Lately I have been thinking a lot about the attitude I have when I am doing yet another chore. Cooking yet another meal, washing another load of laundry, answering another phone call. Eventually these things become mundane, and I catch myself dreading the things I have to get done while my kids are at school. I would much rather have the kids home with me. Hearing the playful teasing as I beat Kyson at Yahtzee (again) Seeing my beautiful girls play house with their baby dolls, and everyone piled on each other as I read them the same stories I have since they were babies. (Where The Wild Things are (we've gone through multiple copies) You are My I Love You (my favorite) and Love You Forever get read more than every other book combined.) These are the things I love. Hearing the laughter, seeing the smiles, and soothing the tears.
The other side of Mothering is not my favorite. Washing clothes and scrubbing floors (Though my steam mop makes that a breeze) are things I often think I would be totally fine if I never had to do them again. But, when I think about it, I realize how easy I have it. All I have to do is push a button and my clothes are washed. So much easier than the mothers before me. More importantly, I am so very lucky to have the opportunity to do these things because I am so very fortunate to be a mother. From now on, I am trying to do these tasks with a smile on my face and a joyful heart.
This also collides with other areas of my life. I was having "volunteer burnout" After serving as PTA President for two years, (technically just one, but I filled in for one who disappeared) I stopped volunteering as often. I no longer had a happy spirit when I was there. Instead I felt like I was there more than I was home. I wasn't happy with it and my husband wasn't either. My kids would groan when they found out I had a school obligation. I knew I needed to serve with joy in my heart and I just couldn't get there. I realized, however, that there are other areas that I can serve others and by doing something new I wasn't feeling the burnout that I had been. It didn't matter WHERE I was serving, what matters is that I serve and serve joyfully. So I do. I took the kids and we worked at the Utah Food Bank. It was a great teaching tool for the kids, and I very much enjoy being there. We will be returning very soon. Teaching my children to serve others selflessly and with a joyful heart is important to me. There is so much more to life than what happens in our home. The world is such a large place, and we need to do what we can to help out, not because it is a requirement; but because we want to and it brings us joy.
When I find my children *gasp* fighting I usually start by saying something like "Remember to be loving and kind and happy to share" When I ask them to do something and they complain, I try to remind them they need to help out with a smile on their face and joy in their heart. Lately, however, I find myself reminding them ALL. THE. TIME. And it doesn't always work, especially with my son. I find myself getting more irritated than I should. This morning I was on the phone with my Mom and Sage was trying to talk to me. I'm embarrassed to say that while I didn't yell at her or anything, I didn't use the nicest tone of voice as I told her to wait, even though she knows better. I need to remember that when you are seven, (or 28) sometimes you forget the right thing to do, and manners are forgotten.
So this week I am going to work on doing the things I don't want to do with a joyful heart. Wether I am scrubbing a toilet or disciplining my children, I need to remember how lucky I am to have the ability to do both and it should be done with a good attitude and a joyful heart.