Thursday, March 6, 2014

Celebrating the Small Victories

The hardest thing about being a stay at home mom, for me, is the lack of a sense of accomplishment.
 I really do love being a mom. And I’m 167% in love with Ainsley, but sometimes I feel like a hamster stuck in a wheel. Laundry, pick up toys, fix dinner, wipe boogies, pick up toys, wipe bums, read stories, dishes, dishes, dishes, pick up toys, bath time, sweep, re-roll the toilet paper, put all the dishes back in the cabinet, groceries, laundry, bath time, dishes, diaper duty, dead guy duty (okay so I threw that last one in…NachOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO). It is hard to see the difference our day to day efforts make in the lives of our kids and husband…the world even!

Today I had a proud moment and since they happen so rarely, it’s worth celebrating. I had picked Ainsley up after I taught a dance class and it was getting close to dinner time. We needed a few more things for dinner, so I took her to the farmer’s market. She went crazy. She wanted everything. Strawberries, tangerines, bell pepper, zucchini. She wanted the food so bad she even emptied a whole clamshell of strawberries onto the nasty floor before I could stop her. At first I was frustrated because I’m having such a hard time running errands with her lately… she’s a tiny, adorable, powerful hurricane…but then I realized how awesome it was that she wanted to eat all of those fruits and veggies! She knows what real food is and very, very rarely eats anything that comes in a package. I taught her that. This may be a small contribution I make to her health and her knowledge of food and her relationship with food that will last her through her life, but it’s a contribution. A small victory worth celebrating. Helping her to be just a little bit better.

As I was telling Clint about this experience, he reminded me of a few of the other victories I have had as a mother. One of the biggest things he has seen is Ainsley’s love of reading. I have taught Ainsley to love to read. I started reading to her before she could even hold her head up. Now, it’s her favorite thing to do. She brings me books to read her ALL the time. If it weren't so darn cute, it would be terribly inconvenient. I literally have every single one of her board books memorized. Yesterday she brought me a book while I was cooking dinner, so of course I had to stop what I was doing, plop onto the kitchen floor, and spend some quality time with Dr. Seuss. Today while I was using the restroom, she brought a book in to me. So we read it right then. I’m still laughing about her toddling to bring me a book a hundred times throughout the day. I feel like it’s an important thing to do for your kids. 

She also starting saying “thank you” whenever I hand her something. I've taught her some manners. Yay! Maybe that will counteract her constant “no!”s and scowling!

So, they’re small victories, but I’m changing my corner of the world one day at a time!

I think we’re quick to acknowledge our less-than-ideal moments
Like hey, I haven’t cooked dinner in a week.
My kid ate poop today.
I went outside without pants on.
My kid screamed so loud in Walmart, all the high classers over at Target could hear him.
I’m so sleep deprived, I forgot my address.
I haven't worn pants with a zipper for the entire month of February.
My child emptied a brand new box of cheerios into the heater vent.

I think we should share these moments too. I mean, come on, they’re hilarious. But I think it’s warranted to give ourselves credit every now and then too. Because seriously, you're amazing! 

I know I’ve shared the talk, “Because She is a Mother,” by Elder Holland a hundred times on here, but I love it and think of it so often. When I get discouraged I hear his powerful voice say to me, “You are doing terrifically well,” or “no one has failed who keeps trying.”

So, you go momma bear! You are doing terrifically well! 


Megan said...

First, you are just so gorgeous!! And second, you are an incredible and amazing mother! Way way way better than I ever was when Elijah was that age or even am now. I fed Elijah Gerber puffs like they were crack cocaine and fruit snacks were consumed up the wazoo. And still are. Cause we're the worst eaters. So i think that's amazing that you have taught her to only eat real food and she loves it! In fact, I'm incredibly jealous about this fact. I really need to try better. And also, you are so awesome that you stop and read books to her even when you are cooking or going to the bathroom. I'm soooooo terrible at this because I'm constantly telling Elijah no when it's inconvenient for me and tell him to go away. Something else I need to do better at...

Seriously, you are WAY better than you think you are and already reading this I feel like a much lousier mother because I don't do any of this stuff, ha. So really, don't get yourself down because you are a way better mom than most people, including me :)

Katie Elizabeth Hawkes said...

I love this post! So positive. I think people as a whole could do so much better at celebrating their accomplishments. It's always more comfortable to share your failures, right?? But I love when people share what they're good at it and just own it. It's like a virtual fist in the sky for humanity. Carry on!

Amy Demke said...

I love this! I don't have kids yet, but I think it's easy to feel like we aren't making a difference no matter what phase of life we're in. I've struggled with that since graduating a year ago and transitioning into working full-time...which you would think would be great, but I miss school because I'm really good at school! So it's been hard to see that working 8-5 and supporting my husband financially and at home are just as important and valuable as going to school. And I'm sure my transition will be brought to a whole new level when I have a baby and stay home! You are awesome, and I love your honesty.

Courtney B said...

You are an amazing momma!! SERIOUSLY! And I had the same victory as you a couple weeks ago. I gave Mia a chicken nugget and she stuck it in her mouth, gave me a weird look and set it back on her plate. WHAT? Then I gave her a french fry and she just mushed it up in her fingers. My heart seriously almost burst I was SO PROUD! Especially because we haven't always been the healthiest! But ever since I got pregnant I've really made it a goal to change our eating habits and obviously we have if Mia won't even touch fries! YAY!
And then while we were in AZ we went to a spring training game with friends. They were first in line to get their daughter a hot dog (shes 2 weeks younger than Mia) and said she LOVES them. They were shocked that Mia's never tried it. So she stuck a piece in Mia's mouth and Mia spit it back out, ha ha! YAY!