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You know those periods in life when you wish you could just press a pause button to take a breath? That is me right now. Well, not literally right now, because I currently have a spare moment to blog…but me, right now, in this phase of life. When my daughter was almost 7 months old, I found out I was pregnant with my son. He came a little early so they ended up being 14 months apart. Anytime someone did the math and realized how close in age they would be, they would remark at how crazy I am and how my life was going to turn upside down and be one big hot mess. Okay, so maybe they would merely react with a surprised look and reiterate that I was going to have my hands full. After enough comments, I had myself convinced that I was surely going to go nuts. Up until recently, I thought I had proved everybody wrong because life with two turned out to be just right. Then Brendan learned to walk and climb (high). Then someone taught him that if a shelf is organized that it is his civil duty to pull everything off such a beautiful shelf and disperse it throughout the otherwise picked up house.

In other words, the second I think I have my act together… the moment I think my clothes are clean in order to leave for work… right when I sit down to take a breath…I look around and realize that everything is out of order. And Brendan thinks it is funny. I think I need a beach that comes with a free masseuse. I end up cleaning the house 5 times instead of 1, giving the kids 3 baths in one day, and apologizing to the babysitter because there are food chunks on the floor from breakfast (must have forgotten to let the dog in the kitchen to eat the scraps that baby boy thought he should throw out of his high chair). My perspective slowly shifts to a negative outlook that doesn’t include reaping the rewards of all the hard work and effort I put into my life.

For some reason, it is so easy as human beings to focus on what is going wrong, what has us out of sorts. It takes effort to pay attention and take heed of what is good and worthy of our attention. This struck me this morning when I watched my daughter trying to teach my son how to pick up all the bouncy balls he had just emptied from their bin. At first I chuckled because this was destined to fail. Hurricane Brendan does not come back through his mile-wide territory and pick up. To my wide-eyed surprise, he successfully threw each ball back where she pointed. This may seem insignificant, but it has meaning. This is hard work paying off. Between teaching Taylor to pick up and modeling this to the kids (that’s the positive way of saying “picking up for them”), she caught on and there is hope that I might reduce my daily pick-up tradition from 5 to at least 4!

Nothing like a 2 year old to challenge you to expect great things when put in hard work. Sometimes I forget my purpose and my direction and why it’s important to do the same, consistent, hard things over and over again. Being a mommy is hard work. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but man, this momma just wants a nap! I just need to remember that perseverance produces character and character produces hope. It may be small successes today, but I know in the long run I can expect great things.