Wednesday, October 23, 2013

smiles and sighs

I feel like this week is rocking me. I'm stuck somewhere between, "It's wednesday already?!" and "It's only wednesday?!" I feel like I have a million things to do, but productivity is not coming easily to me. And when I force myself to get stuff done, I can't remember any of the big things I'm supposed to do. So I end up just taking a nap instead. Which works too.

Lately, my days are filled with smiles and sighs. Rae is as joyful/adorable/rad as ever, and she makes me wonder what I ever did to get so lucky, every single day. She is constantly making us laugh. But she's also pushing and pulling the limits more than ever. I feel my patience being tested and my sanity being poked. I go to bed every night wanting to be a better mom the next day, and remembering countless aspects that I need to improve.

Yesterday Rae got into a cabinet that she knows she's not to meddle in, and I softly but sternly reminded her that she's not to play in that cabinet. She ignored me, and I quickly snapped at her, not so softly. Her little bottom lip puckered out and her chin quivered and I was knocked off my feet with shame. In this house, we're all about discipline and teaching right from wrong, but I lost my patience in this instance. She started crying, not because she wanted to play in the cabinet, but because I had scared her. I sat on the ground and she ran to me and lunged into my lap. I apologized, and her forgiveness was instant, and we giggled for the next few minutes. 

There are many moments throughout our days that I wish I could have a second chance at. Often within seconds of my reaction, I wish I could go back and try again. I see the patience she has with me as her imperfect mommy, and I realize that I could stand to learn a thing or two from her. This is something I'm working on.

But then there's this recently picked-up habit of hers, of filling her lap with the food off her plate...but only when we're not looking. I'll go to pick her up out of her highchair, thinking she finished all her dinner, only to find that her seat is filled with one million peas. I can't help but sigh. I know it's really not that big of a deal and I should just laugh about it, but at 5:30, in those last minutes before Garrett is home from work and I'm really ready for a little help, the last thing I want to see is her dinner mashed in the cushion of her highchair. Plus then I have to figure out if she ate enough, since she obviously didn't eat as much as I thought she did. 

Also. Rae is very very quick to whine lately. Sometimes there are hours at a time where it just feels like non.stop.whining. She wants a certain pair of shoes on, so she whines....and then nevermind, she want's that pair of shoes on instead, so she whines....then wait, she want's BOTH pairs of shoe's on. And she whines if I take this pair off, but then she also whines if I don't put that pair on. And sometimes it feels like she's walking around the house looking for things to whine about.

But what I recently noticed is that, while she's so quick to whine, she's also so quick to smile. And it really has less to do with whining, and more to do with showing her emotions. The girl takes after her Momma on this one....we don't have much of a poker face. If we are happy, we look happy. If we are sad, we look sad. Luckily, most of the time we are happy. But there are definitely times when we are whiney, and that's okay. That's life. And is it so bad if she's real and honest with her emotions?

I guess the moral of my ramblings here is that sometimes this job is hard. And tiring. Yesterday Garrett came home from work and we both just laid on the floor for the next hour while Rae filled her lap with peas. But....shouldn't it be hard sometimes? I mean, raising a human is kind of a big deal! And doesn't it seem like the most important jobs often come with the most difficulty? Also. Yes, sometimes I do a rotten job. Some days, motherhood is just a doozy. But I promise that I'm for sure trying my very best. And sometimes I get bummed because my very best still isn't good enough for that beautiful little soul named Rae. And so I get overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy and guilt. But before too long, those feelings are overshadowed with feelings of gratitude: 1, for this beautiful, healthy family that I have. And 2, that they are so patient with me, constantly giving me second, and third, and tenth chances to do better next time.

Earlier today in one of the simplest moments of our day, Rae and I caught each others eye. For a few solid seconds, we just looked at each other. No talking, or smiling, or whining, just looking. And I could see in her eyes that she loved me, her momma. I could see that in her eyes I had no fault. And that in that small little heart of hers, I took up a very prominent portion. And I hoped that she saw the same thing in my eyes. Because nothing she could ever do would stop me from loving her. And she takes up the most perfect portion of my imperfect heart.

And so, I'm vowing to smile more and to sigh less, to say yes more than I say no, and to have as much patience for my toddler as my toddler has for me. Because she deserves it.


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