Come with me…humor me as I mumble this mommy mantra message…..
To me it seems all fast paced but then they come toddling along slower than molasses. It’s messy and complicated, frustrating and filled with vested interest. But then the simplicity is stunning. It’s costly and cluttered but still care-FULL and care-FREE. It’s the biggest challenge I face each day but the one thing that puts everything into loving perspective.
‘IT’ is motherhood. And ‘it’ is hard….but blissful.
Recently, I’ve been reconnecting. Haven't you experienced those times when you feel disconnected, even distant? Oh, I hope it’s not just me! I, too busily being a busy mom, didn't notice what I was missing in my mothering. All the pieces fit, everyone to classes and bed on time, nutritiously fed and even spiritually nourished.
But, my mommy mantra had gotten lost in translation. Thank God for last Christmas break because it allowed me to pause for some peace and perspective. I realized that amidst all of the ‘on-time-ness’ and ‘routine-following’, my patience from place to place waned and my voice reverberated within our walls too fast and too loud…or, if we must, simply call it (sigh) yelling.
My own tension taking me to task. The innocent (well, mostly innocent) bystanders: my two beautiful little girls.
Do you have bystanders burdened by your tensions and tasks?
After reflecting and recognizing my need to get back to my mothering basics, I started searching for just how to do that. Two weeks later with holiday hubbub behind us, winter illnesses healed and hunkering down at home in the frigid weather, I arrived at two very simple ideas I pray stay seared into my heart.
First, TIME. My first mothering mantra to reconnect with the hearts of my girls stares so simply at me from their eyes each day. These four letters look longing at me: ‘T.I.M.E., please.’
Not the kind of time as I transport them from place to place or the moments as I make meals and shout over my shoulder curiosities about their day. But, SLOWED time, quality time, quiet time. The love language for so many children is the time we give them and time is the very resource we always seem to run short on.
For me, as a single mom, time seems my most precious commodity. But, it’s NOT! It’s what I DO with my time that makes it precious or not. That means I must let other things, even important things, go.
It’s NOT OKAY that my children learn they come last after dishes are done, lunches made and emails returned. Toss in laundry, bills and bath time and we finally fall into bed without a moment to spare. Sure, my adult priorities are in place and some simply cannot be compromised. And, yes, children must learn the art of patience and priorities.
But, when there’s no time for play, pondering or purposeful parenting, what message must I send? Especially when it’s sent in a voice two octaves too high!
The best way for me to show my love and sacrifice for them is in the art of being available. What we give our time to speaks volumes about what we value. The recent weeks as we have cooked, crafted and even cleaned together I feel their hearts closer to mine and my faith-based mothering making its way back into my daily mindset….which leads me to my second mommy mantra but first and foremost in significance:
Love the Lord my God with all MY heart, hands and strength so that I train them up to look to Him for grace and guidance. –and spend time thinking about, praying for and doing those things.
My job as a mother is to lead, train and nurture my children. They bless my life—And I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to help mold them into the young ladies they will one day become. Ladies independent of me. Ladies of the Lord who contribute to community and train up their own children in loving, faith-filled ways. I hope.
The very best way for me to train up my children is for me to stay as close to my Savoir as I can. If I want to see them living the Word and in the Word, I must first. If I want my girls to seek His grace, I have to give God myself daily. Giving and re-giving and then all the sudden motherhood is a gift to me and them!
We emanate what we keep close in mind and spirit. So, as I learn to love the Lord more and as I invite Him to love and guide me, I will exude that message without any words. What I choose to inhabit my mind eventually makes its way out of me through words and actions. Those very words spilling from my mouth and the actions of my hands are examples I give my daughters, examples born in His Word.
So, along with quality TIME, my mantra remains to stay close to my faith so that those are the influences filling my mind, spilling from my mouth and moving through my hands.
I know. I'm flawed, often faltering and admittedly a flat out failure from time to time! I will mess up my mantra. That's a fact.
But isn't it my admission of imperfection and the asking for forgiveness what further teaches? Perhaps my girls can learn the beauty of imperfection no matter how I mess mothering up because I'm forgiven by Him each time I make the same mistake. That's grace. Then, they will learn the lesson of unconditional love and grace when they make the mess because there’s forgiveness for failures too!
God wants us to train up our children to love Him and learn His ways, His commands and His wisdom in a world filled without. For me, at least right now, that means making TIME for them and SPACE for Him my mommy-ing mantra.
Maybe your mantra is different. But, no matter what mothering means to you, make it matter because this, my Mommy friends, is our chance. That fast pace having its way with us will not slow outside our walls. So we have to create the home where we want our children learning to live. We have to pause purposefully and pray for parenting perspective because we won’t get that from the world. God has guidance for us…let’s all listen.
A Mommy with a Mantra,