You can always tell a mom...

So I am going to get philosophical again...just a warning. You don't have to read this. I have been looking about lately when I am running errands, getting groceries, etc. and have noticed a few things I would like to share. I guess during this time of year it makes me think how greatful I am that I can see my follys and foibles (yes ladies and gentlemen, they are different). So I guess you could call this a late Thanksgiving gratitude post, or early New Year's Resolution list. I will call it a Gratitude Resolution.

First, you can always tell a mom by the far-away looks in their eyes when they are standing in line at a checkout, and yes, I am positive I have that same look 99.9% of the time. Never fail, you stand behind some woman, children in tow, hair askew, clothes a little rumpled, and you think, "That woman has seen it all." It never used to cross my mind when I was single and carefree the things they were thinking about, but I decided that it could be anything from what's for dinner, balancing the checkbook, making sure kids are on time for practices, the mysteries of the universe, even what fun things they are going to be doing when the kids are finally in bed. Imagine the full gamut, and I can almost guarantee it has been thought of with the blank stare on a woman's face. Admit it, you yourself don't always consciously think about what you are thinking about. I know, kind of an outlandish thought, but this year I pledge to remain in the here and now. To always have your mind on other things makes it hard to really truly appreciate the blessings you have right now, including the messes your children make and the burned dinner that was supposed to be perfect. Life is a huge learning experience, and if you are always searching for that veritable needle in the haystack, the little things can be lost.

Second, I have a hard time understanding the way my kids act sometimes. They whine and cry and are obstinate and refuse to eat their dinner, refuse to sleep, etc. You are thinking: "Gasp! Her kids and life are not perfect??!" Well, I guess if my kids and life were perfect, I probably wouldn't be hanging around this place...think city of Enoch. I pledge to embrace my imperfections, all of them. There is a reason I have imperfections, and that is to learn about myself. It's surprising how little we know about ourselves, and I want to learn as much about myself as I can. Another novel idea, I know, but truly empowered men and women are those who can stand on their own two feet, who don't care about the nasty thoughts others have of them, or the nasty thoughts they have of themselves (which brings me to my last point), do. (Interesting word, do, it's probably the smallest word with the longest definition in the old trusty Merriam-Webster dictionary...look it up sometime; there are some very interesting, thought provoking definitions for it.)

Third, and last, I have a habit of looking at the glass half empty sometimes. When things do not go right or I am fed up with people or places or circumstances, I like to go into the "poor Tia" mode. That is such an ugly mode, and it never solves the problem; in all actuality, it makes the situation worse. So I pledge that when "poor Tia" rears her ugly little head, I am going to squash her by looking in the mirror and telling "poor Tia" to go away. I am amazing, just as you all are, and the only way to make things better is to go about with a positive attitude.

Now, dear readers, it's your turn. I didn't put these down for you to feel sorry for me or smug that you don't have the same pitfalls. On the contrary, I wrote this post to get you thinking about how to make your life more enjoyable. Go ahead...give it a try. You do not have to post anything about hating to do the laundry or spending way too much time reading while you should be playing with your kids. What I want you to comment about, if you comment, is your little secret of how you navigate through the bumps of life, so someone might get a great idea from you on how to make their life just a little bit better. Think Gratitude Resolution!


  1. I love this post, I too, as of late have been thinking about how I can enjoy my life to the fullest. With Eliot growing out of the baby stage (finally) not having a baby on the way has been a weird feeling for me.

    And for the first time, I'm really seeing that my kids are growing up. They are OLD. And I missed a lot of it due to a 4 year sleepless haze. And I want to enjoy it.

    Recently I was running myself ragged cleaning non stop. And realized one day that I was stressing out over nothing. And that I wasn't spending valuable time with the kids. I want them to know they are more important than things looking perfect. I grew up in a house where just about EVERYTHING was more important than the kids and I never want my children to feel that way.

    So I clean really well one or two days out of the week. And then I just try to enjoy time with the boys. I don't let things get disgusting, we don't live in filth... I just, cuddle more, read more books, play more games, make more crafts. I want to KNOW my kids. Before I was just waiting for them to grow up, but it was taking my mind off all they have to offer right NOW.

    Something Jed also told me that helped me so much during a time of despair was to focus on the ways I excel as a mother. Sometimes I focus on that "imaginary" mother out there who is never stressed, never tired, always made-up, always bathes her kids regularly and without incident, etc... but that's not ME. I'm not super crafty, who cares? But I do excel at talking with my kids, challenging them intellectually, teaching them. I don't always get my make up on, so what? Because I ALWAYS stop whatever I'm doing if a kid needs a hug. I don't have the greatest decorating skills but what does it matter? Because I'm proud of the way I parent. I don't yell, I don't spank, I've been practicing my patience and I'm SO proud of that.

    So yeah, this was a long comment, but hey, you sort of asked for it.

  2. i don't think i really have anything insightful to share. especially since recently i've been having a rough time with being pregnant and a mommy of ms. one-year-old-ruth. then the days that i do feel well and get cleaning done i want brad to come home and praise me to no end because i've done something remarkable. and when i don't get that praise i'm annoyed.

    i keep thinking that "once i'm not pregnant i'll" exercise, be more fun, do more cleaning, cook again...etc, etc. i think that is the thing i need to work on this year, stop looking to the future, a lot like you were saying, tia. i need to live in the here and now and stop expecting things of others. i'm going to do what i can and not beat myself up if i don't feel well.

    i am so grateful for ruth and brad. brad is kind and loving and ruth is a ball of energy that loves reading. i am making a resolution to look for their strengths and stop taking note of their bad moments.

    thanks tia for your post, i appreciate the nudge for introspection.