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Friday, October 26, 2018

To The Busy Mom

Grandmas are so wise and wonderful, aren't they? I've had a lot of wonderful conversations with my grandma. She is so intuitive and loving; she has a way of saying things that makes her words just stick. There is one conversation in particular that I find myself referring back to time and time again. We were sitting together at the kitchen table and she was telling me about some things she had been doing and I mentioned how I wish I could do those things. She said to me, "You'll have your season." At that time in my life, I was pregnant with my youngest child and I had two small boys who filled my days with cars, blocks and coloring books. I couldn't imagine a time where things would be anything but that.

But, here I am, only a few years removed from that sweet conversation with my dear, sweet grandmother...my life is evolving. Everything is completely different from what it was back then, and I know in just a couple more years, things will have changed even more. Life keeps happening!

I miss those days where my boys would pull me by the hand. We'd sit on the floor together for hours racing our matchbox cars and building skyscrapers! Just the other day I went outside to see what my big boys were up to and they told me that they wanted "guy time". It's not cool to have mom around when you're having guy time. Ouch. I mean, I know my babies aren't babies anymore... but still. It would be a lie to say their words didn't cut me deep. Am I really not 'cool' anymore? I had to take a deep breath and realize they are growing up. Whether I like it or not, it is happening. My season of having and raising toddlers is over. You won't find even one single diaper in my house. Onesies have become a thing of the past. The little kid season is shortly coming to a close, as well. 

I am learning to accept that now is my season of the Mom-on-the-go. My days are jam-packed with stuff to do and place to go...The title of Full Time Mother has taken on a whole new meaning. I seriously wear so many hats! It seems like everyone has somewhere they have to be each and every single day. How in the world do other mothers manage to get it all done? I have mixed emotions seeing my season of jammies all day watching The Wiggles til daddy gets home, transform into something new. And as I enter this new season of my life, I am both excited and terrified! I am excited to see what this season will bring. I am enjoying the new challenges. But I am terrified that I won't be able to rise to the occasion. What if I don't have what it takes to be what these children need in this stage of their lives? 

With this new season of my life comes a lot of change. I see my children going through a lot of self-discovery. It has been interesting to hear them work through problems and express opinions on various issues. They're learning to branch out and think for themselves, which is both super awesome and slightly annoying. Yesterday my daughter, my youngest baby, came home with a BOY'S number in her pocket! Eek! When did my little girl grow up? How did that happen!? I know that every family goes through this change of seasons...I am nervous for the shenanigans my kids will pull. I did crazy things to my parents. My husband did crazier things to his. (If my children have their dad's ingenuity, I am scared for the things they might do.) I want to be the kind of mother who helps mold her children into good, honest, faithful adults.  There is so much I want to make sure they know before they grow up, things I want to make sure my kids CAN do before they HAVE to do them. The thought of it all is a little overwhelming.

This is the job I signed up for when I chose to have children. I have come to terms with the fact that no one can do it for me, nor would I want them to. This is the busiest season of all, and it is so wonderful! 

There are a few simple truths I have learned as I have less-than-gracefully toppled in this new season of my life...

1) I cannot control how my kids choose to behave. I can suggest, urge, and nudge them toward the decision I would like them to make, but I cannot choose for them. This is VERY hard...I sometimes want to shout, "I KNOW WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU, KID!! JUST LISTEN TO ME AND FREAKING DO IT MY WAY!!!" Instead, I am learning to let them fall. And trying my best to be there to help pick them up, dust them off, and start again. It takes a lot of self-control. I am still learning.

2) positive reinforcement goes a lot further than criticism. I don't always remember this in the heat f the moment...but it is a simple truth that I would be wise to work harder at. I know my kids are willing to work harder and do more when they know I am watching a doling out compliments versus when I'm in a mood and looking to bust people for not doing what they know they're supposed to do. Positivity works wonders. 

3) Silence is not always a good thing. Neither is talking.

4) Threatening to make them eat Lima beans and hot dogs (because it is their least favorite food) and following through because you said you would...may cause them to like Lima beans and hot dogs. True story. Makes me gag a little.

5) Exercise changes the way I handle everything. If I feel like I am doing something good and I feel good about myself, I am more inclined to treat others/situations better. I am better able to communicate and emotionally connect. Versus the times I don't exercise and I feel frumpy and fat...well, you get the idea. If I don't feel pretty, I don't act pretty.

6) Regular scripture study, FHE, prayer and church attendance affect how the rest of the hour, day, and the week will go. All those years listening to my Sunday School teachers talk about the importance of these things and I shrugged it off...only to discover, years later, they were right. 

7) Taking those lessons one step further and turning words into action changes you, your family, and those you serve. Service, kindness, and love are amazing tools for making strong relationships.  Selflessly serve your kids, serve your family, serve in your community as a family and see how it changes everything. Your heart will be full and your bond with be strengthened.

With all the new changes happening, I know I will learn a lot more about myself and this motherhood gig. Now, my question for YOU: I know a lot of my friends have been/are going through/will go through this stage....what advice do you have for a mom in mid-seasonal-switch? Are there any ways to make the transition feel less overwhelming/exhausting/stressful/intimidating??

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