Life and Family,  Uncategorized

Really Important Work

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Sometimes I start to write things on here and I get interrupted by my children and never finish them. It is like I lose my train of thought and that is just it. Sometimes I write things on here and I am too scared too publish them. Sometimes I can’t write at all because there is just nothing there. Nothing. It’s as if I am all used up and I just don’t have anything left over. I am numb and I just cannot do anything else. I think I have been pretty numb off and on for a while now, so I find something that I think works for me until it just doesn’t anymore. Then I am numb again. And the cycle goes on and on. And I find myself wondering what does it all mean? What am I doing? What am I DOING? I remind myself that I am doing something so important right now, I am raising little humans, teaching them to be kind, loving and brave. Teaching them to do the right thing and to be nice at school. Helping them to learn about faith and not to be afraid to ask questions and seek out the answers. Teaching them to think for themselves and sometimes just teaching them to hold a pencil, or tie a shoe or even put their pants on. It is such important work, exhausting work, and sometimes it is work that leaves you feeling all used up and spit out. And sometimes it is wonderful when you watch your children do things that you taught them to do. And even though it didn’t seem like it at the time, they were listening to you!

Here is my problem: I can’t shake this nagging feeling that there is something out there that I should be doing. Something more than I am doing now. It is hard to shake the feeling that life has got to be more than this daily stuff. It just seems like there should be more important work than the daily grind, working, working until you must rest. I can’t figure out what it is that nags me constantly, so I come up with all of these ideas, and none of them really seem just right. There is ALWAYS a reason why those things aren’t going to work. Then I remind myself that I am doing REALLY IMPORTANT work. When you are raising children, sometimes the days are so long and hard that you can’t even see that you did something good today. Then you spend time beating yourself up over that moment you had when you yelled at your kid that day because he refused to put his shoes on. You wonder what you are doing wrong when your kids don’t listen to anything you say. But then you have a moment when things go right and you know that you aren’t completely screwing it up. And you have a moment of being so proud of your kids for their accomplishment no matter how big or small.

It is hard to hold on to those moments when your kids are screaming in the grocery store. It is hard to hold on to those moments when your 2 year old cries about everything all morning long and you can’t understand what she is saying! At the end of the day there is just NOTHING left. NOTHING! I always think that the mom’s with the babies and the toddlers and the preschoolers, were are in the thick of it, just trying to do the best we can without pulling our hair out. But it seems like every age comes with its own set of problems and you are just finished with one textbook and the whole thing changes completely. I don’t think we are ever going to know the exact right thing to do at the exact right time. You just have to do what you can, what you think is right and learn to forgive yourself when you screw it up. Perhaps it would be good if all of us mothers kept a journal just for those precious moments and we can pull it out when everything has gone to hell that day. I think it would help me for sure. Sometimes I really need those reminders, I think we all do, especially on the rough days. I know we always try to put our best side out there for everyone to see but I think sometimes it is just good to know that things don’t ever go perfectly for any mom. So if you run across a mom who is having a hard day, just give her a smile, one that says that it is going to be okay!

And one last thing, the other day I was at Target, with my giant buggy empty behind the van while I buckled the kids in and this very nice lady came and said ” If you are done with that, I will take this back for you. It has been a long time, but I have been where you are.” I told her thank you. But what I really meant was ” Thank you for noticing that I could use a little help. The fact that you stopped to help me means a lot to me. And honestly, it really makes my day better knowing that someone cares enough to take a moment to help make my day a little easier.” And maybe that IS the bigger more important thing : Seeing and noticing what is going on around me. Trying to help others. Trying to understand others. It doesn’t have to be anything big to make a difference to someone else. And then not only have you made someone else feel better, you feel better, and if you’re kids are watching, it is probably a better lesson than any speech you could ever give.

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