Friday, November 13, 2009

Perspective

Do you get a lump in your throat when you check on your kids at night after they've fallen asleep? I am always over- whelmed with feelings of love and gratitude. Here are our kids crashed out at the hotel last weekend.

A wise person once said, "Don't sweat the small stuff". I am convinced that this is much easier said than done.

I know how to handle the big stuff without losing my cool. My son may have an autistic meltdown in a very public place, and I can be soothing and resourceful. My husband or I are asked to do something overwhelming for church and I handle it with aplomb (and lots of prayer). Financial trials? Not worth freaking out over.

If I can handle these tough situations and more, why is it that finding my daughter digging through my purse with an entire pack of gum in her mouth threatens to send me over the edge? Everyone simultaneously shouting out their "order" for "more milk, please," "can I have a sandwich?" "I don't like cheese!" and "I need to go tinkle NOW" feels like more than I can bear. And if you ever see on the six o'clock news that I have gone postal, it will probably be because I tripped on my kids' shoes in the middle of the floor one too many times!

I know that I need to just relax and not let the little, everyday annoyances get to me. I envy people who seem to have such a zen-like quality to their mothering. And I pray many times a day for patience and clarity of thought as I care for these precious little ones. If I can just remember that my kids are my priority over a clean house, personal space, and peace & quiet, then we will all be better off. (Although please tell me that there is a way to have both! At least sometimes!)

Recently, my friend, Morgan from One More Moore, shared a quote on her blog:
"Above all else, children need to know and feel they are loved, wanted, and appreciated. They need to be assured of that often. Obviously, this is a role parents should fill, and most often the mother can do it best.--Ezra Taft Benson

I loved the quote, but even more, I loved what Morgan said: "On the most challenging of days, I am most certain that if all I have to give is that, I can do it."

That gave me food for thought. I think that on my most challeng -ing of days, my children's sense of love and well-being is not on my mind at all. I'm all about survival, about getting through all the things that have to be done. If anything, I find myself resenting when they need me ("Don't they realize how much I have to do today?") I want a paradigm shift so that I truly have the sense that the most important thing I can do each day is to make sure that my kids know that they are loved, wanted, and appreciated. Let everything else fall where it may, and don't sweat the small stuff.

How do you keep the right perspective in your mothering? Please share with me!!!!

14 comments:

Prudy said...

I have that quote written down and taped to the fridge. I love it. I feel the same way. Why is the big stuff so much easier than the little stuff? Thanks for the wisdom. Your kids look like little sleeping angels. I miss you.

Erika said...

Thanks for the quote.
I needed it yesterday during nap time.
Will be a good reminder for tomorrow's nap time :-)

Judy Stohl said...

Michal - I also read Morgan's quote and I am still trying to be like that. Everytime I hear something like that I wish I could go back and start over with my own kids. However, over the years I have also learned that Heavenly Father does not expect us to do everything perfect - just keep moving forward and doing our best! Knowing and believing this, why do I still feel like I need to do everything perfect - so much stress! You are a wonderful mother and remember - this time shall pass quickly. Your kids are beautiful. I miss you!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Okay, I don't have any answers to your questions but just wanted to say how much I empathize with what you're saying. I'm a total whimp with the small stuff. No patience for it. But the big stuff I can handle with courage and determination. Sometimes it makes me feel like a fraud. :)

Those are great quotes and great thoughts. Thank you.

Molly said...

I don't think anyone always keeps their cool with their kids, at least that's what I tell myself. Thanks for the quote, I'm going to put it on my fridge and bathroom mirror

Mimi Nowland said...

I don't have the answer, mostly I am just glad that other women are struggling with some of the same issues as me!

Anonymous said...

I have no mothering answers. I find I can keep my cool well over the little stuff when I get a good night's sleep and have some significant time to myself at some point during the day.... But how often does that happen?
Mostly I am commenting because I have to say that your Angelina Ballerina baby is SO ADORABLE! What a great costume. (And a great baby, of course.)
--Christine McClellan

Myrna said...

Like most of the skills of mothering, it's a continual effort to remember and improve. (You are amazing!) Suzanne used to say to her husband when he would get snippy about the "small stuff"..."You're right dear, how dare they act like children!" It helped me stop and think.

morganmoore said...

I love that photo- and the quote has really stayed with me. You are such a good Mama, I hope you always remember that!

xo

morganmoore said...

I love that photo- and the quote has really stayed with me. You are such a good Mama, I hope you always remember that!

xo

mindyluwho said...

I think that by identifying what it is you are struggling with is the biggest part of creating the paradigm shift. Reading and trying to apply the 7 Habits has begun to give me that paradigm shift that you are looking for.

Habit 2 is "Begin with the End in Mind". One of the activities is to write your own eulogy of what you would want to be said about you after you die. Sounds morbid, but the idea is to give you a frame of reference by which everything you do is examined, so that your actions of each day contribute toward that vision of yourself.

I have not done that yet myself, but just the idea of thinking of what kind of person I would want my family and friends to remember me as has had a significant impact on the things I do and say.

I think that as mothers we tend to be too critical of ourselves and we don't give ourselves the credit we deserve for the task that we have taken on. Our sojourn here on earth is to learn how to turn our weakness into strength. We do so as we identify and change our behavior. And our children will learn and be strengthened by our example.

Rebecca said...

Ah yes, I struggle with this too! Very much so.

I find myself praying for help when I'm in the kitchen, the hallway, etc, more so now that I have a nine-year-old who is practicing his pre-teen "push Mommy's buttons" skills. :)

Sonja said...

Michal,
You are an inspiration to me. I think those pictures of your kids sleeping are precious. Watching my cherubic sleeping children really puts things in perspective for me too.

You are a fabulous mother! That quote is wonderful. I think one of the keys to being happy in this business is to always get back up when we fall off track. It's easy to loose perspective. But we can always remember that tomorrow is another day.

Much love to you and your lucky children.

Adrienne said...

What I see when my kids are doing stupid kid things (like insulting grandma, digging in my purse, locking me out of the house, having a screaming fit) is instead of a bad stupid kid, I see a little child asking "do you love me now? how about NOW?" And that helps me respond with love instead of anger.