I found myself at the end of the day, frustrated and angry at myself for failing to do what I should have done. Then in a quiet moment I thought, Stop listing your failures. Start listing your successes.
There are many things I want to do in my life and most of them are made more difficult by motherhood: write books, travel the world, get a master’s degree, read more, learn photography, take classes in everything from art to astronomy…Ultimately I realized, who I want to be is more important than all of those things that I want to do.
If I didn’t have these weaknesses, I wouldn’t have these strengths. I can embrace this person I was made to be and not be quite so caught up in trying to be someone else. I kind of love who I am now that I can see it more clearly.
A few years ago, my family was going through a lot of changes. I looked for books to help my two-year-old know what to expect, but it was hard to find age-appropriate story lines. So I wrote my own book! It might be a perfect approach for you, too.
There’s a common misconception that housework is terrible, mundane drudgery that needs to be accomplished as quickly as possible (or avoided at all costs) so we can move on to the “more important” things in life. I don’t love scrubbing bathtubs or mopping floors, necessarily, but here are a few experiences from my life that have helped me to see the meaning, joy, and purpose in the work required to sustain a family.
My son Kyle was diagnosed at week 11 of my pregnancy with Trisomy 18, a fatal genetic disorder. We had two young daughters, and sometimes it was hard to know what to say to them about something so big, but I’m so glad we didn’t keep the truth from them.
Too many times, the day-to-day happenings of motherhood can become ordinary. They can seem so monotonous that we might mistake them for commonplace, when really they are our own personal once-in-a-lifetime moments.
As children get older, you trade one set of worries for another. You have less control and have to watch them make mistakes and deal with hard consequences. I can honestly say I constantly have a prayer in my heart for their well-being and their choices.
The other day we were going to the store to buy garland for our banister. I wanted to make our home look homey and festive…so my children would feel the “holiday spirit” in our home. However, the children had other ideas in mind.
My arms lift and love through every grand gesture and mundane task of motherhood, of which there are many. And it’s not just my arms that have acquired strength. It’s all of me.
A lot of people would say differently, but surely Thomas Paine was actually talking about moments of mothering mayhem when he penned the words, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Right? I’m sure of it.
Do you ever make long, complicated lists and expect yourself to accomplish EVERYTHING? I learned (the hard way) that it’s much better to learn the art of renegotiation.