Motherhood. It is such an important job but it masquerades as the most mundane job in the world. If someone asks you what you do, and you say 'architect,' it means something. It has prestige and education and importance to it. But if you say 'mother,' or worse, 'stay-at-home mom', it's like you're saying you've given up. Like you're less of a person for it. I think motherhood needs to be celebrated, esteemed, and cherished. It doesn't necessarily take a lot of book smarts, but it requires so much wisdom if you want to do it right. And it's true, anyone can do it, and there is no test to pass in order to qualify for it, but if done wrong it will create lasting negative consequences in a child's life. It shapes a child even more than fatherhood does just because the mother spends the majority of the day with the child while the father only comes in in the evenings (usually). I love being a stay-at-home mom and being there for every little thing that goes on in my children's lives. I wouldn't want to miss any of it, and I'm thankful that I am able to do it. I can take pride in being the one to teach them how to do things, to teach them how to act and how not to act, to show them what a good life looks like. It's magic when you get to see your child learn something new. You watch that switch turn on in their brain and you know their world just got a little wider.
Many days if you were to ask me what I did that day, I couldn't really tell you. I did...nothing? Most days consist of washing dishes, laundry, cleaning up, changing diapers, changing clothes, brushing hair, making bottles, making lunches, wiping tears, going outside, cooking dinner, grocery shopping, playing, appointments, hugging and kissing and smooshing their little bodies tight against yours for the thousandth time... These things don't seem like some big accomplishment in and of themselves, and they can be very easily looked over. And the next day consists of more of the very same things--it never ends. It's not nothing, however. It's mothering. In amongst the mundane and boring tasks are the hidden gems that give motherhood its meaningfulness--those moments that make it all worthwhile. If you're not looking for them, even you yourself can overlook in your rush to get everything done and checked off.
One of my biggest challenges is being completely there and available to my children. I am always thinking ahead to the next thing, so I am always in a hurry, always a little frenzied and annoyed about something. It's hard to clear my head and take time to just be, to slow down, to enjoy my children in the stages they are now. It can feel like a waste of time if I'm not cleaning or cooking something. At least this is true for me. While there's no getting around keeping the house (semi) clean and getting that laundry folded, I try to manage my time wisely, be intentional in where I spend my time, and squeeze in some fun activities along the way. I found this list on Lindsay Michael's Instagram page a while back, and copied it down for future reference. The points are so simple but make so much sense. Maybe it'll be helpful to you.
Twelve tips for time management:
- Plan in detail.
- Deal with today.
- Value each minute.
- Keep moving.
- Develop routine.
- Exercise and diet.
- Ask "If my life depended upon doing this task in half the time I allotted, what shortcuts would I take?" Then take them.
- Use a timer.
- Do worst first.
- Read word daily.
- Say no.
- Begin the night before.
Taken from A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George
This day I happened to take my camera out more often than usual and capture some of the things going on around our house. Adele and Naomi were watching Ben flying his new drone in the office.
The babies taking their bottles together.
Another bonding moment, enjoying both of their favorites--baby food pouches.
I asked Mila to take some pictures of Naomi and I because I really don't have many of me and the kids. These are grainy iPhone photos, but the essence is still there, and I love them.
Cuddling and kissing her and making her laugh make my day so much sweeter.
Some pretty artwork I noticed in the laundry room while grabbing another load of clothes to fold.
I say no a lot, but sometimes I say yes. This day was the day I said yes to making fabric fruits and vegetables with the girls. Mila especially was so into it.
While we worked, Naomi was busy climbing furniture. Sitting on the boring floor is just not her style...
Ben made me that paper bamboo plant, and I've had it on my vanity ever since. It's all paper, even the pot, and it's hollow inside though it looks solid. He puts so much time and work into his paper creations, and I love them all. He's so stinkin' talented with his hands!
Those were just some glimpses into this job called motherhood. I want to cherish all of it, and every day I want to do better than the last. I hope my kids know later how seriously I took this job, and how much joy it's brought me.
"Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson