The Bigger Picture

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It’s the end of yet another day and I lay here in bed going over the never ending ‘to do’ list of things in my mind. There is always something that needs to be done, the dishes, the laundry, an appointment needs to be made, homework, I need to pack for a trip, etc.

Even after a busy day of dealing with a baby and a high maintenance four-going-on fourteen year old, grocery shopping, cleaning, and doing 4 loads of laundry, I still feel like I don’t measure up. I’m somehow still not meeting my standard of a clean house, still not meeting my standard for parenting, still not meeting my standard for accomplishment. Perhaps my standards are impossible to meet. Either way, it’s exhausting to feel like there is not enough of you to go around.

But when I try to look at time differently, for instance a single day to the span of the entire last month, I start to see what is lost in the day to day routine. I start to see the bigger picture.

In the past month my baby celebrated her first birthday. Lost in the routine of diaper changes, messy meal times, and nursing (yep still nursing) you would find that she is growing and learning so much. In the last few weeks she is saying her first words, she is clapping, dancing, better at communicating, and nearly walking. She is happy, healthy, and I am the catalyst for her well being. That is an accomplishment right there.

My older daughter challenges me everyday. She is incredibly sharp and emotional. She is full speed, high energy, all the time. I will admit there are many days where I feel defeated and like I’m failing at being her mom. But then this past week she surprised us all by deciding to go spend a few days with family that live far away from us. It’s a reminder that she is growing up and maturing. The day to day struggles we have are not a reflection of who she will become.

My son is nearly finished with his first year of school. This past year has been a huge turning point for him. He is also very smart, but his writing and reading skills are flourishing. This past month he was able to read a book to me.

So while the day to day and routine tasks continue to plague my mind, I can look back on the last month, even the last year if I want to take it a step further, and see that there have been both small and big changes in my children. They are all growing and learning and loved. And really, what could be more important than that?

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