Sunday, June 9, 2013

My thoughts today on being a mom. . .

I love this picture from Mother's day this year.

I was completely overwhelmed this year and how thoughtful my kids and husband were.

All 4 kids came walking into my room holding a single rose which my husband had thoughtfully written amazing notes on how each rose represented me.
(I will not lie as I started reading them they were so amazing I thought he had copied them out a book. . . and then I got to the white rose and realized he had actually written these for me)

I have been really struggling lately with motherhood. Not that I don't love it. I do. That's the problem. It's not a problem. See this is why I have been struggling. I am struggling with my role as mother to a teenager and to a baby at the same time.  Here's my inner battle. If I am being the kind of mom I want to be to my older kids I feel like I am not being the kind of mom I want to be to my younger kiddos. And if I'm being the kind of mom I want to be to my younger kids then I am torn with feelings of guilt because I feel like I'm neglecting the needs of my older kids.

It's the little things. Like the other weekend. My 13 year old boy has the shoe size of a 10 year old, making the task of finding metal cleats nearly impossible in stores. After going to 3 local stores one night he was discouraged to say the least. I found cleats online in his size that he liked but they wouldn't be here in time for his tournament that weekend. I was given the suggestion of trying a baseball store in Folsom. I called and they had his size in the store. So Friday night before his practice in Granite Bay we headed to Folsom to pick up his shoes. It took me an hour to get to Folsom. Love traffic. I didn't plan for an hour one way in the car and with a 1 year old and a 5 year old that doesn't bode well. My baby was hungry. His bottle was gone and I had no replenishments in sight. My 5 year old was restless and tired. So I did what you do when you have a 1 year old and a 5 year old and you are in the car (with no DVD player) I put on a kids CD. The same kids CD I played for my older boys hour after hour. It calmed the 5 year old who began singing with the CD and the baby thought that was great. . . BUT. . . the 13 year old looked at me like "are you kidding me" and I couldn't argue with him. What 13 year old wants to be in a minivan with his mom listening to annoying kids sing baby songs?????

So what do I do. Either way someone is unhappy. And even typing this I get it. Someone is always going to be unhappy. I can't please everyone all the time. I know. It has all just seemed so overwhelming to me lately and don't even get me started on my house. Teenage clutter and baby clutter together make for World War III in my house. Thursday I had a "mini break down" as I call it. I just felt buried. 

Fast forward to today.

I needed today. My husband took the older boys backpacking this weekend leaving me to be mom to just my little ones. I had almost forgotten how it was to have two little ones at home all the time. And I know this may sound crazy to a lot of moms out there but I loved it today. I loved that I could carry on little kid conversations with them without having to switch gears and carry on "in between adult" conversations with my older ones. Today I talked with Kara about ryhming words and there was no one to interject their knowledge that those words that rhyme aren't really words. 

But my favorite part about today was the heat. It was 113 in our backyard today. We don't have a pool, but we do have a sprinkler and my two little ones loved that sprinkler and they also loved that their mom was running through that sprinkler with them all afternoon.

I don't have cute pictures of my two little ones running and laughing and playing, but I'll have the memory forever. It reminded me of a few things. It reminded me how fun it is to play with my kids. When I had my first child I remember my cousin giving me some advice for being a mom. . . and at the time I thought it was odd advice but I have referred to it many times through my parenting years.

She said "be a get down on the floor and sword fight mom." 

It was just so fun to play with my kids today. They didn't know that my self confidence has been tested these last few months. . . and that putting on a bathing suit was the last thing I wanted to do. . . they didn't care that I didn't look like a supermodel in my bathing suit. . . they just liked that I was in one and playing with them. We ran. We jumped. We held hands, closed our eyes and jumped. I even taught them how to sit on the sprinkler and the giggles, oh the giggles! We sat on the grass and ate popsicles and let the water wash our sticky hands and face clean.

It was exactly what this "mom" needed!

I'm so lucky to be a mom. I'm humbled at the responsibility. 

I have this little proverb written at the beginning of my journal and it is a gentle reminder of motherhood to me when I open my journal.

Reflection of a mother

I gave you life, but cannot live it for you.
I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn.
I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.
I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot always decide for you.
I can give you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advise you about friends, but cannot choose them for you.
I can tell you the facts of life, but I can't build your reputation.
I can tell you about lofty goals, but I can't achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness, but I can't force you to be gracious.
I can warn you about sins, but I cannot make you moral.
I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.
I can love you with unconditional love all of my life . . . and I will!

It's funny because I read through this a few days after Mother's Day and was reminded of the sweet letters and cards my kids made for me.

Kale's letter made my heart swell.

But, the most profound thing that day came from Kris. His simple, to the point personality came through in his letter to me. . .

That's what family does. LOVE. Whether my kids are 13 or 1. I know I won't always be able to do everything perfect but. . . 

I can love them with unconditional love all of my life . . . and I will!