The One Thing We Can Do


Mommas, I have a confession to make.

I like things to be kind of, well, perfect. And by things, I mean everything. I like everything to be perfect.

And I have one more confession to make. Life with three children is. never. perfect. There are perfect moments, and minutes. But hours? No. Days? Ha. Ha. Life with kids is just full of hiccups. It’s kind of what parenting is about, isn’t it? Helping our kids find their way through the mess.

Well, we recently had an extremely hiccup-y day. I had a fun (and perfect) day planned for the kids and I. We were all looking forward to it. But right as our lovely day was beginning, baby girl got a bad case of the grumpies. The “I’m getting a tooth and want the whole world to know it” kind of grumpies. Our day, then, had to be changed, some of our plans were deserted, older kids were disappointed and I was frustrated. I began to silently complain in the car, through the back seat screaming and whining.

“I feel so powerless!” I thought, “I want the kids to have a fun day. I hate disappointing them when they were so looking forward to this. Am I a terrible mother? What can I do?”

And then a thought struck me. I CAN BE KIND. I can be kind!

There are so many times when we as moms can do nothing at all to change the hard situations our kids are in. Whether it is an unavoidably disappointing day, an unkind word from a friend, or a lost soccer game- the amount of what we can actually control in our kids lives is shockingly minimal.

choose kindness


But we always, always, have the opportunity to choose kindness.
A through the tantrums, potty accidents, and spilt-milk kindness.
A through the rough day at school, bad attitude during homework kindness.
A despite the unaccomplished goals, unfulfilled dreams kindness.

Easy, right? No! With three kids? No! No! No! But necessary. Of course I will fail to be kind 100% of the time, but already, in the last few weeks, I have noticed a shift in my attitude. I have been intentional about choosing kindness over frustration, venting or silent nervousness.

When I find myself despairing over the imperfect days, my own failures, my kids failures, I remind myself of the one thing that I can do. I can choose kindness.

Life will not be perfect. The first day of school will not be perfect. My son’s birthday party will not be perfect. I will not be perfect. My kids will not be perfect.


But we are not as powerless as we sometimes feel, mommas.
We can always choose kindness.


  1. I love this post so much, Amanda! You basically wrote out my mantra for everyday: I can choose to be kind. I can choose to be kind. I can choose to be kind. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lovely Amanda,
    You are such a gracious young lady and amazing mother! It’s okay, even necessary, for things to not be perfect so kids can learn that life is not perfect and they can learn how to deal with it. (See, that is an example of a run-on sentence – I am still not perfect!) There will be perfect moments, but we live in a fallen world. By being kind you are showing them a gracious way to handle life’s issues. It will take awhile, but you will see progress. You can even say, “Well we can’t do this today but this is something we can do instead.” Like a picnic in the living room or other creative project you have in your back pocket. Your oldest children are getting old enough to help suggest ideas, too. You might want to have a jar for fun ideas to do so you can pull an idea out for when things melt down.
    Believe me – you are doing a wonderful job – you could have broken down sobbing!!
    I love you and your family!

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