Help, I need a new attitude!

Several years ago, I sat in a Mothers of Preschoolers[1] meeting and the guest speaker asked us to write down our favorite childhood memory. My mind flooded with silent giggles as I recalled mixing water and dirt, then filling the aluminum pans. I would create a make-believe oven from bricks and bake the brown, gooey pie. Finally, the most exciting part of all … when the mud-pies were finished “baking”, I would throw them at the largest oak tree in my grandma’s backyard. This simple activity has become etched in my mind as my all-time favorite childhood memory.

The speaker challenged us to put that piece of paper in a visible location as a reminder each day about taking time to enjoy those small precious moments with our children. So, I put the small leaf-sized paper on my fridge and saw it every day. It helped and I remembered the lesson. 

Years after hearing that speaker, I was having one of those extra-chaotic days. The to-do list was overwhelming – there wasn’t a clean towel in the house, lots of unanswered emails in my in-box, bills to pay, preschool class party to plan – my plate was full. I was overwhelmed, grouchy and found myself lacking patience. That was it, I give up! I slammed the fridge shut and then I saw the leaf with the life lesson.

My children and I went to our backyard, and we all laughed as we made mud-pies. We used the back of my son’s monster truck as our oven and then we threw our messy creations at the fence! We giggled … we had fun … we made memories! Their enthusiasm and energy were contagious, and I gladly soaked up every ounce. I relished in their smiles and the muddy handprints on my clothes. I became appreciative again. 

After our adventure, I had a whole new perspective and was blessed with the attitude adjustment I needed. After that boost, I knocked out the to-do list and finished the laundry – I was on a roll. Then, I sat down with my daughter to help her write in her take-home journal about her favorite weekend activity. It had been very busy – a few hours at Six Flags, seeing friends at church, a good friend’s birthday party, those were my suggestions. She sweetly said, “Mom, the most fun I had this weekend was making mud-pies with you.” 

Life is busy. Motherhood is crazy and unscripted. No matter what is going on, take a moment and simply enjoy your children. Laugh and have fun. Record the memories on your heart. Your children will treasure it, and you will gain a fresh, new perspective.

{Leaf with the Life Lesson}

{Daughter's Journal Entry}


The Conversation Question:

When you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, what helps give you a fresh new perspective?  Please share your story and ideas!

[1] MOPS is an international organization for mothers who have children ranging in ages from birth – kindergarten.  If you are interested in finding a MOPS group in your area, please go to

13 thoughts on “Help, I need a new attitude!

  1. Awesome—I am so proud of you…..loved the story and the photo of the fridge and Ella’s note made it perfect. As a mom on “grown up” children, I am often surprised by the things they remember and want to talk about…….sometimes I have completely forgotten something that was mundane to be but rememberable to them….

    Love you bunches

  2. So amazed by how you were able to let go and enjoy that moment with your children. I was inspired by your ability to be spontaneous and am even now wondering what I can do to giggle with my children. Soaking them up is what it’s all about! Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a wonderful way to adjust your attitude! That is very inspiring.

    I have several of those days that I am completely overwhelmed by life. I think I want to give up and run away just to get a moment to breathe. I remind myself that my babies are only babies for so long. They will only be this age on this day one time. I also think of what Jesus has given me and I am so very thankful. One thing that helps me is that I keep a journal of thoughts and of the funny and crazy things that my children say and do. I reread these entries and remember what my life is all about. Some days, we all just run outside in the sunshine and play. My smile returns and I can breathe again.

  4. Hello Dear Mandy,
    That was so sweet and so inspiring … I am here with tears in my eyes, looking forward to make some Mud Pie with my kiddos too.
    I often come to the realization that our kids grow TOOOOO fast and I need to spend more quality time with them enjoying the simple things God bless us with.
    But then again, there is also EVERYTHING ELSE going on in our little world and it is sad that sometimes they become priority over our kids.
    Thanks for sharing this with us. It was a great reminder of how precious these little moments can be in our lives and mainly in our KIDS’ lives.

  5. Thank you for sharing these moments Mandy 🙂 I totally agreed with you in those little moments that are in reality the BEST moments in our lives. When I am overwhelmed, I go to my bedroom for a quiet time and pray. It helps me calm down and focus on what I have to do and say. It also gives me energy and happiness to keep going, and most important: peace.

  6. Thank you, gals, so much for sharing! I can’t tell you what it means to have you take the time to read this blog and provide comments for other moms! Motherhood is such a gift, but it’s also overwhelming at times. I’m glad we have Jesus and each other 🙂

  7. Hey…thanks so much for sharing this!! I realize as my oldest grows, the mudpies become fewer and fewer. I THINK we are making memories that last, but are we? We do book reports, projects, homework, drive to soccer, drive to soccer again…@ age 11, I already expect her to be passed the mudpies…but she isn’t! I just have to work harder to create those moments for her and us! Thanks for reminding me…I miss the days of MOPS w/ hearing a speaker and instantly changing myself to be a better mom. Oh, how I need that these days!! I appreciate the blog and the challenge…I’m going to wake her up to a mud-pie, it may be a brownie for breakfast, but something that is fun for us all and simple!!

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