I don’t tend to sit still well. After the kiddos are in bed and the required household chores are complete (honesty moment: 3 toddlers is EXHAUSTING on so many levels. Our nightly chores are usually just enough to get though unless we have a DHHS visit in the next few days), Hubby and I will collapse on the couch and have our 1 -1.5 hours of down time. The “us” time. We generally watch 1-2 shows or a movie if we are feeling overly ambitions. However it is rare that I just sit and watch the TV… that would be to easy and I would be jumping out of my proverbial skin. Oh no, this is the time where I am also answering emails for work, planning in my BuJo (http://bulletjournal.com/), working on my latest crochet project, or (on nights like last night) I end up aimlessly reading my Facebook feed and any blog posts that catch my eye. I find this to be relaxing… (hubby thinks I am exceedingly strange as this is not the case for him 🙂 )
During last night’s mindless browsing, I came to two articles that I felt a strong Godly “nudge” (AKA kick in the gut that took my breath away. Sometimes God has to be that obvious with me, ya know?) I had to re-read both articles this morning because they were THAT good and I wanted to share them with you in case you all benefited from this wisdom. My intent is not to cause ANY amount of mommy guilt, because we already have PLENTY of that in our lives, but instead to remind us all that the time with our children is brief. Be intentional whenever and wherever you can. Having a parent who is fully “in the moment” and enjoying being their parent will mean far more to your child then all of the fun activities and toys they could ever want.
This article by Kelly Green speaks to how we can parent at different levels. We can do “just enough” because we are exhausted, or we can “lean in” and end up mentally and physically in a different place, not to mention the amazing benefits that special time has on your child!
But since when did “off” (time) indicate anything great was happening? When the lights are off, you can’t see. When the sound is off, you can’t hear a thing. Being off is like being on the outskirts of life. So when I am knee-deep in the midst of life with my son, I try to remember this. Mere inches dictate my experience (and enjoyment) of motherhood. When I get to Level Three, I am engaged in such a beautiful and joyous way.
This article by Chaunie Brusie is an older one from 2016, but the wisdom is timeless. Again, please do not take this as a dose of Mamma guilt. If you feel convicted as I did after reading this, take this as a Godly nudge to make some changes.
I feel like I focused the majority of my introduction as a parent generally feeling like I was constantly running behind and trying to play catch-up to this standard of a “real” mom I had playing in my head like a static-filled reel.
(oh my goodness, this quote right here is SO ME!)
The truth is, the one thing that I had been forgetting to give my children all this time was a mother who genuinely enjoyed just being a mom.