While away for a few days with my hubby for our anniversary I had some good down time – time to relax, think, snowboard, relax the sore muscles, sleep, think, pray, talk, think, read, think. In case it wasn’t obvious I did a lot of thinking. Which I find, when I am home, happens a lot, but in a much more sporadic, helter-skelter, sprinter-like fashion.
You know what I’m saying – when you’re home, everyone and everything is calling your name to be done or looked at, attended to, cleaned up, put away, etc., and your thought patterns are, if you’re lucky, scattered all over pieces of paper around the house, e-mail drafts and notes to self within your e-mail program, and sticky notes attached to the fridge, cupboards and mirror.
In the opportunity I had to think, I thought about me. Not in a selfish kind of way. But I thought about me as a mother. I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants person, going from one thing to the next to the next. Hence the reason my word for 2012 is “Intentional”. I don’t want to sprint anymore, I want to plan things with room for error and be able to gracefully glide through our days without mishap. Snort, chyeah, right, what dream world am I planning on living in? But in all seriousness, I want to have a plan in place for things, intentional pursuits, and one of those is having fun.
In thinking about me as a mother, I felt like I wasn’t a very fun mom. Compared with others I know (there’s that “C” word!), and with our busy schedule, my tendency to get stressed and angry easily – I just don’t feel very fun. I started reading Christy’s blog One Fun Mom before we left, and it spoke to me. Then, today, I read Rachel’s post at Finding Joy about Stop and Smell the Roses, and I felt it even more.
I had opportunity to bring this up with my husband, and I am so grateful that he is as discerning and wise as he is, because he helped me to see that I needed to stop comparing myself to others (I KNOW! :D) and find what God wants me to do and be for our kids. He thinks I’m a great, fun mom (thanks sweetie!), which is an encouragement to know! But I still have this nagging feeling like I could be doing things better.
I know where my weaknesses lie – I pile on too much, tending to not leave any breathing room. When we’re on a tight schedule, I get stressed out easily. I leave things to the last minute, instead of using the time I have NOW to accomplish them. When the kids don’t follow our schedule EXACTLY (hello, perfectionist much?) it throws me WAY off.
I don’t like being like this. I want to change, and I’ve taken some steps in that direction. Being flexible is HUGE, then not comparing myself with others and what they’re doing, relying on God’s grace for the day, WHATEVER it may hold, and not pushing myself or them too far. For example, instead of jumping back into school full tilt today, (because, you know, we homeschoolers have to be weeks ahead of everyone else, heaven FORBID a few days off track!) I decided to go light, lots of reading, activities the kids will enjoy, some lapbooking reviews for books we’re reading, playing, a trip to the mall with a donut after, games, etc.
That’s not to say I have to be ON and FUN all the time. But I want to be intentional about how I pursue the hearts of my children. They are really good kids that God has blessed us with – they play really well together, and I’ve been noticing a lot of changes in attitudes. But because they play so well together, it is easy to let them be, fill the time with other, unnecessary things, and not intentionally pursue their hearts and have some fun (oh, and not do things just for the sake of a blog post either!!).
So, from here on, I am going to be INTENTIONAL about being a fun mom. My children are a joy, a heritage, a blessing from the Lord. I am going to take the time to snuggle, cuddle, enjoy reading and just sitting, talking, listening to their hearts.
I am going to get down and play, use my imagination, release the inner tickle monster, and get those kids laughing until they can’t speak.
If you get a chance, go and read Christy’s blog – she talks about her realization and feeling like not being a fun mom – and if I struggle with it too, I know there are others out there! Do not be discouraged or dismayed, or compare yourself to others! But if you’re feeling like a bit of a drag, start praying and asking God how you can be more fun for your kids. Just remember, your life doesn’t revolve around them – but they are a part of it and it is important to have fun with your kids!