Below is a little something I wrote specifically for our Mother’s Day Out newsletter. It is for all us Moms in the trenches with our tiny ones, making messes, memories, and trying to have fun along the way!
If you’ve been in this parenting gig for any amount of time, you know children are an absolute joy. They are blessings. But, let’s be real – they are also headache-inducing and exhausting! I’m sure you’re glancing at this while simultaneously wrangling, cleaning, answering, feeding, and chasing children. It’s what we do. My prayer for you, and me, in this season of life is grace. Lord, help us view each moment from Your heavenly perspective, and allow us to extend compassion, love, grace, and joy to others. It’s my heart to bring a little encouragement and hopefully a few smiles to fellow Mamas skipping (or trudging?!) through these pre-school years. Just knowing we’re all in this together can bring a hint of acceptance and a whole lotta understanding.
Here are three things I am focusing on to help create peace within our household: 1) Give Grace 2) Speak Kindly, and 3) Celebrate Often. There’s nothing really special about these phrases, but it brings clarity to my interactions and they’re easily remembered!
Owen Crew my two year old, blue-eyed, blondie is in a rush for no one. He loves getting himself dressed and undressed. I hear it’s a stage. Anyway, he will repeat this pattern of no pants, boots, a new shirt, boots off, flip flops on, shorts on, shirt off… continuously. We’re walking out the door, I’ve already mentally checked all. the. things. And, he comes strutting out the front door without shorts or shoes. He was fully dressed like two seconds ago. Literally. I had just turned around. Hmph. Give grace. He’s learning, he’s happy, he’s not being defiant but my nerves are shot and patience is wearing thin. “Give grace” flashes through my mind and helps me refocus and offer a wayward smile at his newfound skills. He giggles and says, “OKAY, Mom. I’mma get dressed now.”
Give grace also means extending yourself a healthy dose of rest, self-love, or whatever resonates with you and makes your heart sing. Quickly think of how you speak and encourage your best friend. I bet you are full of compliments, “atta-girls,” and offering hope and vision for what seems like an insurmountable task, because you know she has what it takes. Now transfer that conversation to yourself. Does your self-talk, all the thoughts in your mind, bring encouragement, purpose and possibility, or is it defeating, and negative?
Quite simply, I am actively working on kindness. Within my speech, is it edifying? Am I speaking simply in a way that’s easily understood by my children? Are my words harsh and cutting or filled with grace? Again, how am I speaking to myself?
In my family we like treats: stickers, playgrounds, popcorn at Target… it’s all fair game. With our littles we reward them often, for great behavior, for potty training, for finishing chores, and countless other things – baths, for one! I’m learning just how important rewards are for myself as well. When I set small goals and celebrate milestones, it fosters connection and helps me keep going. The equivalent of a reset button. This past weekend, the temps dropped to the low 80s, so we grabbed our heavy quilt for a picnic and celebrated the start of a new season with an easy-going, outdoorsy day. There are so many seemingly mundane, everyday moments that capture the heart of your family. I’m hoping to make much, to celebrate, all those ordinary joys.
I’m so thankful to have deep connections with beautiful women. Let’s continue to be mindful of ways we can uplift one another and ease some of the burdens we all face. So, as you pass me in the halls, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed, wave hello or better yet, grab a kid and a falling folder and direct me to the correct animal classroom!!