On this wonderful Mother's Day, I'm going to be honest :). I thought I was a pretty patient person... and then I became a mother of toddlers. I thought I was a pretty cheerful, easy-to-live-with, really nice person... and then I became a wife who had toddlers (and I have one amazing hubby and two completely cute kids too!). I know I'm doing some good things in my family - we all are! But I think it's normal to be overwhelmed at times... of seeing the huge gap between who we are now and who we want to be. Of feeling like we are just a mess who can never keep up. Of not having anywhere near the organized or clean homes we see on Pinterest :). Of having a hard time snapping out of a bad case of grumpiness or loosing patience while we are ironically trying to teach our beautiful children to have patience!
But, I am not done learning and growing! There is hope!! One morning this week I woke up to cries at 7am, plugged that precious binky back in, and to my surprise... the kids both went back to sleep. I had some options... one of which included falling on the pillow again and going right back to sleep (which is the typical choice). But this morning was different. With a prayer, I picked up my scriptures and began reading in 2 Peter chapter 1. I knew that if I didn't do it now, it wasn't going to happen later as I'm falling asleep putting my kids down at bedtime. These verses leaped from their pages and renewed me with hope and a vision. For my coming day, I had a vision to seek more grace, patience, and charity that comes only from Christ!
And you know... I only got frustrated or overwhelmed like eight times that day:) And... I had some cherished moments that morning with my two favorite little people in the whole world. I so WANT MORE and MORE of these MOMENTS:
But I can so relate to Linda Eyre's words in her book "I Didn't Plan to Be a Witch"! In the beginning, she tells of her high and beautiful visions of the kind of mother she wanted to be. She then admits, "Years went by, and I actually got used to the surprise that I was not the perfect mother I had envisioned. In fact, there were lots of moments when I resembled the Wicked Witch who dropped in and crashed the party at Sleeping Beauty's house. I'm not talking about the abuse kind of witchhood, but the kind of witchhood that arrives after a hard day full of pressures and worries and frustrations when some child or husband says something that is the one 'last straw' that drives you over the edge. I keep thinking that I will get over these witch attacks, but even though I must admit that they are happening less often, I'm still susceptible." She goes on to say, "We start our mothering careers as rather ordinary-looking clay pots with varied shapes and curves - and march directly into the refiner's fire. The fire, however, is not a onetime process but an ongoing one. Every experience that helps us to be a little more compassionate, a little more patient, a little more understanding, is a burst of fire that refines us and leaves us a little more purified.... After years of refining, I've learned to handle a ton of interruptions, disappointments, and frustration before I fall apart. Yet crumble I still do. But through the fire of experience, I also have learned to forgive myself and say I'm sorry, and actually to be glad for the added wisdom and insight into the next witch attack.... My children make me be a better person - sometimes against my will. And the struggle with witchhood is part of the deal. I can't say that I rejoice in my afflictions, but I would not give them back for all the witch's brew in the world. Motherhood is the greatest joy of my life!"
Linda Eyre ends her book with these words of wisdom:
"There are days full of frustration and disappointment and times when we feel that every muscle aches and our emotion is stretched to capacity"[and yet at the same time]..."There is no greater joy in life than that of being a mother. Along with the job description comes not only chauffeur, cook, maid, and drill sergeant, but most importantly, gardener of souls - fertilizer, weeder, waterer, exposer to the light, and then watcher as each seedling grows and becomes its own beautiful self."...
So on this MOTHER'S DAY, if you are ever secretly FEELING DOWN about the current state you are in as a wife and mother, here are some BITS OF HOPE:
- Rejoice in the moments when you actually DO get it right! Those times when you remain calm and in control during a tantrum, when you are the eye in the storm, when you are able to be both firm and kind at the same time, when you choose to be more understanding and loving to your husband, when you remember to laugh and love a little more.... It's inevitable to face challenging moments each day, times when you are not at your best. But, smile all the times when you do get it right!!
- Each day is a FRESH START. Try something NEW. I'm so grateful that the sun goes down and comes back up each day. Being able to go sleep after a hard day and to wake up that next morning and try again! Maybe you'll want to dedicate your day to laughing more with your children or to showing more love to your hubby. CLICK HERE for a list of 50 Ways to Show Your Husband You Love Him and pick one!
To me, my own kind of "perfect" mom is not someone who is never impatient or who always has a clean home. But instead, a mother who re-vows each day to try again, to focus on making those she loves most know they are loved. Oh how I LOVE these little dears and their smiling faces...
How grateful I am to have had a dear mother who read to me, who played with me, who believed in me, and who also intently listened and showered unconditional love! I wish you and all you wonderful mothers a very Happy Mother's Day!!!