Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Exercising My Patience

If you find a quote you love and hang it on your wall, deciding that you will remake your attitude because of this inspiring quote, you are sure to be tested the next day.

My quote:
"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."

I read this on my igoogle quote gadget, and I felt inspired. I don't always feel like I am succeeding at being a mother. Somedays I am pretty sure that I am scarring my children for life, and they will hate me when they grow-up. (Fine, hate me children. I'm going to be climbing mountains anyway.)

So I taped this quote to my wall and decided that if I want to be successful, I need to love being a mom. For me, the idea of being a SAHM is wonderful and I love it, but in practice I am finding it very difficult. This quote was going to help me! I would love being a mom!

But I was not loving being a mom while I was at the nice Family center they have at the gym on Base (a common play area with a video player and playground surrounded by treadmills, bikes and ellipticals), and Hannah screamed the entire 18 minutes of my workout. (18 minutes is a very, very long time) I was not loving being a mom when Hannah decided it was bath time and dumped a bottle of water all over herself in the car. Yeah, at this point, I was ready to rip up my quote and have a bad attitude. Loving Motherhood and Success be danged! (In my head I swore, but not on this blog)

I am not the type of girl who always dreamed of raising children. When I was younger, babysitting was pretty much pure torture. I am not a natural children-lover. Babies often confuse and bewilder me. Children are often bad-tempered and dirty.

I do love my children whole-heartedly. They have changed me for the better. They teach me how to be unselfish. They teach me how to love. They teach me to appreciate the little things.

But I still struggle with "loving" being a mother in practice. I don't wake up every morning and think, "Yes! Today I get to feed my children food they hate, listen to them scream when I deny them access to vaseline and toothpaste, make them do things they don't want to do like get dressed, and get boogers wiped on my clothes! Alright!"

Maybe though, to love being a mom, I don't necessarily have to love those things.

Perhaps the trick to loving being a mom is refocusing. Maybe I need to start each day saying, "Alright! Today I can feed my children because we are lucky enough to have food (not just vaseline and toothpaste). And today I get to learn more about my girls by trying new things with them. Today I get to sit on the floor and build a block tower. Today I get to go outside and not sit in a cubicle all day. Today I get to play. Today I get to teach about choices when Kenzie asks, her eleventh question in a long litany of "Little Mermaid" questions, 'Why is Ursula bad?' Today I get to explain, and show, that we choose our attitude and our actions. Alright!"

I'm keeping my quote up, and I'll try again after nap time.

P.S. Today begins the great Couples Challenge! (That 18 minutes of Hannah screaming was my attempt at getting a workout point today) It's worth $40 now, and promises to be a great face-off! It's not too late to join! Leave your team name in the comments below if you want to join us!


Kristina P. said...

I don't have children, but I think that this is something I will probably have to do once I do.

Shauna said...

I need a nap NOW :)

Em Russ said...

whew... I needed that post to help me refocus! Yesterday was a bad day and I thought, tomorrow will be better... yeah, it wasn't better. Somehow it makes me feel better that not everyone out there is having perfect days all the time. Thanks for the encouragement!!

Scott said...

Thanks for telling it how it is. Even as a kid I didn't really like playing with kids. I feel bad for my poor children. Hopefully they will live through my parenting...

Emily and Kyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily and Kyle said...

I love this post and I love that quote...I feel the same way...on so many days...:)
Go moms! And boogers!
Can I quote you on my blog? Let me know if I can't cause I really am planning on it! You make me laugh, thanks!
What is the great couples challenge?

Melissa said...

The "joys of motherhood". I wish I would have gotten some kind of manual, cause somedays I am in the same boat!!

Amber said...

Ahhh, we're so much alike! I never growed up with "mommy" in my blood, either and frankly, that is why I skirted marriage for many years. Those first two years after my daughter was born was a HUGE adjustment.

But now, I not only enjoy but relish it every day. I think it's part coming into my own and part just not being much of a baby person. I like 'em a bit older. :-)

Dustin and Alisha said...

"Children are often bad-tempered and dirty." I laughed so hard when I read this! You'll miss those dirty children when they are gone...
Ok, for your challenge, we've decided to enter.
Our code name will be...(drum roll please) MR & MRS POTATO HEAD!
we are so clever.