At the end of difficult week where I feel discouraged and where I wasn’t able to get the things done that I needed to; I try to do three things.
First, I look back at what I had planned and needed to do (mostly I am talking about basic chores and daily life needs) and simply acknowledge what didn’t get done. And then I ask myself why? Was it because I was choosing instead to give the girls my attention? Or did I spend too much time on the internet researching or browsing? Or was it just a week of tiredness? Did I try to fill the week with too much so that the basics were left undone? I find that I have to have this little ‘reflection’ with myself otherwise I just push the discouragement aside to be  carried into the next week. I have to recognize the areas where I expected too much and acknowledge the areas where I let go but where I have a responsibility to.  As a little side note; I have often seen little poems or writings about leaving dishes undone and floors unswept in order to play and cuddle little ones and  I appreciate and agree with the thoughts to some extent. However, I also find that when our home is more orderly and clean, when laundry is done and put away, and when we do simple things (for some, not so much for me) like getting dressed, brushing teeth, and doing hair (my girls have been blessed with my hair that is prone to tangles and wildness) at the start of our day, that not only am I in a better frame of mind but the girls are also much happier.

Secondly, I choose to let the past week go even if it is with difficulty and choose to trust that the new week will be better.

Finally, my favorite part. I go back over the week and savor the moments of ‘success’ where we found simple joy and encouragement through out the week. I find that this goes so far in restoring my hope for the coming week as well as salvaging the week that had previously been so disappointing.

Some of the moments captured in pictures:

two little friends exploring wonderous things

Teaching my girl; I know I am frowning but I am actually just concentrating as I explain about the little life inside that tiny shell.

Aneliese in turn sharing her discovery.

A new fire pit

Roasting a hot dog for the first time

A mama in waiting; she is a good example of dedication.

the merry-go-round after a trip for baby brother or sister's ultrasound

My little farm girl

Enjoying a morning snack fresh out of our raspberry patch.

And these are just the moments captured, but they leave out un-captured moments; the hard-but-needed conversations between husband and wife, new understanding, birthing plans, emails between dear friends, phone calls with a much missed mama, a rack of clean dishes, exercise taken, shared supper and needs with new/old friends, diapers hanging on the line. I also have no pictures of the moments that I am choosing to leave behind, but really, pictures of dirty laundry, dishes waiting to be done, midnight bedtimes for a mama who needs 8 or 9 hours of sleep, or the crying frustrations of toddlers?