Friday, March 25, 2011

almost defeated.

 and no, i'm not talking about BYU and Jimmerica.
because we weren't almost defeated.
we were defeated.
in a bad way.
it was sad. i'm still sorta sad.
and M, well, he pretty much wishes he was married to Jimmer so he feels like he's going through a terrible break-up right now. poor guy.
anyway, let's get to the real substance of this post.

my mom and her siblings are very close.
i attribute my understanding of Spanish to the countless hours of my mom jabbering at an impressive rate to one of her 7 siblings on that green phone with the longest chord to ever exist. my poor dad had several near-death heart attacks seeing those long-distance phone bills. this was something they definitely did NOT see eye to eye about.
to one of her sisters, i have often heard my mom ask the following phrase :
"are you winning?"
one day i asked her what the heck that meant.
"winning what?," i asked.
and quite frankly i don't really remember the answer she gave me. i just know that "winning" basically means that you're surviving. that you're going to make it. that the adversary hasn't gotten you down. that in the race of life may be going by really, really fast...but you're keeping up...maybe even one or two steps ahead. that Satan hasn't gotten the best of you.
losing is obviously the opposite of all of those things.
(mom, am i getting this right?)

anyway, the last few days have been hard. really hard. i have definitely NOT been winning.
i've felt like i tripped somewhere and someone was stepping on my face.
and then to add to that, it started raining. hard. and got mud all over the place. ick.

translation: i just haven't been good at my job.
my job of being a mom.
(far too many tears lately. sicknesses. and time outs)
my job of being a homemaker.
(my house is a perpetual mess, i just found a box of brown sugar in my fridge, and two nights ago i saw a rat running through the garage (A RAT! yes, you read that correctly. A RAT! i thought rats only dwelt in nasty places. does that mean my house is nasty???)).
my job of being a wife.
(i can't seem to remember to put the toilet paper roll facing up instead of down, among other things.)

all i want is a little PTO.
(paid time off. vacation. from my jobs. all of them).
who do i call about that?
i remember when i was young i used to think, being a stay-at-home-mom is going to be so easy. i'm going to be so good at it. i can't wait to decorate my house. i can't wait to have my own kids. i'm going to have so much fun with them all the time.
we're so cute and naive when we're young, aren't we?

so at my moment of despair...where i was just about to make my final declaration, with a big fat L on the top of my head: "i'm not winning. i'm the loser of this race" i had to go to the store.
it was pouring rain.
and when i saw pouring, i mean that i stepped outside and was soaked.
how could i let myself run out of diapers in conditions like this?
because i stink at my jobs.
(adversary thoughts creeping their way in).
so we bundled up. and braved the storm.
(huh, maybe this is why my kids are so sick?)

once we had quickly picked up our things, there was luckily a break in the weather for a few minutes.
so i rushed the kids back into the car and started putting my groceries in the trunk.
well, on that errand i happened to be parked next to a mom and her little 3 or 4 year old boy.
now, please don't misread what i'm about to say.
because i was not judging this poor woman.
i know that life happens.
and toddlers can be frustrating.
i've experienced several melt-downs with Ellie at the store.
it's horrible.
but what i heard come out of her mouth was nothing short of appalling.
she screamed her brains out to this poor little boy.
i'm not sure what he did or didn't do.
i have no idea what she was going through or what kind of day she'd had.
but after a few smack-downs, and more than a few profane words were spoken, the little guy broke down into sobs and started screaming back at her.
and there they were, an adult and a child screaming their brains out at each other.
i finished putting my groceries in the car. it started to rain again.
i got in the car and looked at Ellie and Alice.
i told them i loved them.
and i wondered if that woman and that little boy would be ok.
i felt sad for both of them.
i'm sure they love each other so much.
but at that moment of anger and tempers, it would definitely be hard to feel love.

i looked back at Ellie again who was holding a little bag of candy that we had picked out for her at the store (sick kids get whatever they want).
and i wanted more than anything for her to know how much i love her.

does she know?
does she know how much she means to me?
does she know how precious she really is?

i told her i loved her again.
and asked her if she knew that i loved her.
"i sure do, Mama," she said.
and instantly my heart felt full.
because i knew she knew.
i know she knows.
and even if we have spent lots of moments in time-outs this week,
even if we've had ear infections, pink-eye & allergies to meds that i should know about,
and even if my house is a disaster with rats in the garage,
if my kids know that i love them their whole lives through,
i will have done my job.

and Satan almost let me feel defeated.
i am winning, you sly little snake.
try a little harder next time.



Megs said...

you should just know this, right now: you are totally winning. you are far above the curve at your jobs. :) great post, as always :)

Elyse & Dale said...

I cried a little from this post. That's hard to accomplish. He is a sly snake... Work it girl, because you are totally always winning in my book.

Lisa Johnson said...

