Saturday, January 9, 2016

Don't You Quit. You Are Doing Better Than You Think You Are.

photo credit: Trisha Shelley Photography
Some days I'm sure that's how toddlers are delivered each day. They sure do seem to be a whole separate species some days. One day the UFO delivers the sweetest little boy and other days I think the aliens are testing the breaking point of the adult brain. But they definitely do drop of a strange little creature each morning.

For a whole day, that is how he carried his sheep around the house.
Yeah...that's, um...nutella. Needless to say we were late to church that day cleaning up the...nutella. 
He couldn't find his sunglasses. 
After a particularly trying day the other day I told Cameron, "I don't know if I can do this. What if we mess him up? What if what we think is the right thing to do turns him into a despicable or non-functional human being?" Cameron chuckled (I think he tried not to, but did), and said "We're not going to mess him up. He just needs to know that we love him." I brushed that off at first. I felt so inadequate. I felt so bogged down. I felt so confused at how I could love this little person so much and really dislike being a mom all at the same time.

Daily I feel like my brain is working harder than ever before, and yet melting at the same time. Daily I feel intense waves of love and extreme frustration all within the same second. Daily I question if I am teaching enough, playing enough, loving enough, calm enough, disciplining enough, moving enough, etc. Daily I hit moments where I'm sure I'm doing this whole mothering thing wrong, and doing life wrong.

I need to put this quote up where I will see it daily. Hourly. Some days I believe the quote. Other days I don't.

Over Christmas Break my Mom kept trying to assure me that it would all turn out okay. That I'd make it through. That the Mommy Pay Days would come. She said, "Your wedding day was a Mommy Pay Day, and that's why I cried all day long." I laughed and replied, "I'd cry too if it took 20 years to get a pay day!" It's hard to look ahead to these big moments and to use them as motivation. They seem so distant. They don't seem even real at this point.

So for now I look for these smaller Pay Days. And if I look and pay attention, they are here, cleverly disguised as just normal moments.

Like when we all got a great chuckle when Darrow spent the entire meal at Denny's with his foot on the table.

Or when I walk into the room to find his chair of preference is the cookie tub.  

Or the way he flaps his arms as he runs.   

And just his goofy little self. 

These moments matter. These moments are what build up the years. These are the moments I have to treasure up, because if I only focus on the fits, the nights he wakes up 4 times, the thrown food, the endless diaper changes, then of course all I will see is a long road full of sinkholes and despair. 

And I think this applies not just to motherhood, but to life. Life isn't a constant adventure or romance movie. It's a lot of mundane and normal moments with seconds of awesomeness thrown in. The trick is to find joy in the mundane and normal moments. To keep moving. To keep pushing on. 

So whatever your struggle is right now, whatever you feel bogged down in, keep going. Keep pushing. Keep trying to succeed. Don't you quit! You are doing better than you think you are. 


  1. You must read Zagazoo, by Quentin Blake. (Children's book) I love it, it's true.

  2. Loved this Marquette! You are so right. Motherhood is the hardest, most wonderful thing we'll ever do. And just knowing you and Cameron, your kids will turn out better than average :)

  3. I've been going through it, was much worse when Stormageddon was small (he's 16 months now but when I was in the throes of sleep-deprivation and cranky 4 year old....).

  4. Here's the thing - coming from a seasoned mom: if you care enough to wonder if you're doing it right, then you're totally doing it right. It's the parents who never doubt their parenting skills that you need to worry about.


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