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My friend Mindee pinned this on Pinterest a few weeks back. I keep thinking about this idea of “attitude” and how it impacts our lives. Since I am a mother with young children, I especially think about the idea of attitude impacting this role in my life.
I am not really a complaining type of person. There are a couple of special people in the world who get to hear the majority of my complaints, the primary being my husband. He gets to be the one to hear about my frustrations with life when I feel the need to vent them.
Overall, I am a very optimistic person. I have always been happy by nature. I remember being a young teenager and my mom commenting to me that I should know how lucky I am that I am always so happy. Happiness comes easy to me.
One day as Freshman in college, one of my long-time friends from high school and roommate commented that she needed to be more optimistic like I was in how I viewed each day. I have never been a big “grass is greener” type–that just doesn’t make any logical sense. I am good at living in the moment and not wishing away what is today in hope of a better tomorrow.
Not to say everything is always sunshine and roses. Quite the opposite. In the literal sense, I get frustrated with things most moms do. I hate that my children have some unnatural sense about when I am in the bathroom. Can I just have five minutes alone please? Some days a certain child of mine drives me to the end of my patience road. I think I would love to be able to clean my house and it actually stay clean for, I don’t know, twelve hours? When I don’t feel well, oh how I wish I could just lay on the couch and do nothing all day. Nope. I can’t. Not if I want my children to be cared for.
No, life isn’t easy and it isn’t perfection. Never-the-less, I am happy and optimistic about life. Not because we go along with never needing to correct or children or because they frolic through daisies all day long. Just because I tend to look at the overall picture rather than all of the small, frustrating and even irritating moments. I don’t have it all, but I am happy for what I have.
This quote also sums it up for me nicely:
”Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around and shouting that he has been robbed. The fact of the matter is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey – delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” – Jenkin Lloyd Jones, Deseret News, 1973
Isn’t that true? How many people do you know–really know–who live a glamorous, exciting life full of perfect moments? I am sure most of us can think of people who appear to be that way, but I think if we knew the realities, we would see that everyone has their difficulties. Life is full of those things. That doesn’t mean life is terrible. Life is what improves our souls. Our happiness in life depends on our attitude about the difficulties.
I also love this quote:
…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. M. Russell Ballard (see this post for more)
This thought is always with me. Yes, motherhood is hard! For me, being pregnant is hard. For me, having to slow down and let housework slide is a challenge. For me, giving up my body, my time, myself, etc. is not an easy thing to do. It is frustrating when my children don’t listen to me. It gives me a headache when all three kids need to talk to me at the same time. Sometimes I feel pulled in so many directions it is uncomfortable. I don’t enjoy not sleeping as much as I would like when it isn’t by my own will.
But I have shining moments of joy and satisfaction. When Brayden rushes even faster than I do when he hears a sister got hurt, it warms my heart. When my girls go walking together hand in hand saying, “Sister! I love you sister!” it brings me great joy. When Kaitlyn tells me I am the bestest mom in the whole entire universe, it makes me feel good. When McKenna makes me laugh constantly, it makes me happy.
No, they aren’t perfect and no, it isn’t always easy, but the overall picture is a beautiful one. I can be happy with my role as a mother even when I am tired, frazzled, and have rarely had a peaceful trip to the bathroom in 6 years.
My husband and I recently spent 9 days away from our children while we went to Hawaii (so fun!). While we were gone, we did miss our children–a whole lot. Yes, we relished in the ease of walking out of the house and getting into the car sans toddlers. I found I had a ton more energy since I wasn’t taking care of the kids all day long. It was relaxing.
But every child we saw drew our attention. We commented on how much our children would like this or that. We talked about when we thought we could take our children there with us. It made me think of this quote I recently quoted:
If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly.
I have always believed that quote, but now I can tell you assuredly that I know it will be true. And so, I encourage us all again, to gain proper perspective, relish the unique joys of each moment, and maintain a proper attitude. Motherhood is hard, but it is a gift. A hard gift that will make us into amazing women. Let’s enjoy it for what it is. Let’s be thankful for what it is we have.
PS–Will someone please forward this post to me when I have a newborn this summer? Thanks.