I love my kids. Even when I’ve repeated the same thing 37 times and no one listens, I actually love them ha! But I never realized how challenging parenting really is. It wasn’t until recently as our oldest grows in his personality, that I found myself in a rut. Just making it through the day… you know what I mean. Literally the bare minimum of keeping your kids from harming themselves until they go to sleep. One evening Mike could see my defeat and asked me are you just managing things babe? Frustrated I got defensive, but yes…yes I was. I wasn’t being intentional in my parenting at all, I was just making it.
Just managing, not succeeding or thriving… maintaining.
I do appreciate great blogs I read that help me feel better about how tough and annoying motherhood can be. However, even on my worst day I don’t want to dismiss the heart of parenting. I can easily get caught up with how my toddler is a terrorist and my six year old is the most dramatic child to grace this earth. Then after reading a post, it puts me in an even crappier and resentful mood! I completely forget why I even like my kids in the first place…
The struggle of management style v. intentional style
The truth is parenting is not just getting your kids to 18. Or even managing behaviors, your own fears, or situations. Nor is it belittling the most vulnerable people in your world simply to joke at their shortcomings. Parenting is intentional. Not perfection, but grace soaked intentional. Showing up and being engaged even when your kids give you every reason to sell them on eBay. That’s whether you stay at home or you work and only have a few hours to savor with your babies.
At times I’ve felt guilty when I send the kids away to “play,” allow them to binge watch every episode of PJ Mask, or a movie marathon so I can just be. And trust me those days exist for my sake and theirs. Yet I had to reevaluate why those days were my default and what I wasn’t doing personally so that I could be present for them.
As we’ve entered into first grade this has been on my mind more than ever. My personal challenge of consistent intentionality in my parenting. The fact that I in many ways easily focus on being tired that even when I’m not, I still excuse engaging my kids. I don’t disregard them, but I do find more laundry to do, dishes to clean, or mess to clean up rather than sit and play…
Truth is by simply just managing their lives and hoping they figure it out isn’t going to work well. I need and want to be there present, ready, and guiding them to who I know they can be.
So fellow mama friend who is exhausted and needs that break, take it. Take your rest so you can come back and be engaged more than ever. Because you’ll be glad you didn’t excuse yourself out of this time. Your kids will be forever grateful that you were present through it all.