I always say to my little Autumn Bottom before she goes to sleep, "who's my greatest blessing?" And she always gets a shy little grin on her face and a sparkle in her eye and says, "I am, Mama." So no matter how rough our day was (and believe me, we have LOTS of rough days), she always goes to sleep knowing that she's my greatest blessing. You are an AMAZING Mom & I love reading your blog posts. Keep on WINNING!

Kristi said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I can relate to you more than you probably know. I've been feeling the exact same way lately, like a failure at my job of being a mom. What a beautiful experience you had. And how sweet and perfect that Ellie responded the way she did when you asked her if she knew. Great job, you are a great Mom.

Emily Steffen said...

I'm a friend of Kim's that you met long ago in Provo...and I read your blog all the time! I have 2 little ones of my own, about your girls ages. So basically I feel like we know eachother even though we don't. (Is that creepy?) ANYWAY, you need to look into amazon mom...diapers at your door every month for really cheap. You'll never have an emergency trip to the store (for diapers) again! I know, this is a weird comment, but I had to share my amazing diaper secret!

Jenny said...

I have been wondering where you guys were! I thought maybe you'd gone down to your parents again or something...I'm so sorry it's been a rough week. The rain sure doesn't help. I know I have those same feelings too sometimes and then a pity party usually follows...Satan is so sneaky! Hang in there and let me know if I can do anything to help!

Anonymous said...

I needed this post. More then you may ever know. Love you friend.

JCW said...

I read your blog all the time and since I don't know you, I've never really commented....maybe once or twice? But this post, I felt like you were writing my thoughts when it comes to the struggles of being a stay at home mom...and I think it was your best post ever. Thanks for putting it out there so perfectly.

{amy k.} said...

i'm not a stay at home mom yet, but i'm sure that every single stay at home mom can relate. i can relate just being human! :) satan is sly... but you are winning. and he hates that, but we all love it! :)

Tammy said...

Well I totally understand on so many fronts. My husband is mourning his Jimmer and I have felt that way as well (for several of the same reasons... but no rat, thank heavens... scary). But, I have seen you with those girls, and you are an amazing mama... and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

Allie said...

This is why I check your blog You put things in perspective, and I always need that.

Anonymous said...

Wow Marci--thanks for always being so open and honest in your posts. I got a little teary eyed at the end because I worry about the same things, and my daughter's only 3 months old! Thanks for all your great posts. Keep winning :)

Linda said...

Hola Darling. Sometimes when I read your posts I find myself crying mainly out of joy! Above all things, the most important thing in the world is LOVE.... towards GOD, towards your family, people in general... and yourself. It is my privilege to love you and share with you all of life's ups and downs. So sorry for the downs of this week... but it sounds like the ups were priceless. Hence.... you are winning. Thank You for putting into words these precious experiences we all relate to. Now you feel my arms around you hugging you tight. Wish I could do it in person. Te quero mucho, mucho!

Linda said...

Oh! And YES! You got it exactly right. So yes.... you are winning.

Adrienne said...

you put it well. great post

Megan said...

Wow Marc, this post struck a chord. Ug. You made me cry and I'm not a crier. Today was really hard and I was really harsh with Sol because I was really tired and he would not go down for a nap. I was just mean. And he hugged me. I feel like a loser. I needed to read this because I do love my children so much and more than anything I want them to know that. It is so freakin hard sometimes. Sometimes I feel like my home is a prison. And I love my home. And I couldn't stand to be anywhere else. Its just that it's so hard to feel like you're "winning" at all your jobs. Wife, mom, homemaker. I guess I always thought it would be easy too. But I continually feel like I'm failing. But I'm not...that is satan. And HE's the loser. I'm rambling. Thanks for this Marc. I really really needed it. I wish you were closer so we could figure out this motherhood thing together. I'm glad our paths crossed for a time. :) Winning!

Kath said...


Michelle said...

thank you for making me feel like I am not the only one who feels a little defeated. I found your blog and I love it! I used to be in your ward a long time ago! Hope its not weird ;). You put everything in such a great perspective. Thank you.

Mat and Brooke said...

Beautifully said. And so, so true. Thank you for that. :)

Ashley said...

This gave me goosebumps all over and made me teary. I love you and you're beautiful writing. You're winning ;)

Amber said...

Marci, you are so genuine. I love your posts. And I genuinely love you.

Jeff and Whitney said...

Great post :) Your girls are so lucky to have you. xoxo

Liz said...

I understand that it's easy to get frustrated. Thank goodness for those sweet moments with our kids that remind us our very lucky we are! You are such a great example to me!

Kristin said...

Thanks for your post Marci. Motherhood is knocking at my door (two weeks to go) and what you wrote made me cry. Okay, it got me blubbering on the bed while I took a rest from a long week. It is just really good to be reminded that we are winning - even when we feel like we aren't. Thanks for being honest and real and for being wise enough to see the truth of it all. It was exactly what I needed.