Welcome to the debut of Monday Motivations for Moms!
I'm so excited and a little trepidatious about doing this blog. Honestly, it was my husband's idea, but it was a good one, so... yeah. LOL Here's to the first of many, and I hope it is a blessing and an encouragement to you!
I wanted to talk about taking joy in your kids. I know that we all know that we should, but are we actually? Are we making sure that we are mentally present and really seeing them? Are we listening to the stories they are telling us? Even though they don't make sense when they are little? Are we looking them in the eyes? Are we enjoying their weird sounds and sense of humor? Are we laughing with them? Do we intentionally play with them?
Are we too busy to notice them when they are playing nice or being sweet to eachother? Are we passively answering them so that we can get back to our endless to-do list? Which it totally is an endless to-do list. Believe me! I totally know that it is endless; I have a few of them myself.
Are we being kind in our response or getting angry or frustrated with their constant interruptions? I am interrupted about 9500 times a day. I don't know about you... And... I can't tell you how many quick and angry responses I have bitten back or let loose and had to apologize for. Yes. I apologize to my 1 and 3-year-old. They are humans and need to be treated right. It also teaches them routinely by example exactly how they should respond when they are unkind.
Anyways, I'm still not perfect, and I still lose my patience with them on the daily. I'm trying really hard to have more patience with them and really truly enjoying them at each stage and new quirk that develop. I have a lot on my plate. I have a lot of needs just like them. But, they are small and young and haven't experienced much. What's going on in their lives is just as big and important to them as our lives outside of them is to us.
For almost two years from the time my son was conceived until now. I have had to put myself or my goals on the back burner. I was excited when my son was born. Then the dynamic and challenges hit of having two children. Hard doesn't cover the emotional roller coaster and challenges I faced with each child and even with my husband. It was so hard. It's still really hard.
My oldest, sweet 'perfect' daughter, discovered jealousy and began to purposefully act out to get mommy to put the demanding foreign newcomer down and come to her.
That demanding foreign newcomer, my son, would never sleep on his own. Even if he seemed to enter REM sleep. He would pull himself out of the depths of slumber and scream for me. Then I would calm him and the process would repeat. Yes, I kept an insane vicious cycle alive because I was too tired to remember or fight the battles at night.
Communication with my husband was a struggle. And continuing to selflessly take care of the baby day and night (so hubby had enough rest to perform well at work) with husband slumbering beside me was torture after a year of that. He even slept in the basement some nights so that he couldn't hear the baby. That was so painful on my frazzled logic and feelings. My body eventually just stopped waking up for my son, and my husband was forced to take care of him instead. Which translates to bringing him back to bed with us. ;p This all put a strain on our marriage because we both had our needs, and it was really hard to put either person first in such a strenuous time in our parenting. We came through it all because of God's grace, and we're still in love. Marks and scars from that time are still there that have affected my thinking, at least. I can't speak for him. But from our conversations, I assume it has. ;)
Being a mom is hard. Being single seems impossible in my mind. I just don't know where you ladies find your strength. I feel so weak all the time and I have a husband that comes home and does what he can each evening.
Finding the balance between our needs and the needs of our children is so hard. It's challenging to find a moment to ourselves so that we can refresh our perspective and exit any insane cycles we get ourselves into on accident under the influence of zero sleep or constant stress and frustrations. We need a few minutes a day or an hour or two a week to refresh so that we can be the best mom we can to properly raise our children the right way with God's clear perspective and goals in the forefront of our minds.
Monday Motivation for us moms:
* Be sure to prioritize your needs when you need to. Be careful to regularly evaluate yourself to realize when you need to take a step away and refresh.
* Be sure that you are getting time with the Lord even five minutes or just the chapter of the day in Proverbs - like I'm currently getting - with the children not talking to you at all. So important! Getting time by yourself with the Lord and time just by yourself is so important to allow yourself to step back into your role with a clear head and anticipation to enjoy your kids fully.
* Enjoying your children is so important so that you can really hear them and learn the little humans God has given us for such a short time. Sure, there are some REALLY long days, but be sure to snatch up those moments of funny and silly and really cherish them. Enjoy every single kiss and hug. Give your very best kisses and hugs every time. Let them feel your love. * When you come back fresh, tell them that you love them so, so, so much and smother them in a quick display of your love and happiness in them. If they only experience our exasperation then they will begin to question if we love them. Don't give the devil a chance to convince them that they are a nuisance. Convince them you want them and are thankful for them.
Well, that's what I'm working on... If you're a pro at this already, I'd love to hear your tips and tricks. So, please, drop a comment below!
Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more!