Today was the kind of day in motherhood that could have felt like a failure. Each child had their own needs that I seemed to have a hard time meeting. It launched this morning when Charlie wouldn't come get dressed and in my effort to catch him as he tried to run by, I pulled him down onto a small plastic giraffe that scraped down his ribs. The look on his face was one I'm not sure I'll forget- his lip quivered and his eyes got big as he said, "You...hurt...me" and then launched into sobs caused by equal parts pain and betrayal.
Long portions of the day were spent comforting and consoling over injuries and hurt feelings and wrong choices. At the time I was supposed to be making dinner, I was feeding the baby, comforting one child with hurt feelings on my lap, one had fallen asleep after some melt-down induced quiet time, and one was off pouting after letting off steam in inappropriate ways. By the time the husband walked in the door at 6, the sleeping child was awake and crying, the baby was fed and playing while inching closer to bedtime, the pouting child was trying to get back to normal after a lengthy talk and my attempts to try to communicate love and forgiveness, and the child with hurt feelings was off playing to avoid chores. We had some form of leftovers or sandwiches/quesadillas as I played short order cook while the husband left for a night of meetings.
There were several times when I felt defeated. As I sit here, the evidence of the living that was done in our house today abounds, and I need to restore some order. There was a whole lot of emotion happening. But I had the impression come more than once that I shouldn't quit. Just because today wasn't picture perfect doesn't mean that I wasn't doing a good job. I was holding it together the best I could, and I'll do the same thing again tomorrow, and some days are better than others.
Somedays I feel like the eye of the storm, the calm as it swirls around me. Somedays it's not so calm, but I succeeded today in keeping perspective that even if I didn't have a calm moment, the next moment I could try again. There was a whole lot of forgiveness in our house today, and at the end of it all I think an increase of love.
Wouldn't you know that today was how it was after our family home evening last night on this highlight from Richard G. Scott's general conference talk. His topic? Peace at home. We haven't succeeded yet, but we're trying.
For more inspiration, General Conference is available online, and I'm loving going back through to watch my favorites again!