Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Just Do The Next Thing

Still.

I wrote about how this was my new favorite saying a while back, but God has been reminding me of it so much lately.

The other day I was in line at the store, the older girls were asking for everything on the display shelf, and Kinley and Raya were fussing over the fact that they couldn't reach that display shelf from the stroller.

(I hate those shelves.)

(I might just start letting the kids open everything on it, the stores can learn the hard way.)

I was tired, it had been one of those days, and I was trying to stay patient as they ran around doing things kids do.

The lady behind me see's the barely controlled chaos that is taking place, and she says "Wow, think you'll be done after this one? Cause this is kind of a lot to handle...how do you do it?"

And for the 1st time, instead of a fake smile with a humorous comment to try and dodge what she was asking, I said, "I just do the next thing."

She stood there with a blank stare and said, "well, I guess that's all you can do."

Yea, it kinda is all I (or any mom) can do. Because on this mom-is-so-worn-out kind of day, if I let my mind go to the fact that Eric is working late, and I have homework, dinner, baths, and bedtimes ahead of me, I might just bang my head against the wall...or cry...or both.

Just keeping it real, people.

Right now, I just need to pay for our stuff and get their sweet little behinds to the car. That's it. The next thing.

I think that's all God wants us to do, no need to worry about things that are further on down the line.

Yes, they wear me out. Yes, they are a handful sometimes. And yes, I never know if that next outing with all of them will push me over the edge. But the reality is, I'm the lucky one to be in their lives, not other way around. They are my greatest blessing.

I've recently adopted another saying from Ann Voscamp, "Life is not an emergency."

Goodness, that is so true. I think every mom should say it everyday.

Kids running down the aisle? Not an emergency.

They are fighting over toy I'm not even buying in the middle of Target? Not an emergency.

They really did just open 10 things on the display shelf? Not an emergency.

Someone just threw up in the toy section? Not an emergency.

People are staring and whispering? Not an emergency.

My kid just told me "NO, NO, NOOO!!" and ran the other direction in front of that perfect mom friend? Not an emergency. 

They're little - I need to love them, train them, teach them, and forgive them. Because like me, they are also doing the best they can.

There are some battles worth fighting with the kids, but I have decided to not lose my cool or get super frustrated over the small stuff. They are such sweet little gifts, why get all upset with them mainly because I'm just overly tired?? It's just not worth it...

Because life, and mothering, is not an emergency. So for now, I'll just do the next thing. :)

23 comments:

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

LOVE it!

I really like the "do the next thing" motto. Oh yea! I clearly remember when I came home from the hospital with my twins, and the "older" kids were 2, 3, 4. I couldn't even THINK about "making it through the day". That was WAY too much to think about.

I would consciously think, "I can make it until lunch." "I can make it until nap time." "I can make it until daddy comes home."

Making it through the whole day was way too overwhelming those first few months with 5 under 5.

Keep doing what you're doing!

Laurel

hdearth said...

You are such an inspiration to all of us. I only have 3 but I need reminded time to time to just do the next thing.

Jill said...

I just started reading your blog and LOVE IT!! I only have 2 (2 and under) and I get overwhelmed all the time to just get through the nights with dinner, baths and bedtime ahead of me...and just yesterday my 2 year old was the one screaming in Target for no reason at all. I was def. frustrated, so reading your blog this morning was so refreshing that motherhood can be tough!

*Ross and Katy* said...

I love the saying "Life is not an emergency!" I need to remember that often. Thank you for helping me to remember it today :)

This Heavenly Life said...

This is wonderful, Kate. Just doing the next thing IS the way to approach some days, and realizing that everything frustrating isn't worth making a disaster out of...

It's just happy-making to feel so understood by another mama :) Thanks.

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Sometimes I wonder how much more grace and mercy we'd model for our children if could focus less on "perfection" all the time. I know in 20 weeks, I'm going to be claiming your motto and really just doing the next thing. I hope I can handle a baby! Life really is too easy with 5 and 7 year olds! ;)

Stacey @ Tree, Root, and Twig said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely. And SO what I needed to hear today. Thank you for sharing your heart!

jenny said...

Such great reminders. I love Ann's heart....and thanks for sharing yours. It's amazing how much saying those two quotes in my head can help me when I feel stressed.....hope your day is full of little "doing the next thing" victories and enjoying your kiddos.

H-Mama said...

What a great response. Sometimes, I just don't understand the intent behind some of those silly questions asked by strangers. I may adopt your motto, too. ;)

wonderchris said...

With or without kids those are both good mantras to adopt.

Thanks!! :)

Laura said...

I love that motto! :) I'm going to adopt that motto as well!

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Between my perfectionism and my tendency to procrastinate (thanks to the perfectionism, thank you, vicious circle), I often need to remind myself to do the next thing. Otherwise, I just get stalled, overwhelmed and crazy.

It's at that point, of course, that I need to remember that life is not an emergency.

I love the way you wove these two pearls of wisdom together!

Beana said...

That is SO true! I'm definitely going to be thinking about that on days I'm going crazy!

Marisa said...

You got it girl! Hang in there!

patchofheaven said...

I love your description of a typical day with multiple little ones! It's perfect, and the beautiful reality. And I love that quote "Life is not an emergency." I'm definitely going to chant that one to myself...

I'm sorry about your rough day! I've been there. You *know* you're a good mom, and you *know* having lots of kids was a good choice. But the lies and feelings of failure creep in, and it doesn't help when some totally clueless stranger makes a stupid comment. You just want someone to smile at your adorable kids, see through the chaos, give YOU a smile or even a hug and say, "You're doing a good job."

Here -- I'll tell you: You rock!

Amy said...

Good come back and so true!

TwinsanityMom - Janet said...

Thank you Kate! Sometimes a good swift kick in the pants is what I need...and this was it! {{hugs}}

Jessica said...

I love that...ALL of it!!!

Sarah Halstead said...

What a wonderful post. I needed this reminder tonight. Thank you Kate!

Jeni said...

Hey....don't ever feel bad when the kids say "no, no, no" and run past me again. I'm your "perfect" Mom friend, right?!! HA HA!! Just kidding. I'm a mess leaving my bags in other people's shopping carts, spilling icee's and popcorn through the store!!

Sarah said...

You are doing great :) Love this post!

Stacie@HobbitDoor said...

Just catching up on blogs. This was an awesome post. I often get through my shifts at work the same way--just do the next thing. However, the second part doesn't always/usually apply there. However, it was a good reminder for my home time. I can forget that life at home is not an emergency and I can chill here. Thanks for the reminder.

Sarah said...

With a preschooler, a toddler, a 7-month old baby, and one arriving in November, I read this and took it to heart. I've talked about this blog post more than once, and referred to it mentally a bazillion times. Thank you so much for writing this - it spoke to me on a very personal level! Hang in there, and I'll keep reading this blog!