Less and More

less-and-more

Sitting here, on the barstool at our kitchen island – my new favorite writing spot once the kids are in bed and Ben has kissed me goodnight before heading upstairs himself – the house is quiet except for the hum and rhythmic click of zippers from laundry being tossed around in the dryer.

I’m snacking on a bowl of the granola bars I made with the kids today. It’s in a bowl because they never set and are all crumbly so I have to eat it with a spoon. I choose a kiddie spoon out of the drawer, realizing in that moment that we’ll soon be getting rid of all the kiddie cutlery. At three and five my kids no longer want to use a tiny plastic fork or spoon, protesting when I still serve them cereal with the brightly colored utensils.

Practically every night I worry that I’m failing them as a mom. Why is it I always play back the mistakes I made during the day, rather than recall the beautiful moments we had playing and laughing and snuggling together? I wonder if I’m too focused on my own personal goals and feel guilty I don’t consciously set goals as a mom.

I want to make significant changes in this new year, this fresh start. I want to check email less, and bake with my kids more. I want to complain less and drink in the giggles more. I want to not stress out over small things and hug my family and friends more. I want to be less critical and be more appreciative. I want to not freak out when the kids are simply being kids, and instead smile and file the memory of how they are at these ages away so I never forget.

Every day is a new chance to try again. Another day to try my best at being the absolute best mom I can be for my kids.

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  1. Jenn, Today I am especially gratefully for your bravery in doing something about your illness and not sitting passively on the sidelines watching your life march by, full of regrets. I am grateful for the medications which keep my disease in remission and the little reminders i get when my self care falls by the wayside and I mortgage today’s mental health, promising myself I’ll catch up tomorrow. i am no scarlett o’hara. i cannot afford to “think about it tomorrow.” without obsessing, somewhere in my brain resides the last horrifying roller coaster ride. the shame and resignation of hospitalization. the worry about the impact on my children. the constellation of looks on my husband’s face as the ward doors shut behind him. today i got the starkest reminder of all – a young man, the younger brother of a guy my daughter dated in high school – diagnosed bipolar in 2006. the same year I was. he lost the battle and took his life yesterday. may you be at peace Jake O. and may God carry your family through their grief.

    • Rebecca, thank you so much for your comment. I am so very sorry to hear of Jake’s passing. Thank you for coming here to read, and for sharing part of your story, too. For it is through the sharing of our struggles that we find strength. Praying for Jake’s family and friends that they may find comfort in their happy memories of his life.

  2. These are all great resolutions, and I know that every day is a chanc eto make a new beginning. However, as you say, you foucs a lot on the mistakes you may be making as a Mom. If I were you, I’d try not only to be less critical of others, but also fo yourself.

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