This is a solute to all the moms out there – the working moms, the single moms, the stay-at-home moms, etc. I have been wanting to share some more personal thoughts, but didn’t really know how to start. I was reflecting on how tiring being a mom can be. I have a lot of goals for myself, my children, this blog, John and I as a couple, but they feel so far away sometimes. I get down on myself for not keeping up with this blog, my house projects, the laundry (help!), but then I realize that I am doing the most important thing I can – BEING with my children.
Being with your children isn’t necessarily done by sheer proximity. Stay-at-home moms get more time with their children, but it doesn’t mean they are WITH their children more. Working mothers have to work harder because they have less time, but they can give their children the same gift as well. It will take some creativity and a lot of sacrifice, but we only have these precious ones in our care for a short time. Here’s my short list of things that I am currently working on to keep my focus on what’s important.
1. Being in the moment. This means that I am focusing on putting down the phone, computer and sometimes the camera to make sure I am enjoying the moments that will soon be fleeting. I know, we all (myself included) love to post pics or videos of our kiddos on social media, but sometimes the time taken doing it causes us to miss reveling in the laughter or extending the moment a little longer. Sometimes I miss getting the video of the funny dance or cute game because I know in going to grab the phone or camera, I will probably miss out on most of it. In these times, I thank God and ask him to give me this memory forever in my heart.
2. Making things fun. I used to be a pre-school teacher, and I was darn good at it. I was the sit on the floor and play while we talked about things kind of teacher. I did a lot of that with my daughter, but I realized recently that I haven’t been making fun the priority lately. Having babies is hard on me – I’m not a “baby” person. I don’t do well with breastfeeding either, and so I’m kind of miserable the first year. I realized that I never bounced back in the fun department after Camden, so I have been making it a priority to do lots of fun things with them. We play games to practice learning things I want them to do like following instructions and playing quietly or sitting still. They think it’s so much fun, and they are learning life skills. It takes more planning and research on my part, but it is so worth it.
3. Dying to myself. We know we are going to have to give up a lot when you have children, but is anyone really prepared for how much? It’s such a humbling experience to have a human so completely dependent on you. As they grow, we get a little more “me” time, and we need that. Lately I’ve been asking myself if I need as much as I think I do. I gave up reading fun books during nap time for a while, to spend some time reading books that will help me with my kids or enrich my spiritual life. I also decided it was a good time for me to spend with Arabella. This is when we get to do most of her learning activities without Camden wanting to be in the middle of everything. She has really flourished with the extra bit of mommy time. I find giving up my time for my kids good for my walk with the Lord. It’s good practice for when God calls me to do something sacrificial for him. Anytime I can put others ahead of myself, I will always come out with a win.
4. Let it go. I know the lyrics to the song from Frozen is going through your head now. It’s kind of become my mantra. I am a very goal oriented person. I have so many projects I’ve started that I want to put on the blog, but I don’t always get the time to finish. I get frustrated when my house looks a mess. I try to photograph a meal that’s really good while the kids are all over the place and trying to help, so I end up with no pictures. Sometimes I wear a really great outfit I want to put up on the blog, but I don’t get any pictures either. I have to learned to let “getting things done” go, and focus on what’s important to me. I don’t want my kids to remember me being frustrated all the time. I want them to be inspired to live their dreams, but to enjoy the process.
When I focus on these things, it’s easy to choose the job I have as a mom. I can embrace it knowing I won’t always be their everything. There are so many more things that are important to being with your kids and giving them what they need for this part of their life. I am just trying to be the person God created me to be and help them do the same.
I hope this inspires you to keep on doing the same!