I took this photo the other day and then spent all day thinking about it. What do you see?
I took it because I was feeling my house so full. It was sort of a complaint—like “Look, I am overwhelmed, and here is why.”
My three daughters were given a scooter and a small bike recently, and the littlest one pulled out the tricycle they already had—it all felt too full with all those wheels. I felt like I was often tripping over things or watching that my toes didn’t get driven over. Our house is pretty small for that many things on wheels.
And on that particular day, my husband was gone from early to late, so I was alone with the four little ones with the baby fussing because he wanted to be held all the time. I felt like that glimpse of my life could maybe convince someone else that I actually do have it that bad.
But the more I went back and looked at it throughout the day, some of my perspective began to change. I started thinking about how someone else might see it.
Someone praying for children would see that I am so blessed. The girls were playing happily that morning (and let me tell you, all of them trying to drive around in that amount of space makes for plenty of complaints and crashes). The oldest finally learned to ride her bike that day after I had been trying to teach her for a good while (though I did take them to an open space to practice later in the day, and that is where I actually saw that she could).
And despite teething baby fusses, I wouldn’t want to do life without my little boy. After all, we did nearly lose him at birth. What if his spot in the photo was empty?
Someone who lost their home to war or some disaster would see that I have a fairly comfortable home and a table where we can eat. Someone in a hurricane or tired of rainy days would see the beautiful sunshine streaming in. As tight as the space is, there are plenty of people raising their children in tighter spaces who would figure I have plenty of space to be happy in.
That photo is full of blessings. On the tough motherhood days, I try to remind myself of that. It’s about perspective. Today, if you feel overwhelmed, take a photo of your place of complaint. Then look at it through someone else’s eyes. You just might be surprised at how good it can look.