Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Children Are Nice to Me.... Why?

In earlier drafts of this post, I concocted a roundabout way of saying this: I know I was meant to grow up in my parents' family and I know that I am meant to have the children I have with the husband I'm married to. I know that not everyone feels the same way I do. I can understand that, because not everyone's situation is as "picture perfect" as mine -- my parents both love me and treat me well, my husband has given me everything I deserve, and my children are more kind to me than is their right.

I am a pretty lucky girl. The church I believe in purports that a person is not given more trials than he can handle. That teaching has given me a lot of solace in the course of my not-so-hard-really life. In thinking about it today, however, I have come up with a theory that disturbs me a little bit: My kids are really awesome and easy, therefore I would not be well-equipped to handle more difficult children.

I will never say that I am the best parent in the whole world, but no one wants to think of themselves as a lightweight. There are so many mothers who do more than me, who take care of more kids than me, who have more professional balls up in the air than me, who are more graceful under special circumstances than me. Should I take on more challenges because my son goes to get a diaper for his sister every time I ask him? There are mothers who graduate college, put together amazing quilts, and take over the world one adventure at a time. Does that mean I should probably be out of sweatpants before 1:27 pm (current time here in Utah) because the only time Lucy cries is when her brother gives her too many hugs?

Not that I am feeling down on myself. In fact, in a swift move of great parenting, I just took away a stuffed Woody toy because it was being used to feed a hungry child (I'll let you determine who did the feeding and who did the hungering). And I certainly am not wishing for difficult children. I suppose that I am saying all of this because I feel like I should be doing more.

Any suggestions?


  1. I've felt just like you several times throughout my life. At one point, I thought, "Is my life so easy because God doesn't trust that I could handle anything harder?" NO WAY! Not true!

    At times, many of us think, "I could be doing so much more."

    I have to remind myself that if I spend too much time getting down on myself for my own inadequacies, I'm not thinking of others as much as I could be. Most importantly, I am learning that there is nothing better I could be doing than loving my son and helping him learn who he is and what he is capable of doing. And, sometimes, when I remember, I try to think about who I might be able to help that day and do it.

    BTW, it is 3:15 and I am still in my workout clothes (and I haven't exercised yet). :)

  2. I'm sure you have the children you have for a reason..... and maybe this easy period right now in their childhood is just a pre-reward for the nightmare they will be in their teens :)
    In all seriousness, I think there is nothing wrong with enjoying what you have now without wondering why it's not more.
    Does that make sense?

  3. Oh, Holly. I feel the same way most days (except around naptime when I think, "What have I done to myself?"). I think I have this conversation with Paul almost every week. "I should be doing more." You do so much! Just keep doing. <3

  4. Just enjoy the ride, Holly! I don't know how you can think you don't do enough... if you and your children are happy and healthy, you are doing all that you need to. I don't think I've ever felt like I don't do enough in a day... more that I wish I had more hours in the day, but I can bet it won't always be so simple. Enjoy these days while they are here.

  5. Sometimes the little ones are easy, and then as they get older, they get harder to deal with. and sometimes, there are children that are just hard the entire time. Middle school years seem to be hard on all of them. Just enjoy the easy times, because at some point, there will be some hard times. It's guaranteed!

  6. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that most hard kids are only hard because their parents are majorly substandard. You ARE doing more.