Tonight, I'm thankful for videos such as this one because it hits home.
A couple weeks ago, on a Saturday, I had quite the day.....it was just awful! And for no good reason except that my attitude was rotten and I just made myself dwell on all the things I felt like I was "failing" on. My kids were so difficult to manage that day and they were whining, bickering, and just not listening AT ALL! It started first thing that morning with crying and fits minutes after waking up, fits over breakfast and wanting everything they couldn't have, tattle-tailing because so-and-so was looking at them, or so-and-so was talking, or better yet, just breathing incorrectly. And so the day followed in a similar fashion, full of grumps grumbling around frowning and stomping and acting as if the day was the worst EVER!
Okay, so maybe it wasn't that bad, but it felt like it!
And so I decided to make things better by being a little storm cloud, a frowny grey mass of a person set on feeling like a big FAT failure.
I thought things like, "I'm doing something wrong here, otherwise my kids would be great listeners and always jump up ever so happily and willingly when I ask them to do something for me." I thought about how my kids should know ALL the stories of the scriptures by now and they don't, so I definitely wasn't succeeding much there, they don't sing enthusiastically in primary, and Carter seems more like he's off in Lala land half the time in Sunday School, and so I made sure to give myself a few extra knocks down for that. I kept telling myself that bedtime would be more pleasant, if I could just do things differently like all the other super awesome moms, instead of an hour packed full of hyper kids who keep playing around instead of brushing teeth, and if they are actually brushing, they are whining because so-and-so is on the stool, or in the way, or getting toothpaste ALL over! And then we read scriptures, and it's like a mini circus event, and I'm pretty sure no one heard one.single.word. and I am asking myself why do we even do it???
So I gave myself an "F" in parenting. I thought by then end of that day that I was a failure for sure! Clean house? Nope. Fail! Laundry folded? Still in the dryer, I'll have to re-fluff it for the third time....yup, fail! Bathroom toilet scrubbed? Nope, the skids marks are still there from Kya's BM that day. Major fail. What about the kitchen floor that has needed a cleaning? Well....if you rubbed a baby wipe along the floor, you'd find a nice handprint on the other side when you finished so I get a big fat "F" there too.
I told myself over and over again that I wasn't doing enough, I wasn't good enough.
And then Anna showed me a picture she had colored and wanted me to read the note she had written on the back.
I read her note and that's all it took to break my little grumpy storm cloud and realize how WRONG I had been about myself and my family ALL DAY LONG!!! I wasn't failing one bit. And no matter how many hundreds or millions of other places or people I could be, the person I was meant to be was me and I was supposed to have an "awesome and loving family."
God wants me to be a "current bush". He knows what he is doing, and even though being cut down can be hard and painful, it's for our own good, it's for our own individual growth. My life isn't easy! I have four amazing kids, don't get me wrong, but parenting those four amazing kids is HARD somedays! Our little family can hit a level of "crazy" in a matter of minutes (especially at bedtime) leaving Russ and I feeling like we just entered the Twilight Zone! But we are where we are supposed to be, and darn it, we sure aren't failing because we got an "A" for awesome from Anna and little notes taped to our bed from Carter that say "Love". We get to see Carter transform into Spider-Man, a power ranger, ninja turtle, or any kind of super hero, and do some pretty awesome feats like jumping in the air, spinning, and kicking at the same time! We have a cutie bug Brennen who thinks he is a baby koala and wants to be carried around all day long and how lucky we are that he wants to be near us every possible minute! And we have Kya who steals sippy cups and candy canes even when she hasn't finished her meal! She's learned the art of promising to NEVER do it again to get out of her punishment, and reminds me often that I need to say "Yes" when she wants something.
I know as parents, we all have bad days. But if you have a bad day like mine was a few Saturdays ago, don't think you are a failure, and don't waste that whole day wishing things were different. Instead, just make that day become a good day....it might seem impossible, but I think with a little help from some little ones, there's some real promise there. And don't be afraid to embrace your life as it is, because after all, no one can replace you and be "you" better than yourself!