My mom taught preschool for many years while we were in school. She taught those 4- and 5-year olds to color, say their nursery rhymes, count to 10, use scissors and glue sticks, and write their names.
Often, the students would say, "This is too hard. I can't do it."
And she would reply, "You can do hard things."
Well, I have leaned that I can do hard things, too. Some moms who have more than two children will read this post and laugh. But I think we learn and adapt as we go. So when I had one child, there were things that were hard then, that seem easy now. Perhaps when I have three kids (I am not announcing anything here, nor looking into the future. Just writing.) I will look back on this post and think these things are easy. But for now, I will share some of the things I have done lately, that I said to myself, "This is too hard. I can't do it," before even trying.
I drove down to my parent's home in Ferron with the two boys. By myself. Not a big feat for many, but for me, someone who normally can't stay awake in the car for more than 12 minutes, it was miraculous. It turned out I didn't even get very tired on the drive, not counting the lingering "motherhood exhaustion" that is always there. We had a great trip and all went well. It was a little tricky taking Davis to the bathroom, using the toilet myself, and changing Noah's diaper in the restroom of a McDonalds.
I took both the boys grocery shopping. By myself. Not an enjoyable experience, but a necessary one.
Last weekend I took the boys to the Farmer's Market. By myself. Darren was golfing with some friends from work all morning and I really wanted some fresh fruits and veggies, so off we went. I packed Noah in the Baby Bjorn so I could maneuver in the crowds better while chasing Davis. We only had one screaming episode. Davis wanted to go one way and I wanted to go a different direction. So I just started walking. And Davis followed about 5 feet behind me, crying and yelling and stopping intermittently to point back the direction he wanted to go. I kept my third-eye-on-the-back-of-my-head on him while we walked and pretended not to notice everyone staring at me and wondering what kind of mother I was. Noah slept through the whole thing. After a few minutes Davis stopped crying and happily followed me to find the corn on the cob. Which we did, along with swiss chard, apricots, and fresh bread. And a little Tigers Blood Italian ice.
I got myself and both the boys ready for church last Sunday. By myself. 30 minutes early. So we walked to church and thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful, summer, world Heavenly Father has given us.
See, I can do hard things.
Disclaimer: You may notice a trend. Darren is a great help when he is home. But he's got to go to work every day to earn money to fund our family. When he is home, it is man-on-man and we can each take a child. But the rest of the time, I am learning all the hard things I really can do with my two boys. By myself.