good, better, best

Yesterday at church we had a lesson on priorities and it really struck me that I needed to make some changes.  We talked about the good things that fill our lives, sometimes edging out the better or best things.  Last week my children were all but neglected during the day as my goals only involved completing chores and projects.  Not this week, I told myself.  This week I am going to focus on the boys.  We'll get up, I'll meet their needs promptly, we'll read together, play together, work together.  If not the best use of my time, at least it will be a better one.

I woke up with this attitude and a surprising amount of energy.  It will be a great day.  I will do only the best things, I told myself.  I prayed, I made my bed, I went downstairs and made breakfast for the boys.  I sat with them as they ate.  This as far as the ideal day got.  It soon became obvious that my neglect last week left them tired, unruly, addicted to kid's shows and not interested in my guidance.  I kept up my enthusiasm, but it was four against one.  And were they ever against me!  With a cranky Jack as their union leader, they began loudly voicing their demands and then turning on each other.  They were not to be reasoned with, negotiated with, or pleased, no matter what I did.  It seemed that at any given moment  there was at least one (usually more) boy screaming, crying, yelling, or whining.  Over oranges and markers and spoons and shoes and water and candy corns and blankets and couch possession and everything else that came along.  One especially bad moment involved me pulling a toy away from a fighting (yelling, crying)Jack and (stubborn, angry)Taylor, accidentally whacking Austin (who I was carrying around because he was flipping out over my not allowing him to put pennies in our printer) in the nose with the book that I had been trying to use to console him just moments before.  Poor fellow. 

And so it went, on and on, for five hours. Finally, Noah admitted how tired he was and went down for a nap.  Eventually Austin gave in too.  And now I can sit down and sigh.  

I called Kevin and he let me vent all of the disasters of the day and I felt much better.  "Let's have a great rest of the day." he encouraged when I was done.  But a great day was what I was going for when all of this started, so I only committed to maintaining my sanity and not yelling anymore. 

And some days, that's really the best I can do.          


  1. I would venture to say that the one giving the lesson yesterday does not have 4 boys under 5.
    Whenever I am taking care of more than one grandchild at a time I truly wonder how I ever did parenting 24/7. Those were the best of times (truly the best) but also some of the HARDEST times as well. Wasn't it Brigham Young who said if a mother raises righteous children then that should be enough? I think he may have been referring to days you like the one you are having today!

    btw, I've really been meaning to write and thank you Natalie, for helping me with my blog several days ago. You DID have the answers and really helped me get on track. They say if you want something done to go to the busiest person you know...and while I did not mean to do that, I think I probably did. I really so appreciated you sharing your computer knowledge with me!

  2. Natalie, I hope you will forgive me, but I LAUGHED througout your whole blog post! What a domino disaster day! I hope you can laugh at it now, too, especially since your prose is so entertaining to read. Maybe after a hard day of getting back into the swing of things, your plans at a "great day" will succeed tomorrow, and the boys will be ready to go with you on that. I send you nothing but love!

  3. Oh, wow...I feel like yet again you are in my head. I can so relate to the spiraling effect that happens all too often. You wake up with the best of intentions and want to make the day great. Then...wham! Amen to your last statement!!! Maintain your sanity:)

  4. Toddlers/preschoolers can be like teenagers. You could handle them the exact same loving way everyday, and everyday you would get a different mood/attitude/reaction from them. Sometimes you just have to endure those rotten days, and hope that tomorrow will be different!

  5. You just confirmed yet again, that we would be the best of friends if we lived in the same town. It's weird how sometimes we lead such parallel lives, though mine is much less hectic as I'm not currently growing a human and have 2 less little adorable monsters to torment me every minute. It's so humbling to realize that we really can't control their feelings. Don't get me wrong, I try hard to make them happy all the time, but they are stubborn, those boys. sigh, boys ;)

  6. I laughed too, especially Jack their union leader!

  7. Ok so I know I shouldn't have laughed at poor Noah getting wacked in the face, but I did. Mostly because I just know how that goes!! We had a rotten week as Noel was supper sleep deprived from our previous week of visitors. BUT I think she's finally caught up. It is amazing how the attitude of the oldest filters down!


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