September 18, 2014

"You Never Know"

After a difficult morning where all I wanted to do was lock myself in the bathroom and be by myself for a few hours, I stumbled across this Mormon Channel video. It CHANGED. MY. DAY.

I've been feeling like a failure in some areas of my life, feeling down and stressed about how my house is always so messy and cluttered, how sometimes I become impatient with my kids when I shouldn't, how I don't get to take a shower some days until 10:00 pm, how I wish I spent more time teaching my preschooler important things like letters and numbers when instead she watches cartoons, how I wish I had more time to develop my own talents and interests, then feeling guilty about wanting to spend more time on me instead of my family, the list goes on and on and on.

By about minute 6 in the video, I guarantee you will be sobbing like I was if you are anything like I am. It helped me realize that while some days I don't feel like I accomplished anything, most days I do, at least in the eyes of those around me, especially my children. I always wake up with good intentions to clean an area of the house, to get an important errand done, to do an act of service for someone in need, to call a friend I haven't spoken with in months, but those plans seem to always get pushed further and further down my "to-do" list.

I end up cleaning up cookie crumb messes all over the floor and googling "how to clean permanent marker from wood table top" while trying to remain calm. My mountain of unfolded laundry (with more waiting for me in the dryer) has been sitting for days in the same spot. My bed is un-made and clothes are thrown all over my floor with miscellaneous toys, ripped up pieces of Kleenex, hair clips, and a number of other random things brought in my girls, mixed in.

So after watching this video, I thought about what things I've "accomplished" so far in my seemingly difficult day. I've comforted my 2 girls in at least half a dozen crying instances so far, bent over and cleaned up at least 2 bins of toys (which are now scattered all over again), made breakfast for my children, sang a song with them, and helped my daughter put on a princess dress so she could play in it.

I helped my daughter ride the new (to us) bike she received yesterday for her birthday. Her very first bike with training wheels. She eagerly put on her helmet and semi-patiently waited for me to get dressed (something I told her was required before I could step outside as my neighbors don't want to see me in my bath robe). Then with baby in-tow on my hip, I helped her push the pedals forward and steer the bike. She got frustrated. I got frustrated. My baby got frustrated. But we did it. By the end my daughter was riding pretty well on her own. She felt proud of herself.

That was a moment worth "checking off" my list. It wasn't on my to-do list for today, but has so far become one of the highlights. Teaching my daughter how to ride a bike. Wow. What else could possibly be more important than that? Putting away clean dishes? Folding towels? Scrubbing permanent marker off my table top? Those things can wait. Being with my girls can't.

As I was writing this, I poked my head in to see what my girls were up to. I snapped this picture. They were quietly coloring and getting along (for approximately 4.5 minutes). There was peace and harmony in our house. It didn't last long, but it was there for a moment.

As women, moms, grandpas, parents, aunts, grandmas, sisters, fathers, uncles, brothers, sons, we need to stop putting so many unnecessary things at the top of our priority list. We need to stop thinking that our homes have to look spotless in order to feel like we have worth. We need to stop thinking that we need to have such-and-such to feel included. Let's STOP making so many to-do lists and START making memories. Let's stop being planners and start being doers.
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