wife to Jake, mommy to my 3 crazy munchkins, Lily (7), Jonah (5.5) and Kate (4). Taking this crazy blessed life one day at a time.

12.09.2013

More than enough.

Being a parent is hard. Harder than I had ever imagined. 

I feel like being a parent now is especially hard. 

The bar is set high. So high that it is impossible to keep up. 

So many times I only focus on the things that I am not  doing.

I feel like I would be a much better parent if I were doing all the things I am not doing. 

I feel like what I am doing isn't enough. Isn't good enough. Like I am somehow depriving my children of something because I am not "doing it all". 

Facebook, pinterest, the blog world, they all make it look so easy. And they make it look like that's how everyone else lives. Each and every day. 

It's hard to keep up. Impossible to pull it off. 

I am trying to focus more on what I am doing with and for my kids. 

For starters, we have the basics covered- food, water, clothes, shelter and love. That in itself is more than many families can say.

I hate how easy it is to get caught up in thinking that you don't have enough, that you aren't doing enough, that you aren't enough. I am constantly need to remind myself of how much we actually do have and how much we are doing. I am so grateful. We have what we need, and even some of what we want. And that is more than many in this world can say. 

Sometimes, I look around my little house and it's easy to get caught up in what we don't have or what we are not able to do. We don't have a big tv, or travel like we wish we could, or have the space we sometimes feel like we need when it seems like this house gets smaller by the minute. 

But, the other night, I was looking around my little house and I was overwhelmed with joy. I felt such peace and love in our home. Our Christmas tree, filling the room with little white lights and a smell that makes me stop what I am doing and take a deep breath.And then another one. The fire burning in our wood stove bringing such warmth. The quiet of warm, happy, sleeping children. My husband, sitting next to me, making all things right, no matter how rotten the day was.

And I remember that we are okay. We are blessed. We doing the best we can and that is more than enough. 

No, my house does not look anything like those adorable houses on pinterest. 
But it does keep us safe and warm and we each have a little space to call our own. 

No, our rooms are not usually clean and organized. 
But we have books to read and clothes to wear and toys to play with. 

No, our meals are not planned weeks or months at a time and the kitchen is usually a cluttered mess. 
But, we have healthy food to nourish our bodies and we always eat together.

No, we don't have a large house to entertain.
But, our home is still filled with the laughter and love of amazing friends at least once a week.

No, we do not have a lot of money. 
But we are wise with what we have.

No, we are not always calm and we don't always show each other the love and respect we should.
But, we always say "I'm sorry" and end each day making sure each one of us is feeling loved. 

No, we are not always as happy as we look in our pictures.
But, that is life- good moments and bad moments. And that's okay. 

We are happy. We are healthy. We have a home filled with love for each other and for God. And we know that we have everything we need. And that is more than enough.


Decorating the tree together



12.05.2013

I don't always parent my kids.

Some days I don't parent my kids. 

And you know what? I shouldn't. And I don't.

Not because I can't handle it anymore or because I am feeling too frustrated (those are other days...), but because it is good for my kids, and it is good for me too. 

I am discovering that it is really important for me to take time some days to step back and just let my kids be. 

I am realizing that the harder I try to be a good parent and the more I get on them for every little thing, every single time - use your manners, clean up, don't do this, don't do that, be careful, be kind....- the less they listen and the more they act up and disobey.  Then we all get in a grouchy mood that carries on for days.  

And then I realize that I need to lighten up. I need to give them some space to breathe. 

I need to trust them

I do not need to parent them all the time. 

They need to learn from their actions and their behaviors.

Giving them some space allows them to learn more from their experiences, more than if I were just telling them what to do or how to behave. 

Sometimes, like the past few days, I seem to forget that I need to give them some space. Sometimes I get on them for every little thing they seem to do "wrong". 

Then I realize that I need to step back. 

I need to just watch them be kids. 

I need to watch them learn things for themselves. 

I am still there for them when they need me or to make sure they are being safe, 

But I also need to step back for myself, not just for them. 

I need to step back and see my kids, watch my kids, listen to my kids because they show me that I am actually winning at this whole parenting thing once in a while. They show me that they are kind, loving, smart, compassionate kids even when they think I am not looking. 

Stepping back and letting them be changes my perspective. It takes me out of the "right now" picture and helps me to see the bigger picture. The picture that really matters -that they don't behave perfectly every moment of the day, but overall, they are remarkable and wonderful. 

Stepping back recharges me. It brings me joy. It makes me a better parent and a better person. 

Stepping back also makes my kids better kids. It shows them that I trust them. 

I will still get in their faces for things, of course. I am their mom. But I may not do it as frequently or I may take a day or half a day, and just not do it at all. They don't need me constantly nagging them to say "please or thank you". They know their manners and I can remind them now and then, but giving them some space gives them the freedom to say it when they chose to, not when I tell them to. 

I need to trust myself and my parenting and know that I am doing a good job teaching them what they need to continue growing into Godly adults.

Giving your kids their space is not neglectful. They are fed, clothed, clean, and safe. I do not step back because I just don't feel like dealing with them. It is intentional and it is so good for them and even more so for me. Stepping back is different than giving them more independence. I am not necessarily giving them more independence, but rather I am choosing not to interfere as much. 

This has been so important for us and I find that if I have been too "in their face" for too long and haven't taken the time to step back, everyone is grumpy and moody and unhappy. 

Take the time to step back for an hour, half a day or even an entire day. And just watch what happens.