Motherhood - Jentrie's Journey

While I sit, tears in my eyes, a heavy heart, with a mind full of questioning thoughts, I wonder, 'How was I missing this only weeks ago?'

Today was one of those days. Exhaustion was in full effect, my oldest son had stuffed all of his most valuable belongings inside of his pillowcase and was trying to escape to a place where, "No one was rude to him and where everybody left him alone, "I got out of the shower only to walk upstairs and find a chair pulled up to an open window, two children no where to be found, then our nice neighbor walking my 2 and 3 year old home. Yep, I'm that mom. Oh, then I was too tired and overwhelmed with the long day, we had breakfast for dinner...aka, 'Mom was a slacker so we have to eat eggs and toast because that's one thing that is always in the kitchen.' Ugh.
I was feeling like a failure, at a loss of how to be a better Mom, and trying to figure out the quickest way to get myself to Target, child free, so I could wander and forget my worries.  

I got to thinking back to just a short couple of months ago. I was laying around, so so sick, pumped full of chemo, longing and wishing I could be chasing after my kids, cleaning the house, going to the grocery store, and doing everything that I used to do as a mother and homemaker.
How was it possible to feel so extreme? I think it boils down to that saying,

The grass is always greener on the other side.
Of course we will have bad days, but in 'life according to Jentrie,' there are things we can do to help fight back against those unwelcome times.

In no particular order:
* Edit your To-Do list

 I think we can all be better at this. It is so easy to pack our days full of to-do's. How important are each of those items really? Do we ever write down, 'get on the floor and play pretend', 'let the kids get dirty', or 'sit down and actually watch the movie with the kids.' Better yet, don't make a list! (that could cause a heart attack in and of itself for all of you organized planners ;)) These are the days. Too soon we will look back and wish we played more and worried less.
* Surround yourself with things that uplift you

Tell me if i'm wrong, (please, please tell me i'm not the only one) but I feel that no matter how confident, happy, and secure we may be with ourselves and our lives, after you've scrolled through instagram or drooled over every pin on pinterest, you never walk away thinking, "Man, I feel really good right now. I feel uplifted and rejuvenated." I know I don't!! If you know what i'm talking about, set down your phones, turn on some music, read a book, go on a hike, hug your babies, kiss your spouse, start that hobby, and surround yourself with things that uplift you and make you happy. Live your life, stop watching everyone else live theirs.
* Look out for #1

We, as Mothers and parents, are expected to do it all. How can we take care of everyone else if we haven't taken care of ourselves first? That takes a lot of work and time, but I believe it is so vital, and makes all the difference. That may mean sacrificing an hour of sleep so you can fit in that workout for the day, communicating with your spouse that it's been a long day and you need to get away for a minute, and making time for spirituality in your life. For me, that means praying and reading my scriptures every day. All of those things keep me focused and grounded. I can't help anyone if I can't help myself first.
* Serve

"Pfff! I can barely shower every day, let alone serve!" (am I right? Is that what you guys are yelling at your screens right now?) I hear ya, I promise, but I still stand by it. When we serve, we feel joy, love, compassion, self worth, proud, and grateful. First, in order to serve, it requires us to stop being so selfish and look outside of ourselves. Once we do, we are able to see our blessings. Not only do we feel the love of God when we serve one another, but I feel it helps us to appreciate all that we have, and maybe think, 'Hey, I guess I don't have it quite so bad after all.' The beautiful thing about service, is that it comes in all shapes and a smile, a plate of cookies, a conversation at the park with that other Mom, a letter in the mail just because, giving a compliment instead of just thinking it, sharing a meal, tickling your spouse's back when they ask you to (I am the WORST at that. I threw that one in for myself), the list is endless. Whenever I am feeling blah, the first thing I do is look for ways I can serve. Without fail, service is always the best medicine and I feel happy and more able to take on life. Try it!, I promise you will feel the same. 
* Attitude is everything

You would not believe how many doctors and nurses told me, "attitude is EVERYTHING!" I agree. You know, anyone can find all of the bad, hard, and unfair things about life, the special people are those who can find all of beautiful, good, and happy things, especially in the midst of the hard times. It's our choice. We are powerful and we can choose how we want our lives to be. I choose happy! (But ask me what I choose after stepping on my child's blue, juice filled, otter pop wrapper on the carpet after telling him countless times not to eat them downstairs and to throw away his garbage! grrr.)  
* Love one another

It takes a village people! We all know there are good and bad days, so maybe instead of judging other Moms or hating them because they seem perfect, we can say, 'ope, it must be a bad day, poor thing! I am going to help her,'  and then try to be "perfect girl's" friend instead of being jealous. I think we'd be amazed at how normal, trial ridden, and imperfect we all are. So let's be friends!
* You are human

Surprise! Yep, you're human. You make mistakes. Probably over and over again. If you're like me, you pray to be a patient, meek, and loving Mom, breakfast isn't even cleaned up and you've been the exact opposite of every one of those traits. But, we keep trying! That's what counts.
Let’s not be so hard on ourselves and take things one day at a time. Or one hour at a time, or sometimes it even has to be one minute at a time. We are doing a good job. We are good enough.

I have said it once and I'll say it again, "My greatest challenge in life is also my greatest blessing." I cherish my role of Mother, and Wife, more than anything in this world. Though days are hard and patience wears thin, I would not change it for anything. Especially now, knowing the heartache of not being able to be the Mother and Wife I wanted to be while on my journey with cancer, it's the most rewarding job there is, and i'm grateful it is mine. 

You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even-no, especially- when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. 
Jeffrey R Holland       

xoxo Jen

{G I V E A W A Y} 

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