Whenever I or my mom are having pictures taken (of us), we get lots of pics with our eyes closed. Or we are laughing. Especially if we are together, which makes it all the more fun.
I have a lot of pictures of my mom laughing, because she is so much fun, and so funny, and so quick to laugh at herself.
What an awesome quality!
I, on the other hand, can be all too serious. Thanks to my husband, and my mom, and my children, I’m learning to laugh more at life. It’s so nice to know that we can change, even if it’s just to learn personality coping skills! 😂
A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I went to a day-long seminar called “Education Week” at our local church building with my mom. One of the speakers taught a principle that goes like this: Time + Crisis = Humor.
Well, I have had plenty of “crises” in motherhood to laugh about at this point in my life.
Problem is, I can’t remember them right now. I will have to go back to my journals to jog my memory! Haha
So let’s do that.
But first I just want to share some struggles from this week, just to keep things real, so that you know that I’m still really weak at many aspects of motherhood, such as getting anywhere on time, getting meals made, keeping up with my budget, getting children to bed at night…or me for that matter (like right now). When we are all so tired, we don’t do as well getting along. Last week I was so tired and feeling beyond my coping capacities that I just yelled at one of my daughters who got upset at me. I mean screamed. I was mortified! That is not my normal M.O. It was extremely late (like 11:15 pm), and we were both just utterly beyond our limits. We’d had too many late nights in a row. Lane was gone; I was just at my breaking point. After I chose to respond to her that way, I was so shocked that I felt so terrible. My other daughters stepped in to help the daughter calm down, and we both went to our rooms. My daughter and I both apologized sincerely the next morning. Sleep works wonders. We knew we had hugely overstepped the boundaries of what we’d ever want in our relationship.
Another time this week I really got upset with my son during his cello practicing. I was beyond frustrated. We both ended up in tears. Oh my! The saga! And after a lot of intervening patient discussion with my husband and my own time out, we both apologized. So life goes on! Sometimes you think you have gotten better at something (like patience) only to have your limits stretched a little more and find yourself failing. That’s when I just have to reach for my Savior–just like Peter did on the water when he started to sink–and cry for help. I am always and forever thankful for such forgiving children. I’m not a perfect mom. Not even close. They know it, but they still love me. And I will always love them for their kindness!
I don’t know if I will laugh about choosing not to be kind to my children in my moment of fatigue or frustration, but I know I can choose to be wiser!
I do remember one funny moment from years ago when one of my older children was in preschool. She was a very challenging, busy child. I found it hard sometimes to keep my voice soft when dealing with her seemingly endless string of mess-making. One morning I raised my voice at her, and then I started to cry and said, “Oh, [so and so], I am so sorry for yelling at you!” She answered quite cheerfully. “Oh that’s OK, Mom. [So and so’s] mom yells at him, and [so and so’s] mom yells at him, and [so and so’s] mom yells at her.” These were all children in her preschool carpool, and it cracked me up that this was her perception, whether accurate or not. At least she saw me as a normal mom, trying to learn to be patient along with all of my mom friends!
Here some other funny moments–not necessarily crises–from my journals and blogs:
“Listening to a song from the movie Cinderella, we had a conversation that went something like this: ‘Except for the blonde hair and extremely tiny waist, Cinderella and I are practically the same person,’ Sarah observed this morning. ‘Do you sing and dance with mice?’ I asked. ‘No, but I scream and dance with mice,’ she responded. ‘We don’t have that kind of mouse in our house,’ Julia clarified. I agreed, furthering: ‘We just have the very clever, very-scared-of-people kind of mouse.'”
Here is a post from back when about our first child’s first date:
Sarah went on her first date to Homecoming last night. Pinning on the boutonniere was a little tricky.
Getting them both to smile at the same time was even trickier.
They were smiling when they finally got to leave from the parental photo shoot.
And then we looked over to see someone who was far from smiling about the whole deal.
Good thing she wasn’t leaving for college! Then we might all have looked like that!
When Anna was little, she had a chronic runny nose. She was the child that always needed her nose wiped. I learned not to judge the mother whose children had yucky unwiped noses, because now I understood her! We tried everything to help Anna heal, to no avail. She had ear tube surgery, then a tonsillectomy and finally an adenoidectomy. We were so delighted when after years of runny noses and upper respiratory troubles, she seemed to heal and move beyond it all. Now she rarely ever has a cold!
To think that I prayed and worried and anxiously wrung my hands over how I must be doing something wrong, and how I just wasn’t good at giving her herbal tinctures 14 (exaggeration) times a day (that’s just what it always felt like when it came to non-medical routes), or give her such individualized care with my large and very young family. But she was just a very little girl and had to grow up a little. Sometimes motherhood is just like that: we simply have to walk the path until we get to the fork in the road where things will change, because a child grows, or circumstances change, or who knows what.
Here is a funny story from 2010, when she was nearly 5: “Sarah noticed that Anna’s antibiotic had a flavoring added to it: caramel-orange-raspberry (?!). She wondered what Anna thought of it. ‘Does your medicine taste good?’ Anna explained, ‘Not really. It kind of tastes like rotten wood.’ Lane reminded me of another time when Anna had told him her medicine tasted like ‘the wall.'”
From November 2000:
As I consider our children’s lives, I’m reminded of something a grandmother once said: “Every child who makes it to adulthood is a miracle.” [That quote may not be the exact words, but that was the gist!] (Actually, Lane is our greatest testament to that fact.) Our children have been protected and watched over certainly by angels! Sarah comes to mind as she broke her collarbone this fall…We were in awe as we saw the before-and-after x-rays at the miracle of how our bodies can heal!…Sarah has also learned to read in the past year [the same child who is taking the MCAT this week]. She astounds us as we read scriptures in the early morning hours (also a miracle) at how she is able to sound out words….That Julia has made it through this year is [itself] a miracle, truly. She is so curious (Her favorite stories are in the Curious George books). Through sickness and health she is ever a bright, cheerful, BUSY child. We wonder if (hope) things will subside a bit on the innocently getting into mischief side of things…Grandma McC said she’s “the singingest child” she’s seen….Rebecca’s entrace to this world last Christmas was a miracle [dramatic emergency C-section], and she …sleeps well, eats a lot…[and is] just beginning to show some surprising feistiness and spunk that we didn’t know she had in her sinces she’s been so easy-going…[Had we only known! LOL]….
The miracles in my lie are very day-to-day. I am learning to enjoy motherhood increasingly, although I still have those days that all moms have where it’s totally overwhelming. The mere passage of time is wonderful as our children grow up and can do more for themselves….
I found this cute card from one of my sisters in my journal. It says, “When life gives you dirt…Make mud pies!” When motherhood gets hard still or when I fall short of who I wish I were, I sometimes just need to laugh. And write it down, because I will forget it, and someday I will get to remember and laugh over it–or at least smile in gratitude for what I’ve learned.
It’s so nice when your sister sends you a card that encourages you. My sisters have been like that. I wish I were better at that these days! Now it’s just a quick text here and there!
Too tired to go back and edit this. Wish I had time to find more laughing photos. I know they are in the thousands somewhere! Much love to you all.