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.