cultivating positivity & hope

photo (12)[the one picture i could get for Mother’s Day. yep.]

one of the reasons i have been so distant in the online world [mainly i’m talking about emails. sorry inbox!] is because of this little guy.
i don’t know what it is but if i thought he was crazy before, it seems like once he hit 2 he started showing his true crazy potential.
there’s lots of days where i just.can’t.handle.

me and Adam are overwhelmed to say the least.

the one thing that has got me through is remembering a talk from one of favorite teachers at Women’s Conference.
her talk focused on how to become better parents & using the Lord as our example especially with children that tend to be more difficult.
[a talk just for me!]

one of the things she said has really stuck with me and i have thought of it almost every single day since
she talked about her own son and how difficult he is. and although it can be easy to focus on the challenges and the frustrations they have when her children are acting up, it is so much more beneficial if parents focus on their children’s good qualities instead of their bad.

she said,
“I could give you two different descriptions of my son and both would be true.
I could say, ‘My son has been the biggest challenge we’ve ever had. He has Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD. He doesn’t respond well to jokes especially sarcasm. He is really sensitive and gets upset very easily. He has a hard time getting along with other children and even when he was young it was hard to take him to the playground. I cannot tell you how many times I have stayed up worrying about him. He is our biggest challenge.’
Or I could say.
My son is the biggest blessing we’ve ever had. He is the sweetest boy you will ever meet and is so loving. He is a good leader and likes to help others. He is so incredibly smart and ambitious. He is kind and always thinks of others’ feelings. He is our biggest blessing.’
Both descriptions are true. But which one would benefit both of us the most?”
-Dr. Laura Walker, emphasis added

i have thought about this example every day.
i have thought about how i describe Elijah and the effect its having on how i approach parenting.
am i allowing myself to see the good even in the worst of days?
am i cultivating positivity & hope?

Elijah can be really difficult.
if you are around him long enough you would understand right away.
he is very active and demanding and strong-willed
there are many days where i question my ability to be the mother that he needs, wondering how the heck i’m going to be able to have the patience needed to raise him right.

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but then i remind myself of how truly amazing he is.
he is quick to give loves to everyone!
he is the funniest kid you will ever meet and always puts a smile on everyone’s faces.
he is so smart! he can pick up on things so quickly even when you think he’s not paying attention.
i love his curiosity and how he longs to learn more about the world around him.
he’s quirky & goofy which means you can never be too upset with him for long.
and he’s the cutest little kid around!!

when Eli is whining and crying and getting into trouble, it’s easy to focus on how challenging parenthood is.
when people ask me how Eli is doing, it’s easy to immediately say, “well, he’s crazy & driving us crazy.”
that’s easy. complaining is easy. {in any situation}

but it takes extra effort & strength & relying on the Lord to stay positive & count our blessings.

Dr. Walker said,
“We need to see our children as the Savior sees them. And He always sees our potential.”

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12 comments:

mistergandme said...

I love this. I think I can apply this to just about every relationship in my life! Thanks :)

Cassie @ Live.Laugh.L0ve. said...

Great post! It really can be so hard to focus on the positive when the little's are being crazy but i know this stage won't last forever so I just try to look past all the negative things they are doing and focus on the positive. :)

Amanda Kristeen said...

I love it!! That's so important! I feel like sometimes you want to complain just to let people know how hard your day was sometimes, but accentuating the positive is so key. Great job!

Ashley said...

So fantastic! Always a great reminder to have to focus on the positive and not the negative.

Kate said...

I love this post Megan! As Claire has reached the toddler years, we find ourselves frustrated and questioning ourselves and our parenting skills. The child has SOOOOOO much energy! It's refreshing for me to read this, especially today, to remind me to keep a positive attitude even when frustrated!

Health, art, and the girl gamer said...

I JUST wrote a post on this!! On days that are just so tough to get through. My daughter is what some call a 'highly sensitive' child, and when she was a baby it was a nightmare, particularly in public. She was so difficult and I had pp depression. She was also such a blessing, and now that she is older it is much easier, but when she was your son's age it was really tough. I promise it gets easier!!

:: ashley :: said...

you have an amazing outlook, i love it! such a good example.

Nancy@OwensOlivia said...

Lovely post! Just remember that no one can take care of him better than you. There's a reason YOU are his mother. This too shall pass . . .

Alexis Kaye said...

That's really sweet Megan. I love the example from that talk you shared too. Just remember, also, you were meant to be his mommy for a reason! There's something special about you that matches up with him.

Kristen @ Confessions of a GDS said...

This is such a great reflection on parenthood! I want to forward it to my sister who always tells me her kids are driving her nuts! Its so important to stay positive even through the rough patches... Lovely post Megan!!

Bri Rios said...

What a good outlook on a frustrating situation!!
My younger brother, from when he was born till he was about 8 years old, the kid was an absolute maniac. Escaping from preschool by climbing over chain link fences, playing around on the roof of the house at age 3, and climbing all over anything he could. His Sunday school teachers at church would get frustrated with him and sometimes lock him in closets because he was so hyper, and school teachers thought he was annoying and were mean to him. A lot of adults told my parents to put him on drugs to calm him down, but they refused. My parents made sure to spend the time with him to show that he is loved and cared for, and to help cultivate his own talents and capabilities.

It turned out that my brother was too smart for his own good and was just hyper and bored all the time. Now he is at BYU with me, graduated as Valedictorian and Student of the Year, was on the Varsity Basketball team for two years, and is now the most low key and mellow kid I know. My mom always jokes that if he was given to any lesser of a parent, they might have strangled him out of frustration. The Lord gave Eli to you for a very particular reason, you can give to him what no other mother can. :) Keep being positive & such a stellar mom!!

Celeste said...

I look after my nephew a lot and a while ago I came to the conclusion that at least twice a day I need to take him outside, make him walk (with me obviously) to the park...play for 30 mins, then walk home at which point he can calm down...listen...and focus on things like books which he otherwise wouldn't. Some kids just have really high energy levels, maybe in ten years he will be an athlete! :)