Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Best Worst Day

Today has been...well truly there are no words. I have cleaned, planned for the next week, crafted, played with my boys and read many books to them. I even have chicken soup slowly, comfortingly, bubbling away in the crock pot. It's been a mostly productive day except...

My twins have not stopped screaming since four o'clock this morning.

So all these projects are half finished. Normally, I would have had a full blown melt down by now. I have snapped a couple of times, Bear Bear resided in time out for most of the morning, and I took five minutes to myself this afternoon to drink a cup of coffee and check Facebook, all the while my boys were fussing in the living room.

A couple of things have happened to make this day the day it has been. I managed to get rid of some large items in my home yesterday which has gotten me excited and hopeful about my home again (it's been a while). I planned the upcoming week which helps me feel less lost. And the next two things go hand in hand.

For a while it has been hard for me to really appreciate the time I have with my boys. The twins are at a difficult stage and Bear Bear is at an even more difficult stage (can you say terrible twos?). Sometimes I feel like I can't keep up and that I'm not doing right by my children. It eats away at you. Now I know I'm a good mom. That doesn't mean that I am impervious to mom guilt and scathing thoughts to myself. I beat myself up all the time and my children bear the brunt of that negativity.

I have had an idea rolling around in my head that I would try to turn my thinking around to a more positive outlook. I decided I would start with Bear Bear. Ever since the twins came home he has been the best big brother, but he has been acting out towards me and Barry. He is desperate for our attention and we give it when we can but for him he needs constant reassurance of our love since he tends to get into trouble roughly every 32 seconds. I decided I would start just by giving him a big smile every time he came into the room or every time I caught him glancing my way. If he did something good I would praise him and I would take the time to touch him as I passed him, even if it was just a gentle pat on the head. I decided on this course of action about two weeks ago and despite its incredible simplicity, I haven't done it.

Today, two things came across my Facebook feed. Barry's aunt posted about one of her friend's baby who is in the NICU and she included a picture. And we heard of a tragic miscarriage that aunt's daughter went through yesterday. I don't know the details because I didn't ask, I still can't handle anything bad regarding babies. But these two devastating events hit me hard today.

After seeing these posts I went and snuggled with each of my children and made them the promise that I would try harder. I promised that I would smile more, I would praise more, I would enjoy each day more. It has been a rewarding experience.

Today has been a horrible day. Two teething babies and a toddler on the rampage but I am proud of myself. I am calm. I am happy. Have no doubt, I'm frustrated as hell but I am taking it all in stride rather than taking it out on my kids.

So I challenge you to a very simple endeavor.

Smile. More.

If you need to quantify it, smile three times tomorrow for no reason. Smile at the person at the drive through window, say thank you and mean it. Smile at your pet. Smile at the blue of the sky, the wind messing up your hair, the ridiculous comment your friend made. Smile at your babies and your spouse. It will change your world.


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