Earlier this week, I had a very long, very trying day. And I did not exactly make it through those trials swimmingly. Lila woke up at 5:30 a.m. and cried for an hour before she would sleep again; I held her for the rest of her night's sleep (about 45 minutes)--and this was after being up at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. to eat--so I started the day very, very tired. Lila wouldn't sleep for more than forty minutes at a time. The boys were being INSANE. Yes, capitalized. Reed was talking back to me and essentially refusing to obey anything I asked him to do. Asher fell out of the bed, so woke up 35 minutes into his nap. No, he certainly wasn't ready to be up yet. The boys woke Lila up three different times. And Asher bit Reed twice. Then, when I finally thought I had all three kids asleep in bed. Lila started to cry. She proceeded to scream for the next hour solid. When Ryan got home, I was a sobbing mess. I had one of my worst days, ever. I went to bed that night so discouraged, because I knew I had failed. I was not the kind of mom I wanted to be. And motherhood, that day, was far different than I had ever imagined it would be.
The next day, thank goodness, was much better. Lila had slept well the night before, waking up twice to eat, of course, but going right back down after finishing. Ryan had a talk with the boys and they were much nicer to each other and to me. We went to the park and had a great time--we ended up staying for an hour and a half. Lila's naps (with a lot of coaxing) extended to about 50 minutes--still not great, but better than 40. I had a chance to make dinner. And all three kids went to bed easily. After they were asleep, I read this General Conference Address from President Holland: Because She is a Mother. Everything about this talk was exactly what I needed to hear--what I had needed to hear the day before. I am doing my best as a mother. And though some days my best doesn't even seem close to good enough, and some days my best is better than the best of other days, it's okay. As long as I'm continually trying. Sometimes I feel like I've got to have it all figured out right now--but I don't. And that's okay, too. I've learned more and have been tried more and have grown more during my four years of being a mother than I have at any other time in my life and, hopefully, will continue to change and grow so one day I will be the mother I want to be.
I know I've posted a lot lately about how trying having three children has been for me. Don't worry--I do love my kids and still enjoy being a mom. Motherhood is just something that seems to highlight my inadequacies and kick me in the pants sometimes. But it also gives me so many moments of joy. Being a mom is something that defines an essential part of me because it has shaped so many of my decisions and actions. Sometimes I find it hard to remember the times of joy during the tantrums and the messes; but then Lila gives me a giant smile. Or Reed comes and gives me a hug spontaneously. Or Asher starts cracking up and running/dancing in that cute little way he has. And I'm reminded, however briefly, that being a mother is worth every sleepless night and screaming tantrum because I have three little ones who love me, too.