That moment that your husband carries your 3 year old son down the hall to bed and he snuggles his head on daddy’s shoulders and your heart wells up with so much love it almost hurts…in that moment, no matter how many times you got frustrated with that little boy during the day because he wasn’t listening, or doing something he shouldn’t be doing, or bugging his sisters on purpose because they were reacting to his taunting, in that moment you realize that you don’t want these years of them being little to pass you by too quickly. In those moments you realize that even though sometimes during the day everything inside you wants to give up or cry, you don’t want them to grow up…you want them to be little forever. For all the great moments, you want to look back on their childhood days and not regret the time we spend with them-the opportunity we have to pour out all the love we have into them in order to build them up and prepare them for life. Almost like a flash, all the great moments from the day come to your memory-we need to cherish those moments, those memories. In that moment, I found myself balling because I just want to be the best mom I can be-especially in the hard parts of the day.
As parents, we get so caught up in the thick of the day-the dishes, the poop, the laundry, the mess, the yard work, naps, consoling your toddler because she can’t find her shoes, chasing them around to get them to listen, repeating yourself over and over and over again…hiding in the bathroom just to regroup and find our peace once again. Too often we are so overwhelmed by all the “stuff” that we forget that these little people are just that. Little. They need love. They need “huggles”, as my 2 year old daughter calls snuggles. They need encouragement. They need our attention. They need. All the time. It’s up to us to show them what it means to be patient. I think kids are born with the natural instinct to love, it’s up to us to show them patience. To show them joy in the middle of chaos. To dance in the kitchen while we do the dishes, because that’s more fun! We need to find a way to remind ourselves to breathe during it all. We need to find a way to remind ourselves that we are raising little humans and preparing them to live in the world, to prepare them for what lies ahead of them. To build them up and give them the bravery and courage to overcome. We have so much responsibility, as parents, and the things we worry about are so futile.
I want to encourage you to find ways to remind yourself to breathe. I am on a journey (aren’t we all?!) to find a way to ground myself in hope-to make sure that I am seeing my kids for who I’m raising them to be, not to see the little things they do throughout the day that are irritating me. I am trying to remind myself that it’s not my job to put everything else above them, but to teach them to be strong. Include them in what I’m doing, build up their character, cherish them in their small years. I do not want to look back and regret the times I missed with them because “I was too busy”!
All that said, post it notes work! 🙂 It may sound silly, but I put post it notes up around the house where I will see them throughout the day. Notes to remind myself that I can do this, that I can take moments to regroup to be a better mom (not in so many words…) that I have a blessed life-and no matter how many times I feel like screaming, those moments will pass, I will continue to breathe and my little people are only learning life by their actions. Studies show that kids learn by doing-whether it’s doing right, or doing wrong. Testing boundaries, testing patience…they’re learning. It’s up to us to remember that. It’s up to us to teach them. To guide them through that learning curve, that life lesson!
We are starting homeschooling this week and I have a 5 year old, 3 year old, 2 year old and 7 month old…I’m extremely unsure of how that is going to look structurally with my 3 littles, but I know that if I maintain my foundation as a mom, that it’s my job to create an atmosphere for them where they are loved, taught, treated with respect and patience, that my headspace doesn’t blow up with frustration…if I’m maintaining consistency, going with the flow and creating a very new routine in their world, might actually be attainable! 🙂 I love new adventures, learning new things…trying new things…and so do kids. Hands on. All day. We’re all in this together. We are learning as they are learning, and honestly, some of my greatest life lessons have come from parenting. They teach me so much! Most recently I’ve been reflecting on my hope as a mom. My job as a mom. My responsibility as a mom. What I don’t want to miss out on or look back with regret, as a mom. My kids are my joy and they are teaching me as well!
As a mom, we’re warriors. We are created and set out to lead, teach and build up our children. You are doing a great job! We are all doing the best we can, the rest is in the learning curve!