Friday, September 12, 2014

The Love Has to Happen Now

I had a moment last night that felt so good, and then it made me feel really guilty.  I was putting the kids to bed by myself--which, let's be honest, is something that usually puts me in a bad mood anyway.  Bedtime is a fiasco.  Child #1 stalls like a pro.  She literally has to be handheld through the process some nights, just to get it done.  Child #2 is still too little to be completely helpful.  Some clothes he just can't seem to get on or off by himself.  He can't help it, but it frustrates me sometimes. Child #3 is clearly too little to be helpful, but that's still acceptable in a seven month old. :)

So this particular night, after tell #1 to put her pjs on for the fifth time (no lie), I hear #2 say, "Mom, the floor's wet.  I peed."  The kid peed in the bathroom, while on the step stool brushing his teeth.  He was less than three feet from the toilet.  I tried to be patient and handled it pretty well, at least on the outside.  Inside, I was feeling the rage mount.  I don't know why such small children can set me off like they do, but they do.  After cleaning up the pee, I found #1 child was still not dressed.  She was, in fact, lying on her bedroom floor just staring at the ceiling.  I have no idea what she was looking at or imagining, because I didn't take the time to ask.  I got mad.  I took matters into my own hands and dressed her, then I walked her to the bathroom to brush her teeth.

With #1 taken care of, I climbed in bed with #2 to tell him goodnight.  I was trying to be loving, but
quick.  I was hoping to accomplish something in the few minutes the kids were all in bed before Kraig got home.  As I was hugging him, however, he pushed me over and climbed on top of me, laughing and telling me that I had to stay with him.  In the very second it happened, I started to be mad--he was ruining my plan.  Instead, I started to laugh.  As I laughed, he laughed harder--and so did I.  It was a moment that hadn't been planned.   In fact, had I reacted with my gut, I would have ruined this beautiful, blissful moment with my son.  I'm sure it's not something he'll remember when he grows up--he probably doesn't remember now, but I will.

It was a rare moment when I let go and truly just enjoyed my kids.  We're busy people these days--always going from one thing to the next--and I'm constantly guilty of just trying to survive my days.  I'm finding that, for me, enjoying my days is more difficult than it used to be.  You see, there are these expectations I have for myself--about how clean my house should be, how I should look, what things I should be involved in.  These expectations are ridiculous and I know it.  They come from a world of people who are always putting on a happy, I've-got-it-all-together face, from a Facebook full of people who only post the most positive things in their lives (and quite possibly embellish those), from a Pinterest world telling me that my house isn't good enough, my floors aren't clean enough, my pantry isn't organized enough, my kids aren't smart/well-behaved/thankful enough, my makeup techniques are amateur, my wardrobe is outdated, my abs aren't ripped enough, my relationship with my husband isn't Godly enough, my "me"-time is lacking and that, all-in-all, I'm one good blog read away from fixing it all. It's exhausting, it's unhealthy, and it's not true.

I'm seeing even more these days how quickly the time with our kids passes.  Our oldest started kindergarten a few weeks ago.  She's now away from me for 7+ precious hours everyday.  It's 7 hours where someone else is teaching her, leading her and watching her grow.  It's good and healthy for her, but it's a constant reminder of how little time I have left with the other two.  So I've decided to make the most of it.  I'm not going to live in the past and regret the time lost, I'm going to purpose everyday to make the most of the time I have.  I'm being intentional to make special connections with each kid everyday, to make sure I spend time showing them that I love them--not just saying the words as I rush them off to bed at night.  Some days, I feel like I've barely even notice them in a real, tangible way.  I've spent the day focusing on my errands, or my volunteering, or cooking/cleaning/housework--maybe even on Facebook or Pinterest.  Regardless of the reason, I failed to connect with my kids like I should have.  Even just five minutes of intentionally connecting with your kid in a day can make the world of difference in their self esteem, in your relationship with them, and in how much they feel like they can trust you.  The other things will wait, but the love has to happen now.  I'm pretty sure that they're truly only little for like 5 minutes.  That's how fast it goes.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we should completely neglect our homes, our relationships, and whatever else we have in our lives to entertain our children.  I simply want to encourage you to not let these standards that we put on ourselves control our lives.  Our priorities need to reflect the correct order:  1) God, 2) husband, 3) children.  I'm afraid they often look more like this:  1) keeping up appearances for friends, family & the world, 2) me, 3) whatever else I can manage to fit into the day that I feel like doing.  Remember what 1 Corinthians says: "So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."  Remember, His approval is all you need.  Take time to let go and enjoy your kids.


  1. This is perfect! Even though I don't have kids, so much of this resounded with me. I'll be praying for you as you start your refocused path. Honestly, disabling my Facebook has made such a noticeable difference in my life. Even Matt has commented on the change in my demeanor. I think when we stop comparing ourselves to "everyone else" and stop counting other people's blessings, we start to see our own blessings more clearly. I love you, friend, and I miss you ALL THE TIME!

    1. Thank you so much! I'm sure your Facebook fast has been wonderful for you. I'm strongly considering doing so myself. You're exactly right: we can't see our own blessings very well when we're so focused on everyone else's. Love and miss you too!! Hope you guys have a good band weekend :)