Thursday, March 15, 2012

I can't fly a plane

Have you seen Bee movie?  There's a part in it that has gotten stuck in my head.  The leading lady and her bee friend are flying in a plane when the pilot is knocked unconscious.  The girl takes over the controls, and seems to fly successfully for a bit.  Another accident happens, and the plane loses the 'autopilot' feature.  They start to fall, and the girl throws her hands in the air and exclaims, "Apparently I CANNOT fly a plane!"
Too often, I get myself into ridiculous situations where I have made commitments that are impossible with the demands of my current situation.
"Sure, I'll be there at 9:00am sharp!  With all three kids in tow, perfectly primped and dressed, myself included."
Yeah, right.  8:54am hits and I am scrambling with wet hair and 3 naked babies.  I find myself muttering, 'Apparently, I cannot fly a plane.'
(bath time for the babies, who are quickly becoming not-babies)

Why do I set my expectations for myself so high?  When I make appointments, why am I not honest...and ask for an appointment sometime around noon?  Why do I tell myself I can clean the whole house in a single day, or ever think I will stay on top of the laundry?
I think we all want to believe that we can do it all.  Of course she couldn't fly the plane, and of course I can't do 4 hours of work in under 2.
One of Isabelle's therapist also visits my friend's daughter.  She told me the other day that the therapist said to her, "Sarah makes imperfect look so good!  When I show up, she may be in her pj's.  The house may be a mess, but her kids are loved and she's like, come on in!"
Yikes.  I'm think she meant it as a compliment, but it was a reality check for me.  I'm definitely living an imperfect life right now.  The house is usually a mess, and I rarely make it out of my pjs. (I shower...but who wants to wear jeans and a nice shirt while they spend most of the time on the floor?  Pj's go better with my lifestyle.)  My kids, however, are definitely loved.
(Isabelle & the always-naked Olivia enjoying some ice cream)

It's exhausting, and somedays I think I may lose my mind forever.  I've started to worry that I'm getting arthritis.  My body aches so much at night that I have a hard time falling asleep.  I was complaining to my mom the other day and she said, "Someday, you will look back and you will see how hard this time of your life is.  You will wonder how you ever survived!"  Things like that make me feel better, sometimes I take for granted how crazy things are.  (thank heavens for moms that understand)
I'm reading 'I am a Mother' by Jane Clayson Johnson again.  I love it.  It reminds me again why I chose this life, and why I wouldn't change a thing about it.  No, I can't afford a nanny.  But I get to be the one who loves and cares for my kids each day.  No, I can't afford a maid or any help with the housework for that matter.  But it teaches my kids about hard work.
(Crazy Sunday afternoon dance party)
So, I can't fly a plane.  But I'm happy with exactly what I can do:  be a mom.  I get to be a mom.  When I fall into bed at night, sometimes in tears, I am overwhelmed by how much I love my kids.  I say to Jake almost daily, "I know there are plenty of moms who love their kids as much as I do, but no one loves their kids more than I love mine."  I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father trusted me with their little souls.  And there is my answer:  I'm hard on myself because I want the absolute best for them.  I want them to grow up happy, strong, confident, with a firm foundation in the gospel.  That takes a lot of work, sometimes it requires more than I have to give.  I want them to have it all, but I have to trust in Heavenly Father's choice to send them to me (all at once, I may add) with all of my shortcomings and know that if I work my hardest it will be enough.

"You are doing God's work.  You are doing it wonderfully well.  He is blessing you, and He will bless you, even--no especially--when your days and your nights may be most challenging.  Like the woman who anonymously, meekly, perhaps even with hesitation and some embarrassment, fought her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the Master's garment, so Christ will say to the women who worry and wonder and weep over their responsibility as mothers, 'Daughter, be of good comfort, thy faith hath made thee whole'.  And it will make your children whole as well."
Because she is a Mother, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland


  1. Sarah I wished you lived closer to me. I learn so much from you over the internet...I can only imagine what you could teach me on a daily basis. Your kids are so lucky to have you. You are a wonderful mother! I love Elder Hollands quote. I read his book "Broken things to mend" all the time and he has a chapter on Mother's which has that quote in there. I read that book like it's scripture because I feel half broken every day trying to keep up with my 3 crazies...I'm just amazed you keep your kids happy and fed. Hang in there. This is the hardest but sweetest time of our lives. Love ya!

  2. Love it! When I saw the first pic of the 3 babies in the tub, you could've stopped right there. Holy cow.... busy, busy, busy. You got that right!

    I remember those days. Some of them were pretty dang tough. You feel like it is groundhog day over and over. But... (and I hated when people would tell me this), it will be gone before you know it. But... sadly, they were right. My babies are not babies any more. But.... I'm okay with it because I'm enjoying this stage of life too. Each stage comes on its own and in its own time.

    I think you are doing the right thing - enjoying those moments (as much as you can enjoy changing bums and feeding kids - smile) as much as you possible can. And, I agree with you about the PJ's. I think that should extend over to nursery as well. Those poor leaders should be able to wear sweats to church - forget the heels and skirts. :) Love ya!

  3. Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing all of that. You have such darling children. And I admire you whether you are in pajamas or jeans, makes no difference to me! I recently found out that I've got arthritis in both hips and carpal tunnel in both wrists, and a few other things. This morning was a rough one getting out of bed but my little boy snuggled up to me and said "I like the feel of you Mommy" that is everything that matters. My body seems to think its 80 years old and degenerating quickly but those tender moments with my kids give me the surge of energy I need everyday.