4.17.2008

perspective...

i have come to the conclusion that all i need is a little bit of perspective every once in a while.

sometimes, i'll admit, i get frustrated with my children. why you might ask? i thought your kids were perfect! (ha, i say in retort) but really, i get frustrated when ethan yells at me for the 80 millionth time that day and i have to send him to time out and when avery will only sleep for 30-40 minutes at a time and is still grumpy when she wakes up...stuff. but it frustrates me that i get frustrated because then i feel like i am grumpy mommy and who wants grumpy mommy? no one, least of all me. ergo i need perspective.

for my perspective i should probably read Elder Ballard's talk once a day and listen to that song, "you're gonna miss this" which made me cry the first time i heard it.
i don't want to make myself cry, let's get that straight right now, but i DO want to remember that my children are small and cute and lovable and maddening at times, and that's how it's SUPPOSED TO BE! and let's get this out of the way too...where is the family or mom or children of the SUPPOSED land? for some reason, in my head, there are people who do things a certain way that i compare my sweet little children to as in, "well, he's SUPPOSED to put himself to sleep" or "she's SUPPOSED to take 2 naps a day for at least an hour" or "2 is SUPPOSED to be hard but three is SUPPOSED to be better"

you know stuff like that. and i have learned that you can't really do that, but in the back of my mind, it's still there. i know it's unrealistic as is the following, "as a mom i am SUPPOSED to get a shower every single day, have my house looking neat and clean and not ever get upset at my children"

supposedly.

but it's just not fair, not to me, not to my kids and especially not to kendall who has to deal with it when all my suppositions come crashing down on my head. and it's frankly not even okay to compare your child with themselves..."well she slept really well last month..." well, honey, that was last month and today is today and TODAY she doesn't want to take a nap! so there!

anyway, all i'm saying is i need to have a perspective that helps me take it all in stride and remember that these children are beautiful and wonderful, and i know that's true, and pretty soon, sooner than i'd like they are going to be 14 and stuff and then i'll look back and wish i could hold my baby and run and blow bubbles with my son and make everything better with a kiss and maybe a band-aid.

so to all you moms out there, like Elder Ballard says, "First, recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction" and as anna quindlen was quoted in that same talk: "The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less”

so let's let our hearts be with our treasures and kiss the babies and blow the bubbles and leave the stress at the door.

thank you for hearing my public service annoucement...you may now go back to your regularly unscheduled children/lives.

10 comments:

Lacey said...

well said my sweet friend! I think women in general compare...it just gets harder when you have kids because then you have more to compare! I'm the one sitting at home feeling guilty if we don't get out of the house for a walk or the park...even if we just did it yesterday! We all need to remember that there is a season for everything and our kids don't need to be entertained every second of the day..atleast I need to find that somewhere!
love ya!
lunch was fun yesterday..we really need to do it more often!

Missy said...

I have to tell you, I keep Elder Ballard's talk by my bed! It's easy to compare but believe it or not everyone is challenged by their kids in some way or they wouldn't have them! It's all about learning and growing, right? if it makes you feel any better I put Tanner down for a nap at 2:30 and I can here him making sneezing noises as we speak! What do you do? I am too learning it goes by too fast!

The Jones Family said...

amen. we all feel the way you're feeling, at least I do. and you just wrote my feelings ever so perfectly. i'm glad to know others really do feel like i do. we're all in it together and i'm gonna try and take that advice and treasure each and every moment right now.

p.s. i love that song :)

rachel said...

Jen you are so sweet!! I have really felt the same way about loving my kids the way they are. I decided when I hear Your gonna miss this that that is our family video this year. You should see it played behind pictures of your kids if you think its a tearjerker now. IF you ever want to get me a cd of photos and I will make it for ya. I just love you! We are all going to make it aren't we?

Kendra said...

I'm sure every mother out there agrees with you! I've been trying to play with Braden more instead of worrying about all the things I need to do. Little kids equal a messy house. :)

Audrey said...

I have been thinking about this very thing for a long time lately. I deal with a lot of guilty motherly feelings. Inadequacy on my part in every realm it seems. You did a good job of summing it all up. It's just hard to be a mom I think because you have expectations and hopes and your real life kids have to play into all of that.
Isn't it wonderful that we can get together as SAHMs and talk about all of this and receive strength and renewed energy from getting away from the house? I love our get togethers because they help me feel refreshed.
You're doing a great job. I have to remind myself of that and to be a little better each day. We'll make it.

jenn said...

oh, jen, i needed this post today. actually, i needed it on wednesday...where were you then? just kidding. right after elder ballard's talk, tim told me i need to laminate it and keep it by my bed, but i never did. i really need to be reminded of those things daily. i was in almost the exact same boat on wednesday as you are. carter kept yelling at me and being disrespectful all day. i can't figure kayleigh's nap schedule out that will allow her to be a happy girl again...i too think, teeth, maybe? anyway, it got me to where i was comparing my kids to other kids and also to themselves. i went there, fast, thinking, "i've never seen other 3-year-olds treat their moms that way" "where have i/we gone wrong that our kid is such a spoiled brat?" luckily, it only took a couple hours to realize that satan was trying to get to me...trying to attack one of the most important and vital parts of society--a good, hard-working, tired mother. and he was winning. thank goodness i pulled myself out of that and heavenly father placed some people and events in my life in the last 2 days that has shown me that i am not alone in my frustrations and that all of this is a normal part of motherhood with small children. and you, my dear friend, were one of those people who heavenly father put in my path, who brought a little more clarity to my situation and a reminder of what i already know, but often forget. many thanks!

Rachael said...

I have so much respect for my friends who are walking down the parenting road ahead of me! My friend Stephanie was just lamenting yesterday because her 3 month old started waking up in the middle of the night after two months of sleeping through the night. That is funny how you can't compare kids to each other - or even themselves!

Mariley Johnson said...

Okay, so it seems like we are all commenting to you about our personal issues with perspective and I'm not going to stop the trend bevause I think it's good to vent to one another sometimes.
So, what you're saying is now that I'm pretty much exhausted from not getting straight sleep every night, when Kale wakes up after I just fell asleep and I just start crying in bed because I don't want to get up and I don't know why he's awake and crying... you're saying that i should put it in perspective? Okay. I'll do my best. Thanks for the post.

Emily said...

I loved that talk. I think every mother felt like it was written just for them. Good things to remember.