Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Simple Pleasures of Motherhood.

Last Friday was a bad day.

I won't bore anyone with all the details, but suffice it to say I wasn't at my best, and apparently, neither were any of my children. When 1:00 rolled around and I heard my youngest yell from the bathroom not to come in--a sure sign something disastrous had happened--I trudged to the bathroom with drudgery and an overall feeling of self pity. Apparently my cute little boy had waited too long to hop on the potty, and while he had been climbing on to the toilet in his unorthodox way, the poop just started oozing right out. And apparently he's been eating too much fiber because his stools were especially soft that day. And apparently, he hadn't had a bowel movement in a while because there was a whole lot to clean up--more than is normal. I found myself cleaning up soft, squishy poop from off my toilet seat, the floor, the bathroom counters, the front of the toilet, and my three-year-old's legs (and later, his bedroom carpet, which I can't even begin to imagine how poop made it all the way into there). It would have been far less of a disaster if the darling child had not tried to clean it up himself, but by golly, if there's one principle this kid has caught on to, it's that he's responsible for his own messes, a lesson I wish he had not learned so adeptly, at least when it comes to messes that have to deal with poop!

Needless to say, I was feeling less than enthusiastic about motherhood at this point. Since I was already experiencing a less-than-fabulous day, all I wanted to do was to go to my room, shut the door, and bawl for a while, BUT due to the fact I recently decided I'm reaching the point where I should be more mature than that, I sucked it up and cleaned up the mess. I didn't even have the gumption to lecture my son, although I couldn't help but wonder how this could have happened, seeing how he's been potty trained for a long time now.

Anyway, as I scrubbed and wiped, cleaned and sanitized, I found myself muttering under my breath, "Yep, this is motherhood at it's best, right here!" Determined to feel sorry for myself the rest of the day, I plastered a frown on my face and plopped into bed that night glad to have the day over. And while lying there staring at the ceiling, rehearsing the events of my horrible day, it hit me. . .

Stop focusing on the negative.

Nothing new or profound but something I needed reminded of. I simply had a bad attitude. So, in the past three days since then, I have decided to focus on all the simple pleasures motherhood affords. Here are just a few of them.

1-My morning walks with my 10-year-old. I recently decided to spend some one-on-one time with my oldest daughter in an effort to keep communication lines open and just focus on her every day for that time (an idea I stole from a good friend). She talks and I listen. It's wonderful.

2-My eight-year-old son got up early to go to the bathroom this morning and then snuggled into bed beside me since his father was already up and in the shower. My son reached over and grabbed my hand. It was a simple gesture, but it made me smile all the way to my toes. I have a feeling those moments are not going to last forever. I'm so glad he had the urge to hold his mom's hand for a minute. It was a great way to start the day.

3- My five-year-old's fashion statements. She came out of the bedroom Sunday in blue tights, a black and silver mini skirt, a green shirt with pink trim, a brown jacket and a red headband in her hair to top it all off. She looked a bit eclectic, to say the least, but it brought a smile to all our faces. And of course, she thought she looked fabulous. I sure wish I had such a healthy sense of self-style--I love that about five-year-olds!

4- A dinner date with my three-year-old. Last night I found myself in a very rare situation: my three-year-old son and I were eating dinner together with no one else around. It was the most delightful conversation I've had in a long time. We talked about everything from why Heavenly Father made me a girl and his dad a boy, to what we're going to say to Mickie and Minnie Mouse when we see them at Disneyland (he chose the topics--I just followed along). I was grinning from ear to ear the entire conversation, and I found myself thinking, What a wonderful little boy. This time I have with him is priceless. And it was.

And so, from now on, when my job as a mother isn't going particularly well, I think I'll take a step back, stop focusing on everything that might be going wrong, and simply train my eyes and heart to see all the simple pleasures of motherhood because I'm learning there's a whole lot of them!


Melanie said...

so amazing when we stop and make the complete RS lesson two Sundays ago.

The Martinez Fam said...

There really are so many things every day that we can enjoy (even in the midst of all the spills, fighting, messes, etc). You always have a great perspective on things!