The 3 Little Words that Changed Everything for Me

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I’m sharing the 3 words that changed everything for me. These words had a major impact on my daily life, changed the way I think, motivated me, put everything into perspective, and help me appreciate every moment!

Motherhood and Wife Inspirational quotes, words, and motivation

Background Information

So… now that you are wondering what those three words are, I need to give you a bit of background information.

I am a kindergarten teacher at Westwood Elementary and we are officially an Energy Bus School. My principal is very big on creating a positive environment for staff and students. According to their website,  “The Energy Bus for Schools Leadership Journey (EBSLJ) is a transformational, multiyear approach for schools to create and sustain a positive school culture and develop positive school leaders.” It was started by Jon Gordan. The principles are based off of his best-selling book, The Energy Bus. I usually have a positive attitude when it comes to school. It sounds cheesy, but I really do love my job and my students. However, there are always ways to improve your outlook and attitude.

(You can click on the picture below if you are interested in grabbing a copy of The Energy Bus. This is my Amazon affiliate link. If you use this link, it doesn’t cost you any more but I earn a small commission from your purchase.)

Last week Chief Energy Officer & Co-founder of The Energy Bus for Schools Leadership Journey, Niki Spears, led a day of inservice training for our district. She is a fabulous speaker. Sometimes I have a difficult time sitting still for hours (don’t we all?) but I didn’t feel that way listening to her.

The Ah-Ha Moment

One thing she had us do is take something we are not looking forward to and say “I get to…”

She picked several people from the audience and it was pretty hilarious hearing people scream with excitement, “I GET to potty-train my child this week!” or “I GET to teach math to 8th-graders!” Everyone laughed just hearing others be so enthusiastic about things they typically dread doing.

Changing Have to’s into Get to’s

It made me think of how I have been dreading between 7 and 9 PM…

Dustin has been working nights lately and I was gearing up for another 1-2 hour session of “Let’s try to get Baby Heidi to bed.”

Don’t let that sweet smile fool you!:)”

Sleep Issues

My sweet baby who used to lay down awake after a bottle and sleep from 7 to 7 abruptly decided at the beginning of the summer that she HATED sleep. Of course, bedtime is at the end of the day and both of us felt exhausted and frustrated. I had tried every possible method or suggestion. She wanted to be pushed in the stroller… until she didn’t. Then she wanted to be held… until she didn’t. We tried to let her cry it out and it was an awful experience for the both of us. Dread was setting in about putting her to sleep every night.

I am constantly busy with school and my kids. Then I work on TPT or my blog after I put them to bed or very early in the morning. It had become frustrating that I wasn’t able to get as much done as I wanted.

Then, you add in my 3 year old Aniston… she wanted Mommy to put her to sleep, but I just couldn’t do it all at one time. I had to call in back-ups like my mother-in-law or sister to tuck her in. We missed reading books and saying prayers together.

I’ve even been stuck in this predicament – my almost 40 pound toddler in the TULA asleep while I pushed Baby Heidi around the woods!”

I Get to…!

On the night of the training, I started to push Heidi around the woods behind our house. Giggling I said to myself, “I GET to put Heidi to sleep. I GET to put Heidi to sleep.” Although I was half-joking, the words started to really ring true -it’s not that I have to… I get to. Suddenly I realized how precious and fleeting these moments are. I started to tear up thinking about what a privilege it is to have the two daughters I always dreamed of. Before putting her in bed that night I just let her lay on my chest as I swayed back and forth beside her crib praying and thanking God for this precious life.

It truly changed the entire night. Suddenly everything else could wait because, “I GET to put Heidi to bed.”

Do you have those moments when you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing that day? I always try to stop and remind myself, “No. I was a good mom today and that’s what I needed to accomplish.” My favorite quote about parenthood is, “The days are long but the years are short.” How true it is. Some of those days – especially the ones with sleep issues feel SO LONG. But then I feel like I blinked and Aniston is 3 and 1/2. Heidi is 16 months. How did that happen???

Last week I started changing all of my “have to’s” into “get to’s”.

Counting my Blessings

These are the three little words that changed everything. For example, I used to think, “Oh no, I have to do early duty at work this week.” Now I said to myself, “I GET to do early duty at work.” It left me thinking about how thankful I was to have a job that I love.

When I went to pick up Dustin’s laundry thrown around the room, I stopped to remind myself. “I GET to pick up Dustin’s laundry.” It will have you laughing but it is so true and will change your whole thought process. Instead of “I have to…” I think of what a blessing it is to have a husband who leaves laundry on the floor. Okay, okay – stay with me. I GET to help him just like the way he searches for ways to help me. My husband drops everything when he comes in the door to help me with the kids. He also just surprised me with the concert tickets I’ve been dying for. My husband runs to get me dinner if I’m looking tired. He is the BEST possible Dad to our children. I GET to pick up his laundry.

My Challenge for You

This week I challenge you to change your “Have to’s” into “GET TO’S”. I promise those 3 words changed everything!

Let me know in the comments if this impacts your life in any way.

This week I will be saying, “I GET to help these sweet kindergarten students develop a love for learning.”

If you enjoyed this article, you may like reading my open letter to my first born daughter!

Happy teaching & mommy-ing this week!

Author: hilarystatum

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  1. Thank you for your insight Hilary! You are a great teacher. All those kids are blessed to have you! I needed that today!

  2. This made me tear up big time! Wonderfully worded! We are so blessed to have these little humans, that we Get to raise and watch grow up!


  3. What a mental life this morning to read this. We’ve had a few grumpy days this week, so, I’m going to try this. Thanks for sharing

  4. Thank you Hillary. I have a wonderful husband and he is a beautiful father to our children. I Get To pick up his clothes too. Blessings and peace.

  5. I loveeee this! Your post actually made me tear up while reading it. With 2 small boys myself, it really rings true. And with a husband that I am so extremely blessed to have…I GET TO HAVE THESE 3 AMAZING PEOPLE IN MY LIFE! God has truly blessed me and I will give this a try going forward today!
    Thank you for this!

    1. Hi Kelli,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It’s so true. These simple words can really help us appreciate all that we are blessed with! Have a great day!


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