Follow @EllenGrabe Grabe's Gatherings: Something Right

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Something Right

As I sit and look around my house in the quiet of the night I can't help but wonder if I am doing anything right.  Baby toys litter the living room floor, mismatched shoes are kicked here and there, and laundry baskets sit with clothes spilling out of them.  Yet I sit here in the chair and enjoy the silence for the time being even though I know I should be cleaning up the messes from the day in order to prepare for the messes of tomorrow.

Do most parents wonder if they are doing things right?  Is it common to constantly worry about how you are raising your children?  How do you know if you're a good parent?  These questions come to my mind often.

The other day was a day full of chaos and challenges. It seemed as though with every blink life approached me with a new frustration.  By the end of the day I was run down to the point of tears.  I had yelled at my kids, questioned whether I'm in the right place in life, and felt defeated.  Exhaustion powerfully took over my thoughts and stole my logic.  I finally fell asleep that night and woke to a new day.

Since that dreadful day I have been thinking about signs that show me I am doing something right.  Surely I'm not a horrible mother and wife even if my house is in shambles.  I have told myself, "There HAS to be signs that show I'm doing SOMETHING right."  I thought about this for a long time and came up with a few examples.

Peace comes over my worries when I think about the day Cailyn wanted to take the money she got from the Tooth Fairy to school and donate it to needy kids.  I was so proud of her that day.  I'm still proud of her.  Showing signs of selflessness at age 6 is a sign that she is seeing her father and I act in generous ways.  We are doing something right.

A sense of calmness permeates my body when I see Cailyn take Bryce's hand in an unfamiliar situation and guide him until he is comfortable enough to be left alone.  Signs of responsibility, love, and protection show me that we are doing something right.

My heart beams when I think about the day Cailyn and Bryce were being silly and coming up with different places Lauryn came from.  Bryce stopped and said, "No, I know where she came from. Lauryn came from love!"  You got that right, buddy.  And so did you and your big sister.  Hearing a 4 year old say such a strong and meaningful statement shows me we are showing enough love and that we are doing something right.

I feel peer joy when I walk into a room and see the way Lauryn lights up when she sees me.  It isn't just her smile but her entire body lights up.  Her eyes twinkle, she grins ear to ear, her legs kick with excitement and her breathing get heavier.  At 5 months old she is able to show me signs that I am doing something right in caring for her and loving her.

We may not be able to find our missing shoe or have socks that match all the time but we always have 1 thing: Love.  While Eric talked me through my tears after my rough day with the kids he asked me two questions.  First, he  asked, "Did you take care of the kids and feed them today?"  My answer: "Yes."  Second he asked, "Did you love them?"  My answer:  "Always."  He replied, "Then I'd say you're doing a pretty good job."

  A verse that was read at our wedding from 1 Corinthians 13 comes to mind:

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  8Love never fails....
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


Anonymous said...

Here's the way I see're doing something right if you're thinking about whether you're doing something right. Good parents are not perfect parents. They are parents who make mistakes but learn from them. If you thought you were doing everything right I'd worry about you. We'll never do it all right, just as our parents didn't with us. The important thing is that we do our best. And some days our best is staying in pajamas all day, feeding our kids chicken nuggets, and going to bed with a messy kitchen and a living room full of toys. And that's totally okay, because your kids won't remember all that. They'll just remember that time their awesome mom took all 3 of them to the pool all by herself and they had so much fun!

Sarah (totally can't remember my Google account info. Lol)

Ellen said...

Thanks Sarah! you are right-they don't care about the mess. Heck, they created it so it doesn't bother them! It's so great to have a support system here full of moms! What a great night it was with my "Newton Family" Love you!