Monday, April 26, 2010

I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.

I should tell you about all of the funny things my kids have been saying and about how I painted my front wall again--yep, the same one I had just painted, and about the wonderful visit I had with my parents and Audrey and Seth this last weekend, but I had a hard day today and that's all that is on my mind right now.

After my last miscarriage and accompanying experience, I was scared that I would never feel comfortable getting pregnant again. However, as I prayed about it, I felt comforted and the desire to try again soon returned. Since then, I've been telling Heavenly Father that I would like to get pregnant again, and have been asking him to bless me with another pregnancy when the time is right for our family. Apparently, the time is not yet right for our family, because for the first time, we have been unable to get pregnant. On one hand I am very discouraged and disappointed about not being able to get pregnant, and on the other, I am grateful that Heavenly Father will not bless me with another baby until I am ready. I think what discourages me most of all, though, is knowing that I am not ready.

Many of you know that I got pregnant only a couple months after Brian and I got married, but I lost the baby at about 13 weeks. And although I was devastated at the time, as the next couple years passed, it became obvious to me that Heavenly Father was only showing me a little mercy by keeping a baby from me for a little longer. The timing had not been right.

A couple years later, I got pregnant and had Camp. By that time, I had learned a little more and Brian and I had figured some things out and life was pretty easy. In fact, I thought the whole mothering thing was a piece of cake. I'm afraid I began to be a little over-confident--so much so that when Camp was about nine months old, we tried and got pregnant again. Well, eighteen weeks later, I miscarried for the second time. And once again, it didn't take long before I was praying to thank Heavenly Father for not allowing me to get in over my head too early.

I'm dragging this out too long. What I'm getting at is that I have learned, and feel grateful that Heavenly Father has not given me babies until He knows I am ready for them. It's just been difficult admitting to myself that I am indeed not ready yet. That means I am not a perfect mother. That means I'm having a hard enough time with three kids. That means there are a lot of things for me to work on and lots of things for me to learn. It means I need to humble myself and be willing to change. Those are hard pills to swallow. Oh, and I know. The timing could be off right now because of things other than my not being ready yet. That's true, but I just feel like my not being ready is probably the biggest part of it.

It seems that way because truthfully, mothering as been a struggle for me lately. I love and adore and enjoy my children, but recently I have really been struggling--mainly with Camp. Brian and I have had a really, really tough time figuring out how to handle and discipline him appropriately and I have reached a point of complete discouragement and desperation. And while praying and reading my scriptures has been a great source of strength and help for me (like I've mentioned before), it has become clear to me that I need to be doing a little bit more. I need to be earnestly seeking revelation. I need to spend a great deal more time on my knees just thinking and listening. I need to simplify. I need to study. I need to be patient.

I lost control of myself today, and I am embarrassed by and ashamed of the way I handled Camp. Soon after, I found myself on my bedroom floor whispering, Please forgive me! Please help me! Please help me! Please help me! I waited.... I wanted to be faithful and feel counsel come to me, but I was so desperate. I called my mom and my sister who helped me focus and start developing some goals and a plan of action. Partly I felt guilty for not just letting some answers flow into my mind, but mostly I just felt so grateful to have a mom and sister through whom Heavenly Father has guided me so many times.

I'm now writing on Wednesday. Tuesday went so much better than Monday had. No losing control. No crying on the foam pad of my sheetless bed. No feelings of complete desperation. I felt hopeful and determined to start again and devote all of my time and energy to keeping myself in control and handling my children in the way that will ultimately be the most effective and the most productive. I'm reading Parenting with Love and Logic again. Ever heard of it? I know there are probably lots of great resources out there, but this happens to be one that I have read and has really made sense to me. It's funny because as I read it I am thinking, Man, I NEVER would have thought of this on my own, but it just makes so much sense. My sister is totally a Love and Logic parent, and while she may not be a perfect parent (and she may be), she definitely has what I am looking for: control. She has control of herself and of her kids. And she doesn't have control of her kids because she is a drill sergeant and finds a way to force them to do everything she wants them to do--in fact it's just the opposite. She has control of them because she has control of herself and doesn't let the way they act govern the way she acts.

So anyway, Brian and I are going to figure this out. Wish me luck. Pray for me. Don't be alarmed if you don't see or hear from me much. I'm just busy breathing deeply and focusing all my energy on choosing my words carefully and keeping control of myself. If all goes well, we will have a much happier home and a much happier family a few months from now.

P.S. I just put Dan in her room for hitting Jane and soon after I walked away, I could hear her crying, Mom, I need to go potty! Of course. By the time I got back into her room, it was already coming out all over the carpet. Breeeeaaaattthhhheee.


Lori said...

Ann..I feel like you are reading my thoughts. These are some of the same things I am having a tough time with. How could I have raised two boys(not completely) to this point...and feel as if I used Love, tenderness, logic and self-control...and this time around I have some much impatience and anger over the small things. I am thinking of you Ann - you are very wise. You are a good mom...because you ask for help and guidance to raise your sweet kids - from your Heavenly Father and from your wonderful family.

Tara said...

