The Things We Tell Ourselves


As a mom of four, my day typically starts with a wide-eyed child inches from my nose asking for early morning TV or some extra snuggles in mommy’s bed.

We run the spectrum in this house. But, like most women, I do have the moment still in the warm cocoon of morning sleep where I am able to take a cleansing breath and say, “OK….” before the schedules, to-do lists, and routines come flooding in.

It hit me one morning that in that moment following the “OK,” I tell myself things (only because my husband called me out for apparently “talking to myself” in the mornings). Those “things” following the OK range from, “…I got this,” to “…it is a sunny sunny day,” to “…we will figure it out,” and often “…right away, all the way, and with a happy heart.”

Not only do I tell myself those things, but those phrases have also often been mottos for our family.

As my husband prepared to deploy in 2019, the “I got this” got used a lot. Mainly I said it for him as he was leaving an uber pregnant wife with three kids, no nearby family, an uncertain role for him, and he was freaking out.

I said it then to calm him down because we are women. We are moms. We handle ALL. THE. THINGS.

Pregnancy…been there, done that.

Kids with tantrums… on the daily.

Lice…had that.

Dinners… Door Dash can handle that.

My motto of “I got this” became more of a “we got this” because of the tribe I had to call on. We did have it. We kicked butt. There are times that I haven’t had that tribe, though.

There are times when things were tough, and big girl panties or thin girl thongs came out of the drawer. I carried on and found strength.

I still kicked butt… most of the time.

My oldest daughter has everyone fooled. They see a dimpled, bouncy blonde with a mega-watt smile that could melt anyone. I see her in the morning when she isn’t so shiny and glittery. But every morning, she used to ask us, “Is it a sunny sunny day?” I can remember how she would light up as we would open the windows and say, “YES!”

Her joy at the simple beauty of sunshine and the smile she gave still makes me melt. She saw the promise of a new day and the excitement of what could happen that day.

It reminds me that there is joy, beauty, and happiness in the little things; I just have to choose to see them.

My favorite motto is our current one that I am borrowing from Emily Ley over at Simplified; “Right Away. All the Way. And with a happy heart.”

My oldest kiddos are in the phase where other things are more important than what mom is asking. The “right away” really gets in the way of playtime. Our whole family leans into the “all the way” piece as there are lots of things 80% done in our house. Including the laundry. The last piece is the most important to me. The idea that we do all these actions with a happy heart is so powerful… and helpful when you have 2-year-old emotions trying to drive the train.

As we are all coming out of a year where we pulled in tight and focused on being in the present, these “old” mottos have reminded me of the family we have grown into and how we got here.

We help. We try. We find joy. And we are still working.

As I look back on what we say now, I often wonder what our next phrase will be. Will we be living, laughing, and loving? Will we finally “embrace our mess?” Are we on the journey to “do hard things?” Are we “dancing while no one is watching?”

What do you tell yourself? And how did you get there?



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