Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I Wish I Would Have Listened to My Dad When He Said . . .

Have you ever had one of those days when you wonder why you didn't listen to a great piece of advice someone gave you?  Unfortunately, I have wondered this about myself many a day.  I don't know why I am so set in my ways sometimes but I am.  I am stubborn that way.  I think I have gotten better as I have aged but it may never go away.  I will blame it on my DNA.  

When my husband was in graduate school and my boys were just babies I LOVED my life and my days were full.  As a young girl I dreamt of the day I would be a wife and mother and I planned out in my mind how I would spend my days with my children.  I was going to be this great mom who was creative, patient, kind and fun to be around and for the most part, I think I was.   However there was a short period of time when I did suffer from depression.  It is very common for young women who are trying to balance marriage, motherhood, work, housekeeping and cooking while trying to hold on to their identity.  I was working hard and loving being a new mother and wife and I loved my boys with all my heart and I wanted desparately to be happy but for some reason, I just couldn't be.

One afternoon I called my dad when I was feeling unusually down and just needed someone to talk to.  I went on and on and on about everything.  I was lonely for my husband because he was at school all day and all night.  My boys were so rambunctous and full of life and I felt like I couldn't keep up.  Our apartment was always a mess and I couldn't get a meal prepared and put on the table without some major disaster happening.  The worst part was I was surrounded by women who to my view, had it all together and were doing great.  They were the perfect mothers that I had planned on being msyelf.  Don't we always do that to ourselves?  If we only knew what was going on behind other people's 4 walls!

After I had poured my heart out to my dad and given him every teary detail I could come up with he gave me a piece of advice that I needed to hear and that is now burned into my memory.  Again, being the stubborn person that I am, it didn't really sink in until years later but it was in the back of my mind.  He said, "Becky, you need to stop where you are right now and enjoy your boys at this age.  Soak up every minute you have with them and cherish this time because one day you will turn around and realize that this was one of the sweetest times of your life!"  As soon as those words left his mouth, I knew he was wrong.  There was no way that I would eventually view that time as one of the best moments in time for me.  It just wouldn't happen.

I couldn't believe what I just heard!  I had poured out my heart and I was waiting for these great words of wisdom and advice that would lift me out of the slump I was in.  When I had called my dad, I knew that by the time I hung up, my problems would be solved!  Yes, he is that great at giving advice.  But that didn't happen for me this time.  When I hung the phone up, I was just as low as I was before the phone call but I did make a commitment to myself that I would really work on enjoying my babies and appreciating my life so that they would feel my love for them.

I did work hard, as do all young mother's no matter what their circumstance, and I was able to break myself free of the feelings of loneliness and unhappiness that I was feeling.  Through prayer, the help and support of my good husband and additional advice from the best mother-in-law in the world, I was eventually able to free myself and move on.   There were other times shortly after that that I struggled but not to the same extent and surely, I was able to deal with issues of stress and unhappiness a little better because I had internalized the words of my father.  I had heard him.

But guess what happened about 10 years later?  That's right.  I was sitting in the driveway of the house we were living in and watching the very same boys playing basketball together while I sat in the shade with their little sisters playing in the stroller.  As I watched my boys and listened to their jabbering and laughter I remembered the words of my father.  "Soak up every minute you have with them and cherish this time because one day you will turn around and realize that this was one of the sweetest times of your life!"   In that moment time seemed to stop as I remembered his words and the feelings that I had those many years earlier and as is usual, I realized that he was right.  That was one of the sweetest times of my life and I felt it deeply inside as I watched my boys and my girls playing.  My dad had been right.  No surpirse there!

This advice applies to everyone no matter where you are in your life right now.  Always strive for better things in your life but also be happy where you are right now.  Each moment in your life is precious and even if it is a rough time, you are learning something.  Something that may help you 5, 10 or 15 years from now but you are preparing for something.  Embrace it.  Work at it.  Be grateful that you have another day to work on your life!  You are blessed to have more time on this earth so make sure you use it to the best of your ability.

" . . . . cherish this time because one day you will turn around and realize that this was one of the sweetest times of your life!"  Aren't they all? 

Have a happy day, friends!

No comments :

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...