I snapped at my girls this week. More than once, I’m sure, but my least favorite moment was when I yelled so loud even my neighbor could hear me. “Leslie, it’s OK. Take a deep breath, I know it’s hard,” she said. Gut punch.

Thankfully, I was in my garage and she was in hers, so my voice didn’t actually carry through the walls, although it probably could have.

It was a full week. It was one of those weeks that we officially did too much. I knew it, my husband even knew it, too.

“Les,” he told me last Sunday before it all began, “it’s going to be a busy week. Prepare yourself.”

He knows my anxiety takes a hit when our schedules are filled to the brim.

I mentally prepared.

Day camps and Bible school, three nights of dance recitals and dance practice. Don’t forget about soccer practice in the evenings and an out-of-town soccer tournament over the weekend. There’s a garden to water and food to prepare and the baby, we should probably take care of him, too. And work, always work, so we can continue to pay for all the things we do.

We’re busy. Everyone is. And this week it got to me.

So, I yelled. I apologized immediately after.

“I’m sorry I yelled girls,” I told them. “I just get so frustrated when you guys whine and argue. It’s too much.”

“We’re sorry Mom,” they told me. And we continued on with our day.

This time of life? It’s busy. It’s stressful. It’s sticky and messy and exhausting. It’s dripping popsicles and dirty diapers. It’s between emotions and toddler tantrums. It’s crawling into bed long after sunset, just to wake up a few hours later to start all over again.

And it’s everything I always prayed it would be.

Our last event of the weekend was a traveling soccer tournament. Our family of five traveled out of town to watch our 8-year-old win the championship game.

On Saturday night my husband and I and all of our kids, crammed into a single bed hotel room. When the room was finally quiet, buzzing only with the sound of my husband and baby snoring, I reminded myself to soak in this exhaustion.

“Leslie, you will want this back. In just eight short years, your oldest will be out of the house and things will never be the same. Soak in these babies. Stop yelling. Hug them more and try not to stress so much. This is the good stuff. Right now, in this small hotel room, this is what you prayed for, this is your dream. You’re living it. Don’t forget how good this is.”

“Ugh, mom, make Grace move,” whined my oldest, stirring the quiet room. “She’s touching me and I can’t sleep!”

“OK,” I reminded myself, “take a deep breath, I know it’s hard. But gosh, this is the good stuff.”