Sunday, October 10, 2010

A lesson Learned

So, I have been thinking a lot lately about life. It is about twice a year I write about emotions behind my daily dealings with my kids, and family. I do it for myself to remind myself of why I do what I do, for my kids to look back and see their mother, and also for others, to be a voice to those who are going through the same things because lets face it, we all ARE struggling with many of the same issues. There is such a stigma about honesty when it comes to talking about problems in our lives. People don't want to air out their dirty laundry or let others see that their lives are not perfect, but why not? Judgment? Yes. Embarrassment? Especially yes. But if we are all experiencing it is some way or another, why can't we voice it so that we can help one another without feeling judged? We are all doing our best, but what we may think is best might not actually be, the best. BUT, and this is a big one, WHO CARES? Unless we are causing due harm to another individual, then let it go. Stop the judgment people!

Ok, so where to start. Life with three kids. Four letter for you. H. A. R. D. I always pictured myself with 4 kids, all nicely dressed, hair done, and out shopping at the mall and getting ice cream together. I have asked myself several times where that nice image came from because it is so far from any reality I have experienced. These days with three kids, I am lucky if I can get my kids shoes on let alone get their hair done. These days I deal with Dylan missing his bus because he doesn't want to wear the shoes that we laid out for him, missing church (sacrament) because of the mood swings that Sydney throws if she gets woken up, having a basket case of a husband because his job sucks leaving him more stressed than ever before (coming home to a crazy tired wife and three kids doesn't make that any easier), and when it is time to have a date night, all I want to do is sleep, since I feel ugly, fat, and tired all the time. Its so interesting that life gets so hard, and although it will seem like just a moment in time (20 years from now), it feels in the moment, like a nightmare that I cannot escape. Ok, I shouldn't go that far, because in reality, there are those moments, and days when I look at my family and cry because of how blessed I am. But the bipolar side of me often forgets about these days when the dog is flailing poopy diapers all over the house, Sydney is in one of her cranky nonstop crying moods, Dylan is trying to pour a gallon of milk into an 8oz cup, Macey ijust spit up over my just washed jeans, dinner needs to be made, the house is a wreck, and I am still in my pajamas at 5 pm. It is so sad isn't it that the one thing in our lives that bring us the most joy, also can bring us the most sorrow?

I have found myself saying this often about my husband (and to him). The number one reason why I married him, is usually the number one reason why I get so frustrated with him. It is so frustrating! When I was a teen and wrote out all of the qualities that I wanted for a husband, I wasn't told to look at the possible downsides to those qualities and asked if I could live with them. If I were, I think I would have left out...well we don't need to go there. :) I guess though that there has to be downsides to everything good, or else we would never learn anything from one another. And what good is life without learning? Which brings me to my next topic.

Learning, it is one of my favorite things to do, and one of my favorite things to see my children do. I don't know if you can say you are doing learning, but I am. Sorry. But seriously, there is no greater moment for me than when I see one of my kids learn and accomplish something that they have been working on. Right now, Dylan is trying to sound out words and spell them all on his own. He gets so frustrated, but as seen in the previous post, when he comes close to accomplishing this goal, there is no greater feeling for Dylan, or myself. It is incredible. Sydney is working on chewing. As dumb as it sounds, when I see that bite get chewed (and not just get gummed and stuck to the roof of her mouth) and swallowed, my insides well up with pride. She is getting it! Macey is learning again, to sleep through the night, (I especially like this and will be ecstatic when this is learned). These kids are learning things everyday, and in return, I am learning from them. I am learning how to survive and be nice on less than 5 hours a night of sleep, I am learning that clothing isn't important, and I would rather see ruined clothes from my child practicing chewing then not chewing at all, etc. We all learn and grow from one another. Could it be a more perfect plan?

No. So, this notion that learning really does bring greater happiness to each other and family, is great, but it's so hard. Is it worth it? We are told to learn all that we can here on this earth, to prepare for the next life. But why do I need to learn how to clean up a dog mess in the house? A tantrum about shoes? Is this really going to be necessary stuff? I know the Sunday School answers; it teaches us charity, service, patience, gratitude, and most of all, love. But really, come on, is it really that important? Yes! I feel that so many men miss out on learning these things from thier children because they aren't as present much as mothers are. Some have taken a different parenting role, some have stopped caring because they are too tired to pay attention to their kids after work, and some, are just selfish. I recently was talking to my big brother about this who brought up the priesthood in or church as a means to help men develop these qualities. He told me that while growing up a bishop told him, the reason why men have the priesthood, (and women in our church don't) is because it is a means for them to play the role similar to that of a mother, and learn the lessons that they don't have the opportunity to as women to develop. Interesting huh? I loved that!

I don't really know where I am going with this, but I guess what I want to say is, all of this crap that we go through as mothers and spouses, ARE tools in teaching us how to become better people. I know this is obvious to you all, but I just have to remind myself of this, often. I have started looking at my life like as a giant classroom full of tests, grades, cheerleaders, bullies, etc. Each facet of my life can, if I allow it, teach me something valuable. Just like in a classroom, I don't have the permission to do whatever I want without heavy consequences, I can choose to study or forget about the subject matter, and I can choose how I respond to certain individuals. Its all choice. Whether or not I enjoy the subject, it is my choice to push for that A and be in attendance.

With three children, a poor sleep schedule, and only two hands, I need to remember that I have to option to learn and grow. Patience, when the crying has persisted over an hour, service, when my kids will not go to sleep and I am tired and getting up 500 times to put them back in bed, gratitude when one thing in 20 that was asked got done, and love when there is nothing left for me to give and all I want to do is cry. I need to remember that every single word or movement from my child can teach me something valuable if only I allow it to. Most importantly, I need to remember that I DO, LOVE, learning. :)


Kristine Pratt said...

Britney, thanks for sharing this on your blog. I feel like I am in a funk like you are describing and it's always good for me to remember that I am definitely not alone in feeling this way! I think lack of sleep really really makes everything worse, so I hope you get to start sleeping more. And I just wanted to tell you that the pictures you post of yourself, I think you look beautiful and great. We are our own worst critics aren't we!!! I admire you so much for raising your 3 children, because right now I can barely handle one!!!

Britney said...

Thanks Kristine. I am excited to see you guys in November!