The mad zoo that is family


Do you ever have days when the mere thought of putting on your parent hat just paralyzes you?You stay in bed in that half awake, half sleep state of warm bed, doona fug and hope that the 6am stirring from the next room is your dream, not your babe rousing. You hear a light being turned on the toilet flushing and you sense your eldest is up and now snuggled next to the heater reading.

For a moment you can roll over and pretend that there are not 6 mouths to feed today, 6 minds to expand, 6 souls to nurture. Not to mention the lunchboxes to be packed, the right uniforms and bags and forms made ready for school, the music practice to be done, hair to brush, mouths to wipe….

We rush about getting our days off to a start. I am always sluggish out of bed and I fight it every single day. I mutter my prayers from the haze and warmth of a sleep almost gone and find myself in a frenzy of family activity. Our very own zoo!


A has recently decided to get up at 6am with our eldest to read and practice music. This morning I came to life, serenaded by Star Wars theme music on the piano, followed by blues on the guitar….Allegro on the violin post breakfast and some recorder to boot. Music helps me to smile and I do watch in awe as each child grapples with something new they have learned on their instrument of choice. We do endeavour to fill our home with music and praise our God in song.Music helps me to smile when life is hard, when we fail as parents to do the best we can for our kids, when my desire for sleep makes me grumpy and unable to love those around me with grace.

We had a family trip to the zoo recently. It was amazing, walking around in the rain. The animals, they exist simply. No rush to start their day, a frenzy of activity, the to do list and blackberry in hand. Can’t you just hear the music the two baby elephants dance to in their pool of water? Or imagine the tranquil tune Ms Orang-utan hums to as she admires her nails.

What tune will you dance to today?

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One thought on “The mad zoo that is family”

  1. Thanks, Sue, I really enjoyed reading that. Very encouraging, and you write so well, it's a pleasure to read!

    And now I have to go and clean up dinner after 6 mouths have eaten … and I feel exactly the way you describe. Maybe I need some music.

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