I love your blog! I love how real and vunerable you allow yourself to be. You're a great mom and we all find ourselves praying to be better parents and people. You are definitely not alone there!

Tyler + Zahara said...

Ann! You can do it! You have always been someone I have looked up to. As a person, leader, and mother. You are a amazing mother and have alot of patients, even if you don't think so. I know you can get through this, and I think your hottie! That's always nice to hear right? ha

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me I'm not alone in the crazy world of parenting. Some days I feel so overwhelmed and unequipped, that all I do is yell. And then of course, I feel guilty for not holding it together. I think I'll check out the book you mentioned. LOVE your blog and decorating style. ;-)

Heather said...

That is all so true. I have "lost myself" a time or two and I find myself in the same hopeless, desperate situation. It really is a labor of love. I hope you will get your baby soon. I had a miscarriage between Hailey and Spencer at 11 weeks. It was so hard and I was so frustrated because first I didn't want to get pregnant again and then when we tried, it took us 6 months. I can see now why this would have happened and am even grateful for it. You are such a strong person and I have always looked up to you. Your kids are so blessed to have you for a mom! Your parents did such a great job.

Rob and Marseille said...

I love Love& Logic. I need to reread it again! Thanks for your inspiration.

Heather and Billy said...

I have recently had the same thoughts and feelings both on my own and through Priesthood blessings about taking time and making time to have quiet revelation as well as that desire to simplify etc. You CAN do it.

Ann, you have had a hard time with your miscarriages. I know how hard it has been and the guilt and sadness that must weigh with it. I only had one but that was enough for me. My struggle at the moment is the opposite of yours- being done having kids but feeling guilty for it because I get pregnant so easily. I actually knelt in my closet today just to have somewhere relatively free of distraction to pray about it. I felt peace about it but also such sadness. Ann, just because you aren't ready doesn't mean it is because you are a bad mom. Maybe Camp isn't ready- maybe he needs your attention a little bit more right now in a way you wouldn't be able to give him if you were pregnant. Maybe the child who will come next will need special care and attention that you won't yet be able to give. You just don't know but you need to remember that feelings of guilt are not from our Heavenly Father. I wish I had a mom to talk through all of this with. I was actually thinking of calling your mom this afternoon. But what I have learned on my own in the last month is that God doesn't give us guilt. He gives us sorrow for sins and remorse...but guilt is Satan's counterfeit tool. So if that is what you are feeling then think of where it is coming from and take comfort in that. Luv you Ann!

R. B said...


I have to say, that when I wasn't able to get pregnant, that is exactly how I felt too, that Heavenly Father was telling me I wasn't ready, and that hurt. It felt like He was saying, as you stated, that He wanted me to get a handle on three before I could move onto four, but I felt I was doing my best, so it was a personal blow.

But Ann, I do want to let you know that it could very well be a physical aspect of healing your body so that your body is ready to carry a baby healthily all the way through. Thats what I thought when I read your post automatically, that it was probably more a physical thing. Nourishing your body with plenty of vegetables and protein, and I know you think you get enough food, but you could be lacking in some things, stores of certain things that need to be built back.
If its any comfort I have hit the same point with Milly, I woke up in the middle of the night two days ago and prayed and prayed for help because I am feeling so tired of her right now. Then that morning I pleaded for revelation, I pleaded for love, an abundance of love that I don't have right now. His love for her. Then today I prayed again and prayed during my run for revelation. The book I need to get back to reading is my mom's recommendation "Raising your Spirited Child" Ann, this book is incredible for building of wells and reserves of understanding besides teaching some valuable skills, skills you need with children who are more. And let us just put it that way. Anyway, I was reading a paragraph or a page each week, not from the beginning but at the spot that seemed most helpful. I stopped this little routine when I started to going to the LDS addiction meetings, yes, for being able to control me, for not reacting...for my temper. I don't want to ruin this precious relationship, so you see we are in this together, handling things in disappointing ways,repenting, and turning for help. I am glad I read this post because I felt inside Heavenly Father does want me to put some time into reading these books that teach me, and in particular I have a friend whose child is like mine who recommended a book to me, which I was going to go to the library and check out tonight, but got so busy with my couch re-upholstery that I'd forgotten my commitment. So thank you for your frank post, and know Ann that Heavenly Father delights in sending you a fresh babe from heaven soon and He thinks the world of you right where you are because all the positive you do and are outweighs the negative especially because we have the Atonement and I truly count on that in those times of utter discouragement in my reactions...The Savior literally has our back. Its a miracle. Its why we'd ever even dream of having another baby, because we know we have Him to help change us and to Help us where we Lack Now. Love you, Em

Lindsay said...

I've got a tough kid too with the discipline front. I tried the love and logic approach. Gave her 2 choices, yadda, yadda. She just comes up with a 3rd choice. Kinda didn't work for us. :)
I have discovered, however, that the more sleep she gets, the better she is. But she's still tough. So tough. Keeps me on my toes. I've now resigned to the fact to not battle her on things that don't matter. And most things don't matter.
Good luck with Camp. If you discover anything life changing, let me know. I think for the most part, being a mom is just the hardest thing we'll EVER do.

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