Monday, September 21, 2009

Better Mistakes

Sunday evening I broke down and cried in front of my children.

Most of the time I pat myself for holding it together pretty well. I consider it an accomplishment that I get up and showered every morning, all of the kids are fed, get to school on time, the daycare is up and running, the house is staying relatively clean even as projects continue, I am still doing my calling at church (with more kids!) and the children and I have established a very good routine of reading scriptures and praying together on my bed every night. Keeping busy has always helped me to keep it together. I prefer to be busy.

On Sunday night though, it all caught up with me. My weeks are so packed now that I can only do errands on Saturdays which are also full of soccer games, birthday parties and other kid functions. That leaves Sunday after church for cleaning the entire house, catching up on laundry and making sure we are ready for the following week. I finally got the kids to sit down and start their homework that evening while I went through their folders. There were six separate checks that had to be written, forms to be filled out and children who were more inclined to poke each other than to actually write their assignments. I had come to the end of my patience. I found myself yelling at the kids to GET THEIR WORK DONE while I tried to clean the kitchen around them. That's when reality hit me.

This is going to be very hard. Being a single Mother is hard. Not having someone to support you as you try and do your best is hard. Knowing no one is going to walk through the door and take over so you can bury yourself under your covers and cry is hard. Knowing this is going to be your life from here on out is very, very hard.

I leaned against the counter as I thought about what a horrible Mother I was being by losing my temper and taking out the anger I feel toward this situation on them. They are not at fault and never were. As my tears came, one by one my children approached and embraced me. I have great kids. I worry constantly how all of this is affecting them and how it will affect them in the future. What scars will they take into future relationships? What examples do they have in their lives to guide them to become good, honest, caring individuals? What fears do they have? How do I become the Mother they need while dealing with the realities of life on my own? How do I get through Sunday nights and be ready to face another week in the morning?

I make mistakes. Sometimes I break down. I try my best. I love my children.

I'm going to make better mistakes tomorrow.


  1. My heart just breaks for you. The month that I spent as a "single" mother was the best and worst month of my life. How could it be both?? It was so very painful I thought I might not live through it but when I DID live through it I figured out that I was stronger than I had EVER known. I was closer to my Heavenly Father than I EVER had been before. I had learned to be weak and strong at the same time. I had learned that it was OK to allow others to help out. But most of all I learned what it was to be HELD by the ONE who could take all of my pain away.

    Sending you many prayers...

  2. I am absolutely certain you are an amazing mother and being exactly what your children need right now. I am also certain that when we do all we can in trying situations that Heavenly Father shows us tender mercies and makes up the difference for us. He wants you and your children to be okay and get thru this. I will pray for you that you can. I'm sorry you are faced with this challenge and I pray things will get better.

  3. You don't know me. I'm a good friend of April Hinckley's. I started reading your blog a while ago. I love to see all of the amazing stuff you bake.

    All I can say is that I'm a single mom. It *is* hard. As time goes by, you get more used to it. And the children will forgive you for yelling. We're not perfect. Sometimes all you can do is cry.

    It's hard. But know that others are thinking of you and pulling for you.

  4. Interesting, I had the same experience on Sunday! And I have no excuse like you. That's pathetic, but I did have a freak out and screamed at my kids and husband that I "just WANT ONE DAY OFF!!!" No matter how much I clean, my house will always be dirty. No matter how much homework I sit and do with the kids, there will always be something missing at parent-teacher conference. No matter how much I do, it will never be quite enough to call it "done." The thing that snapped me out of it, is remembering what you wrote in your post about your growing up. You said something to the effect, "I loved my messy childhood." Childhood SHOULD be messy!! Checks sometimes don't get written, some homework gets missed, some meetings go unattended, and most importantly.. sometimes the house is messy. All of. it. is. okay!! Let the unimportant things go right now so that you can enjoy your kids at this age, enjoy your great talents that you are sharing with others in baking and crafts, enjoy the quiet moments of fruitloop necklace making and park visits while the laundry sits undone and the cereal bowls sit on the counter. It's all okay right now. You're a perfectionist, and do such a great job of doing it all, but just right now you have to forgive yourself those little things to keep your sanity. Let your kids think about their growing up, "I loved my messy childhood! It was so happy."

  5. Stacey, I am so sorry you have to go through this. I wish we were closer so we could help out, but if there's anything I can help you with - I'm here for you. Stay strong!
    I am always amazed how you find time and energy to do all that you do - and do it with perfecrion. You are one of the people I look up to. We love you!

  6. All I can say, is that Stacey you are such an inspiration to me! I love you so much! I am always here for you even if I am 1,000+ miles away. You are in my PRAYERS! :)

  7. you are amazing and so are those kids of yours. lots of love. i pray for you every night.

  8. Forgive! It breaks my heart to see you going through this. Those sweet kids are so lucky to have you for a mom!

  9. Even though I met you once, or twice, four years ago, I am crying with you and praying for you each day. You, and your children are so lovely. Please always remember that your children, family members, and Heavenly Father love you.

  10. I did that myself once last year, probably around the same time you did and without the same excuse. You are doing really good. Really. Amazing.