Don’t blink. The minute you do, the baby you just birthed is all of a sudden a speedy little 18 months old with the verbal and non-verbal capabilities to tell you what she wants and give you her opinion. Not to mention, she also has an older sister who turned three and a half a few blinks ago, and is well on her way to thirteen and ruling the free world.
But here is the problem. Sometimes as a mama to littles, you kind of want to blink a little, right? You want to close your eyes for a second and when you open them it will be nap time and the kids will be peacefully sleeping in their bed. I recently read this post on how to waste your motherhood. I encourage all those mamas out there to take a minute and read it. Here is my take on how not to waste your motherhood and how not to feel guilty.
The days can be long, mamas. But if we are always wishing for nap time, we will most definitely miss out on all those moments in between, good and bad. If I’m always thinking about when I can have my free time, then I’ll never appreciate the wonderful learning, and growing, and living that is going on right in front of me in the lives of two pretty precious little gals. If I always think that working on the next blog post and answering the next e-mail is the most important thing, I may just miss the opportunity to acknowledge and share in something my girls have learned, discovered, or presented to me with joy and innocence.
I encourage you to let those distractions go that are keeping you from being present with your kids. Am I guilty of letting those same distractions get in my way of being intentionally present? Of course! But I’m working on it. I’m learning and growing right alongside my children, and I pray daily for His patience and His love to guide me in their upbringing.
Now before you give yourself a little guilt trip and think, “Oh, no! I have been blinking way too much! Just surviving, getting to nap time, getting to a moment where I can hear my own thoughts!”, STOP! We all go through different seasons, and some are just plain hard. There will be some seasons where you might need the incentive of a peaceful, quiet nap time just to make it through the day. Other seasons will come more easily. It will be easier to let yourself be totally present. To be really intentional about soaking up all the wonders of your children and letting all those other distractions in your life wait.
But even through the hard seasons, if we allow ourselves to live in His grace and His goodness, we’ll find ways to savor our children intentionally through the chaos. Through prayer (and maybe a few deep breathing exercises) we’ll find the strength to revel in the joy that comes with intentionally enjoying our children. Not in a way where we feel we have to always be with them and soak up and record every moment and milestone or else we will be ridden with guilt for being a bad mom. No! But in ways where we can joyfully and gratefully thank God for the gifts He has given us in them. Where we can slow ourselves down, even if for a few minutes, and just enjoy them.
So work for intentional living with your children, mamas, but offer yourself grace no matter what season you are in! I often fall short myself, but here are some ways I work to be intentional with my girls, and enjoy them as they are!
- Put your phone out of reach! Better yet, just turn it off! I’m not always great at this, but if I’m sitting and doing an activity with them, I try to put it out of reach so I can’t easily grab it.
- Read the Bible with them. We have The Jesus Storybook Bible , and we try to read this most days of the week.
- Pray with them. It’s important for them to hear you pray, and for you to take the time to sit down and do it alongside them.
- Take walks. Gracie has really been enjoying walking lately, and she loves to chat and tell us all sorts of stories.
- Read with them, or any other activity they enjoy where you can be still and present with them. My girls love sitting down and reading together and this gives me a chance to cuddle up with them and still engage with them.
So enjoy them mamas, and don’t blink! But if you do, know that it’s going to be ok-His grace has you covered!
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