Top 10 things I wish I'd never said...and what I should have said instead

From the perspective of chronic cancer patient coupled with the debilitating depression and anxiety that have stolen from my joy for the past 3 months, it comes out in relief. Almost like looking at a negative instead of the printed photograph. My mistakes glare bright when I am forced to be apart from my family. I admit it is a daily difficulty for me to hand over these mistakes which are past, confessed, and paid for to a God I know cares. I know He wants me to show humility and weakness so that my faith stands out as the anchor to which everything in my life is lashed.

I wish I had known how much I would regret saying these 10 phrases. Maybe there is a young mom out there who can lock her lips easier than I, and because of reading this, make a pact not to say these things?

1. Not tonight, honey.
Solution: Open your eyes and roll over.

2. No more kisses, it's time for nap.
Solution: Keep letting that little one kiss you over and over and over again. He'll fall asleep eventually.

3. No, I can't rock you to sleep. I need time alone.
Solution: Plan plenty of cuddling time throughout the day, especially at bedtime.

4. I'm not kissing that dirty face!
Solution: Kiss the chocolate off!

5. Go to your father, for heaven's sake.
Solution: Praise God these kids still love battered old Mama.

6. No, you can't be naked.
Solution: How about when we get home?

7. {teeth gritted} How can I be expected to clean up these repetitive messes??
Solution: Pray while you're in the grossness of clean-up,
then realize that they'll eventually all poop in the pot,
take their shoes off at the door, and put their clothes in the hamper.

8. I'm busy on the computer, can you ask me later?
Solution: Turn away from computer and answer the question.
Teach your children to answer their own questions while you're at it.

Caleb's very last nursing session in 2008
9. No nursing now, Mama's busy.
Solution: Nurse. Every chance you get. They'll grow up.
Way too fast.

10. Wipe that look off your face right now.
Solution: Show compassion. "Can you tell me why you're crying?"

Although anxiety is limiting my ability to touch and be touched right now, I love being the mom the kids won't climb off of, the mid-day story reader, the anytime comforter, the kisser of bruises and bandager of scrapes. The aunt whose niece runs to her for a kiss the very first thing when she arrives. The mom at the campground who hands out organic apples and glow sticks. Who lets her kids throw Black Cat Pops anywhere they would like. The sparklers-before-bed mom. The who-cares-if-the-toilets-have-a-ring-in-them mom.

Be that mom. Don't be the mom I started out as. Be the mom that I have learned to be.