Monday, March 1, 2010

my unlucky, red tights.

I tried to explain that if they continued misbehaving we would have to stay at home each day.
No more trips to the park, to the carousel, to the candy store.
One thing that I am learning is that young children do not keep score. They do not add up all the nice things their parents do for them, or track their possessions and who gifted them. They do not feel bound to act based on the actions of others. We have not yet taught them how to feel obligated.
My threat to discontinue my efforts to make them happy if they did not try to make me happy in return, and similar threats I will make, will eventually teach them to act out of obligation.

That is not my wish. I hope to teach them to consider the feelings of others just because they care. Because their hearts are loving and compassionate.
At times our children may not seem to care about our feelings but I am realizing that their perception is even more limited than an adult male's intuition about a woman's feelings.

But they kiss my cheeks when I cry.
I conclude that my loving actions must not be attached to their reactions. If I am to help them to be true to their already kind hearts, I must show them true kindness; that is, performing loving acts without the expectation of reciprocation.
Not that I shouldn't expect them to behave. They should behave. But more for their own good; so that they can find a place in a world of rules. Not because they owe me anything.
Each time I wear my red tights I have a terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad day.
I didn't learn anything that day. But I received the experience that is helping me internalize the things I'm learning this very moment. Now that time has passed since this perceived disaster of an outing, I'm becoming aware of the need to revisit events in a different mindset.

If we want to become better we must take time to reflect.

Well loved advice from the Alcoholics Anonymous program, which can be a guide not only to recovering from addiction but also purging our hearts, reminds us each to continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong, we promptly admit it (step 10).

Our trials, and our progression through them, really are gifts. So long as we choose to see them that way.

12 comments:

Rebecca said...

I have been following your adorable blog for a bit (via Pioneer woman or Nie Nie? I can't remember now). THANK YOU for sharing such a sweet, honest and insightful post. This statement is so tough to live out but oh, so true! "I conclude that my loving actions must not be attached to their reactions. If I am to help them to be true to their already kind hearts, I must show them true kindness; that is, preforming loving acts without the expectation of reciprocation." I truly believe that God's spirit in us is the only way to reach the goal unconditional love. As a mom of two boys (7,10) I want to encourage you that the days DO get easier and you see the fruit of your labor growing each day. Your boys are not only precious and adorable but they are SO incredibly blessed to have you!!!! God bless you all! ~Becca

Denise said...

I can't tell you how much I love this post. Being am other to 3 boys ages 3 and under, I can relate to your feelings all to well. It was as if you took the words right of my very mouth. Thank you for sharing - you are an inspiration!

p.s. Do you mind if I post a link to this post on my blog for other mommies to read?

Vashti said...

What a wonderful post. I really enjoy how you take pictures of yourself as well as your children. It makes the post stand out more because I have a really good visual of the author of the posts. Your self portraits are some of my favorite of your pictures!

Vashti said...

I don't think my first comment posted, dangit! I really loved this post and I really enjoy the self portraits you take of yourself. Your posts stand out more to me because I have such a strong visual of who the author is. Your self portraits are some of my favorite of all your pictures. Thank you so much for sharing this!

Rach said...

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go here, i saw this an immediately thought of you.

Scott and Stacia said...

Oh Megan. That picture of your tear hit me! I think we can all relate oh too well. I can't imagine having another child right now (making 3 under 3) and my life is so busy. I remember thinking 2 would be so simple. Then I quickly wondered how I could be a mom of 2...I never imagined it being difficult but oh boy was I wrong. I hope things go well for you! Wish we lived closer...I am so jelious of your new friends, I wish we had young families here. Maybe someday we will live closer :)

Jessica Bjorn said...

What an insightful post! I have so many days where I have asked my kids why they are being so mean?! ha-ha-ha! I finally took them to the park today, after two months... the last time every single one of them screamed, cried and wrestled all the way to the car... after jumping into the freezing lake. ^_^ motherhood can be so fun!

Glo said...

I am so proud to see your growth. The refiners fire burns yet strengthens us. You are a loving and positive Mom and my grand children are so blessed to have you as a mother. I am so blessed to have you for a daughter. You teach me so much about life and love. Just like your kids teach you of life and love. That never ends! I love you, Mom

Brieanna said...

All i know, is that you're a brave woman. The fact that you take two toddlers and a baby anywhere by yourself, is proof of that. I love the red tights, they are not unlucky they are just a work in progress too.
Love you,
Brie

robin said...

your blog is beautiful. thanks for your insights...

*Lesli* said...

beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I wrote a similar blog post a few months ago after a particularly horrible mommy melt-down that left me in the middle of the mall, in tears. I like your red tights :)

Carolyn said...

Now i must go and self reflect based on what i just read! You are such an inspiring mother :)