I am a very blessed mother of four boys. Three of those boys are silly, rambunctious, loving boys. Someday soon I am sure the fourth will join them. He already knows how to make a raucous and get attention. I often try to remind myself about how truly blessed I am. My boys are healthy. They have the ability to attend school free of charge. H is even in a bilingual program without our having to pay for it. I've been to other countries and seen children playing with sticks in filth. I've seen them so excited to be given a used plastic water bottle. My house is small for our family of six, but we fit just fine. We have food and clean water. They have more toys than they need. We aren't separated from one another. I am able to stay home with them instead of having to work. These are the things I want myself to focus on when I'm struggling and frustrated. These are the things I want myself to think about when someone dumps a cup of water on the bed when they should be sleeping, or when I have to try and wrangle three rowdy boys in a restaurant, or when I am so very tired and all they want is for me to play with them or cuddle with them. Some nights, like tonight, I fail. I feel terrible (thank you allergies and sinuses) and I didn't get much sleep last night. I didn't cuddle and speak calmly to them. I failed with a great big F--. It happens. Thankfully it is happening less often than it used to. Tomorrow I will try again. I don't want them to remember the daily struggles we had with one another (fighting over a toy, Mama always being frustrated, yelling, spanking). I know these things will be in their memory, but I don't want them to stand out. I want them to remember always that we read a story, sing a song, and pray before bed. I want them to remember playing in the backyard on the swing set Daddy built. I want them to understand what it means to be kind, generous, honest, respectful, and hard-work; and I want to be the one who demonstrates that for them. I want them to know there is a time to have fun and a time to sit still. I want them to remember sitting around our table for meals regardless of whether or not our whole family could be there - I want them know that is where the family that is present eats and they do it together. I want them to remember love and hugs and cuddles from me, Husband, and each other. I want them to remember that we always made them apologize and give hugs and that this doesn't always fix the problem, but it's a start. There is so much I have to teach them, and there is even more that they teach me. My flaws are so present and obvious in how they act and react to life around them. I want to change me so that I can help them to grow. And to do this, to be a better person and mother, I must remind myself of all the blessing, big and small that I have. I must also point those blessing out to our children. So, here I am saying that I fail on a daily basis, and tonight was a more major fail that usual, but I am still so happy to be their mom. I am still so full of love for those boys who refuse to go to sleep, two of which are currently sleeping on the floor, who wake me up at ridiculous hours (all from the age of 6 months to 5 years) for various reasons, and who love to cuddle me and hang on me and hug me and give me kisses. I know the daily struggles won't go away, and I am sure that I will blog about them again and I know they will change as the boys get older (way to scary to think about now), but at this moment I am going to let go of my frustration and focus on my blessings and get some rest so we can all try to do better tomorrow.