Hey friends - thanks for all of the great advice in response to my last post (sorry about my little meltdown - Emily is back and well now.) Anyway - I found this great weekly thought on my values parenting website (the Joy School site by Linda and Richard Eyre) and thought it appropriate to post, given my recent struggles. This is for all moms who have crazy days like I've been having.
Live for the Moment My days as a mother became much more enjoyable when I decided to change my philosophy from "Try to be a Perfect Mother and Have Perfect Days" to "Expect Several Crises Each Day and Enjoy the Moments."
Joy hardly ever comes days at a time. It comes moments at a time. I recall one day how two-year-old Charity had lost all her shoes and squished toothpaste all over the new Dhurey rug in her room. But the feeling I had when she flew into the kitchen first thing one morning with her arms flung wide to give me a lovely good-morning hug was worth a thousand pair of shoes. The beaming smile in her face and the squeal of pure delight when she heard her special friend (with whom she squeezed toothpaste) ring the doorbell was pure joy.
I recall listening to two five-year-olds giggle over spilled milk, watching them be proud with me over their cute kindergarten creations, and ride off on bikes together with wind blowing in hair and a smile that said, "I've got the world on a string!"
While one child's comment about dinner is "Gross," another jumped for joy and said (with sincerity), "Thanks for this great dinner, Mom."
One week the crisis of the day was getting a package in the mail for our college daughter. I hassled all day (with other things that seemed more important) to find needed articles and bake cookies for the "care package." A few days later came a wonderful "Thank-You Note" and a poem which is now a treasure.
The longer I live, the more I realize that life as a mother is full of both crises and joy. Which one we will remember most depends on which one we spend the most time thinking about. Accentuating the negatives can throw us into fits of depression and -- all things considered -- rightly so!
However, I have found that if I can consciously think -- during my two minutes of solitude in the bathroom each morning -- that I am going to concentrate on watching for those moments of joy, that is what I'll see -- amidst the normal squabbling, screaming, screeching members of a happy home.
Try it. You'll like it.