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Sunday, March 22, 2009


I do a lot of things wrong as a mother.  

I yell way too much, I have a controlling nature which I'm more aware of with each passing day, I'm impatient like no other person I know, I'm still way too selfish for being a mama of three young ones, and I generally lack in most areas domestic like cooking and sewing and being able to whip together a craft project on a rainy afternoon. 

And too much of the time, I get caught up in the wrong stuff. Focusing on it. Stressing about it.  Wondering why this mother gig doesn't come a little more naturally to me.  

But today, at church, (I'm Catholic and although the road hasn't been a non-questioning one, I can honestly say that going to mass has become a refuge for me), the priest said something in his homily that I know but I often forget.

And I wanted to write it down so I might remember to think about it more often.

He said, "The greatest gift as parents that you can give your children is your love for one another.  It is this love and showing them this love that gives them a sense of belonging.  That they belong to a family."

I remember on my wedding day almost 11 years ago, I got up at the reception and I said a few words before my parents took the floor to dance together.  I wanted to acknowledge in front of everyone what they had given me in my childhood.  And I said the very thing that the priest said today.

I said, "The greatest gift you have given me, Mom and Dad, is your love for one another.  Thank you for showing it to us all of these years because it has helped to make me who I am today."

And I meant it. To the core of my being. 

My parents love and adore each other. And without a doubt they created a place where myself and my three siblings felt like we truly belonged. And we have that feeling still. I think it's one of the main reasons we have been able to confidently traipse around the globe, create lives for ourselves wherever we are, and to roll with the inevitable punches that life has thrown our way.

When I think about my kids in the future and I wonder how they will "turn out", I usually have this feeling that they're gonna be "okay." Not necessarily rich, or perfectly educated, or have the most stellar job, but they will be people who know who they are, they will have an understanding of the earth they are walking on and they will feel that they have a place in the world because they belong to a family.


Isn't that what life is all about, really?

So even though I do a lot of things wrong, I think I do one thing right.  I love my husband right and he loves me right.  And hopefully our kids are noticing.

So the next time I'm having the crappiest day a mama can have (uh, yesterday) yelling at the three whiniest, most disobedient, back-talking, messy, infuriating children, I'm gonna try and switch my focus. 

Instead of looking around my cluttered home and listening to the screaming of my crazy children and thinking about all of the wrong things that are going on, I'm gonna grab my dude, squeeze him tight, tell him I love him more than life itself, and then rest in the fact that at least ONE thing is going right. 


  1. That was beautiful. And VERY true! Nothing else matters but the love for your family. Nothing is greater.

    No one is perfect. We all have are misgivings and strive to be the "perfect" being.

    But you figured it out.. you are perfect in the eyes of your children and your husband.

    THAT'S all that should matter.

    Beautiful post.

  2. I whole heartedly believe this! This post really spoke to me and I have a tear in my eye b/c of it. Thank you for reminding me of this.

  3. oh man... that was awesome. you really can pull it together and lay it right out there.

    i have to give my hubs his props... he's teaching the boys that women are always right and it is just best to give in at the earliest opportunity. and the kids DO notice... i have to laugh when my 15 y.o. shakes his head, and says, "dad, you're such a wuss!" but then again, he has already had one little girlfriend and he was an AWESOME boyfriend.... so giving and sweet and willing to "talk things through".... so i think the wuss thing is all talk and he is really watching.

    on another note, i have the craziest thing to blog about and i don't want to forget. you HAVE to remind me about the little boy in the fencing tournament that came in FIRST and pitched a big fit and cried and refused to accept his medal. uhhhhh... hello???? where did THAT come from???

  4. Love the post...and so true! It is hard to remember sometimes the truly important things in life...but when we do it makes life so much better:)

  5. Excellent post. Excellent point. I think I'll shut down the computer for the night and go talk to hubs.

    Lord give me strength to look entralled as he gives me the blow-by-blow detail of every golf stroke he's had the last two days.

    Love that man of mine :-)!

  6. I may never say this again, but your priest is totally right.

  7. Lee, that was just lovely. What a good way and put everything back in perspective. Love is all...

    That was a wonderful post and you are a great mom...

  8. My parents were so much in love there just wasn't room for anyone else. That being said, I tell my kid I love her everyday and show her she belongs that way. My ex and I never fight in her presence so I know that goes a long way in helping her know that at home, she has nothing to worry about.

  9. Wow! That was amazing. I have to agree with you. Great post!@

  10. Well said! I believe it's true that for kids to feel comfortable and secure, their home life needs to be on solid ground.

  11. 1. That was a beautiful post, and I know this is hard to believe...but you brought a tear to my eye. My parents taught me this, and I hope to live up to their example.

    2. This is WAAAAY better than my church story about avoiding shaking hands with the lady in front of us because I knew she had been rolling her daughter's booger around in her fingers.

    I'm just sayin'.

  12. You know how to pen it so well. I was so touched by your insight and wisdom.

    And I love that your description of yourself? That is me!

    I knew there was a reason I liked you!


  13. What a beautiful post and reminder. Thank you. I believe I had a similar crappy weekend, and this is just what I needed.

  14. Great job and so true. I have also tried to keep that quote alive in my life. I heard it once and it stuck. It's not always the easist (for me). A constant work in progress...

    I admire you and your relationship with your hubby.

  15. Good for you! And good timing for me to read! I'm sick with sinus and my kiddos are driving me crazy today. Sometimes I need to just take a breather and relax.

  16. WOW, Lee. This is so true. I have to admit I don't do a very good job at this. You've just given me a much-needed reminder. Loving my husband (and showing that love) is SOOOO important. How silly I am to forget that.
    Thank you.

  17. Two things that most people would never think to put together, mama infuriated with the kids & mama sooo loving her man, but is amazing how the two are so closely connected in a family of belonging.

    I wonder if one can cultivate this behavior if one sets her mind to it?

  18. Beautiful, beautiful post. So simple....the amazing power of love.

    I'm printing this one and hanging it up as a reminder...thanks :-)

  19. Wonderful post you made me think of my grandparents and how much they love each other to this day. 60 years of marriage and they still hold hands, my grandpa will even occasionally give my grandma a nice little pat on the rear w/ a little grin on his face. They have always been the best examples of what LOVE truly is for me, & how I try to be also w/ my family.

    Thanks again for reminding me!!

  20. What an amazing post! It is easy to lose sight of that simple advice in the mess of everyday life. My husband and I had gotten away from from this over the years, I'm afraid, but are working to bring it back right now. :) Really beautiful, Lee. Thanks for reminding yourself and everyone else that it is OK!!

  21. That was awesome. I really loved this post!

  22. I love this post! While my first husband (the father of my two kids) didn't make it together, we still are very, very good friends. And I am married to the love of my life. I hope that my children understand how much love we all have for them.

    Great post!

  23. A stellar post! The love of family will get you through everything.

    Thank you for reminding me:)

  24. wow. I cannot tell you how that post touched me. You wrote VERY eloquently, and I felt every word and every emotion so deeply.

    We are ALL flawed. We YELL, we SCREAM, we LOVE, we forgive, we cuddle, we protect and we are HUMAN.

    You, however, were perfect today. yep. perfect.


  25. you oughta congratulate yourself for being so enlightened - even on your yelling days.

    our greatest human need is to be loved, needed, belonging.

    as a non-church goer, i would say you could find that out in other places, but it doesn't matter where you hear it, as long as you hear it, right?


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