Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thank you and clinging.

The journey of motherhood has humbled me and made me a braver, better version of myself.
Despite the fact that my days consist of little arms wrapped around my legs, heads peeking into the bathroom robbing me of the privacy and spare minutes I used to enjoy, and all the focus of my little family moving forward, I feel like I’m the one with a debt to pay. I’m the one who should be thanking my lucky stars for what we've created. I'm the one who should be reminded to say thank you. I'm the one who should making tiny little love notes and coloring pages to surprise them. I should be begging to play with them. But it gets busy, you know? So busy that my own heart forgets to be thankful and tells me that I'm the one who should be thanked, patted on the back, or deserving  recognition. But that's just not the case. I'm turning it around. It's not about me. The entire focus should be shifted. My boy, my girl, and my man are the ones who deserve the honor because it is an honor..... to wipe up their spills, to break up their squabbles, to support their choices and love unconditionally, to read story after story, and to cut the crusts off of sandwiches. If it weren't for these tasks that seem so monotonous, meaningless, and even sometimes annoying, I would be nothing. So, thank you babies for being who you are...demanding, loud, and fussy. Also for being loving, beautiful, kind, and unbelievably amazing. I love you for all that you are, the good and the sometimes not so fun, too. I accept you for all that you are, which is really, really hard to do sometimes. But, God designed little ones, and even spouses, to require a lot. The demanding job of wife and mama isn't supposed to run smoothly and be seamless. It's supposed to feel hard sometimes in order to remind us of how deep we love. So, thank you. It really is my greatest joy for you to be mine. I know that my husband and babies are the greatest tools God has given me to share the beauty of His Grace. When I choose to be patient, kind, level-headed, and giving, I can show my family, and others, a clear version of who He wants me to be. For that, I am thankful and forever indebted to Him and them.

Also, I've been trying to help the kids focus on clinging to what matters lately. With this, we started going to church again. (Why'd we ever take even one Sunday off, I'm not too sure?) But, we're back, and it feels amazing. The kids sat with me last week, and as we were leaving, Tyler retold the sermon including every last detail. They get it. They soak it in. I'm learning that when you show them the way, share the Word, and immerse them with Him, they cling to it. They soak it in and believe it. We've also been clinging to one another. After all, when the world seems hard, and mean, and unsettled that's all you have.

When the world spins, reach for each other.

In other news, freaking Thanksgiving is in about 5 minutes. Okay, not really, but NEXT Thursday?!?!? So, we've been turning on some Christmas music here and there, made our first Christmas craft, and I've been reeling with fun ideas for the season.

The kids drew Christmas trees, painted wooden plaques, and then Mod-Podged their trees onto the wood! Voila!

We also kicked off the season by welcoming Santa to our town. And, really, the entire town was there. My little family and my mom hit up the Hamilton Town Center Holiday Celebration last weekend, and we were met with bands, games of hockey, friends, and a Santa sighting. It was a blast!

Mom and I also got to take Regan to see a production of Cinderella last weekend. It was absolutely one of those times that I quickly thanked God for a little girl. It was adorable, and sweet, and fun to spend a girl's day celebrating being a girl!

Keep calm and carry on...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Glory or reminder?

This week I've been on my game. I've been the Mom I always imagined I could be. Energetic, happy, organized, and scheduled. We've made it to school, play dates, Tot Kwon Do, library play dates, tumbling, open gym, and speech therapy.... on time. I've made muffins, healthy dinners, painted toenails, volunteered for Mystery Reader, attended the grand opening of the new local health food store, and voted in the Presidential election. Also, I've worked out I mean, this is who I've always wanted to be. This is the Mom my kids deserve... But, as I reflect on the greatness of the week, I can't help feel guilty and showy for even beginning to pat myself on the back for my successes. Because you know what? This is what a lot of mama's do every day too. It's not just me. It's every mommy who volunteers, waits, chauffeurs, peels, chops, picks up, drops off, loves deeper than they ever thought they could. It's just what we do. Motherhood is no joke. It requires more of us than we feel like we have. It demands us to push through what we don't always feel like doing. It's hard. Sometimes it's terrible. But, most of the time is it's wonderfully busy, hectic, and the greatest joy of our lives. Moms everywhere are busting their butts. They're working, and planning play dates, and practicing spelling words, and pinning dinners they hope will fuel their families. Moms are doers. Moms push themselves too hard everyday. But, for every week we feel accomplished and triumphant, along comes the "reminder week." The kind of week that "reminds" us that motherhood is bigger than us. The tantrum at Target, the forgotten school function, the missed play date, or the up all night sickness puts us right back in our place. These weeks remind us that we can't do everything, nor do we need to. These weeks are necessary and just as important as the glory weeks. They show us, our kids, and other mama's who are trying to keep up to look for the light among the rubble. Life is an ebb and flow of greatness and despair. Our kids don't need perfection. Our spouses, friends, and families don't require it either. Moms are our own worst critics, and damn do we hold high standards for ourselves. I've even found myself this week wondering still if the kids were fueled, lifted up, and felt truly loved. That's what happens though. We have an "on" week, and we still question if it was enough because surely there was more we could have done, right? Then, the "reminder" week comes along to answer those doubts that yes, we are good enough. Because whether we feel like we're at our best or our worst, love comes naturally. It shines through the crappy dinners, crumpled homework that was thrown away, or the missed opportunity to show our best. The love doesn't stop, and those around us continue to feel it even if we're doing a bad job of showing our best face. I'm learning that lots and lots of people don't expect perfection, or really anything close to it. The "perfect week" only exists once in a great while. It pops up for us to feel gratitude. Real life is all about those reminder weeks that show our babies we push through and continue even though it's hard. We continue to hold our heads high, despite the blips that don't feel so good. We take the good with the bad because both are necessary and both make a difference.

As the week wraps, and the weekend begins, there is still much to look forward to. Mom and I are taking our girl to a production of Cinderella while Daddy takes my boy fishing. Tonight we are hitting our town's Holiday Celebration Kick-Off. My girl will continue showing off her new found skill of counting by 5's, and my boy will continue putting puzzles together and counting to 10. We will continue trying our best. And, while the fun continues, and I'm sure a reminder week could surely creep up soon, and if it does I will hold on to the love that exists no matter what.

Images from our week...

Keep calm, friends.

*Of course, when I say "Moms" throughout the post, I really do mean Moms AND Dads. Because, you know, Dads are awesome, too!