, I treasure the chorus of this song. It is an old friend and a mantra to me at this point, “Go in light, go in light, go in light.”
What songs do you lean on to cope in stressful seasons?
PS: Here’s an instagram reel I made of some of the early highlights of planting season.