When my oldest daughter was 8 or 9 months old, I already had the itch to have another baby. My husband held me at bay for as long as he could, but by the time she was 15 months, we were pregnant again. After all…we totally “got this!”
When it came to raising kids, in our eyes, we were veterans period
We could practically teach a class, manual included.
So when our second bundle of joy came peacefully into our world we were by contrast thrown for a loop to say the very least. We were not at all prepared for the learning curve of caring for two small children. We realized that “we DON’T got this”…AT ALL.
We crashed and burned, and the endless complaints that were running through my head definitely changed my demeanor.
I would never complain out loud…I hate to be “that person”, so silently I complained about my husband not helping enough, and not taking initiative. I complained about my two year old being a two year old (sometimes…a lot of times… I raised my voice at her)…why couldn’t she quiet down while I tried to get the baby to sleep? Why couldn’t the laundry disappear? Why did I still have to cook? Why was my dinner always cold? I was frustrated and overwhlemed…
In the middle of my glamorous pity party, I had a moment of clarity, “Why was I complaining about the things I asked for?”
…I didn’t have a good answer. It was sobering. I was being selfish. The truth is:
Some people can’t have kids.
Some people don’t have a husband to be mad at or one that loves them.
Some people’s kids aren’t healthy enough to run around and be loud.
Some people don’t have food to eat, and would be happy with a cold dinner.
Some people don’t have clothes to create stupid laundry.
Then I came across a scripture that changed my life:
- “Rejoice always,pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
God’s will sounds so strong and official right? His command/desire for us is to always be thankful in every situation?! I’m amazed that this is one of the few things God asks of us. It seems so simple right?
I totally “got this”…
Except I don’t, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either.
Easier said than done, but I reluctantly took on the challenge, changed my attitude to one of gratitude (some people keep a gratitude journal), and I prayed for strength and grace. I wish I could bottle up how the atmosphere in my house changed. My perspective changed. My love for my husband and children grew almost instantly. I felt it in my core.
Complaining, even in my head, allowed me to play the victim role for which I should receive an Academy award (no, seriously…my speech was already prepared thanking God first included)…
I realized that God’s will for us to always be thankful helps to build our patience and faith. It keeps our hearts pure and reminds us of what we’ve been through and survived.
Just take a minute and think of the millions of things (great and small) you should be thankful for.
My pastor said that “everything you’re thankful for increases”. I found this profound. Anything you’re thankful for appreciates; like the relationship with my kids and my husband. There are blessings in your gratitude.
I’m sure I’ll continue to need reminders to just be grateful especially on those days:
- when my husband is working late
- when I’m pulled in a million directions as a (gulp!) mommy of three (they just keep coming these kids!)
- when my three year old is running around naked after “accidentally” peeing on the floor, and my five year old is all glammed up with a lotion/powder concoction all over her body (and the bathroom…and the carpet…and her hair…uuuuuggggggggggg!!!!!!)
We’ll all need the reminder, but it pays dividends to just be thankful. We totally got this…right?!
Hey! Stop Complaining!!!! Share your stories about turning your blinged out pity party into an opportunity to be thankful.