Parenting … is hard. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. There are so many stages of our lives that we feel are hard. The older we get the more I feel like we realize those were the “easy” times and we should have enjoyed them a little more.
Since we had the girls I have been a stay at home mom and I have loved it. Sure I have days when I feel like I don’t do enough for the family, or I feel there is more I could have done around the house. Lately I have been feeling pretty down and out and struggling with being the stay at home parent. I have been getting frustrated easily and not understanding why he wont take a nap, why he wont sleep in his bed, why he won’t play on the ground for more than 5 minutes, etc. There are so many things that go through my mind and I have been struggling …. a lot. I start to put self-doubt in my mind and really feel I need a “break.” Matt gets his break when he goes to work every day for 8-10 hours and he also coaches softball and has homework to do. I feel he gets a lot of breaks while I am with the kids 24/7. I of course get little breaks here and there but a lot of times I am taking the baby with me or the girls with me, so one way or another I still have a child with my more than just being by myself.
Last week my dad called and asked if I wanted to go to the book store with him. We decided to go to the Lifeway Christian book store and while we were there, I decided on Emily ley’s book Grace not Prefection. The next day I sat down while Trevor was napping and starting reading. I read the whole day and finished the book … oops! Did chores not get done of course, did I not spend much time working with Trevor or course, but it was what I needed. I needed this book in my life at this moment. Her book is about slowing down and taking time to really appreciate what you are given and to simplify your life.
After reading this book I realized that I don’t need a break. I need to slow down and cherish the time I am getting to spend with my kids. Sure things get crazy at times and we all need a little break but I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. God placed these kids in my life for me to take care of and be a stay at home mom and that is what I am going to do. I am going to slow down and appreciate every milestone we accomplish, every set back we have, every cuddle I get, etc. There are so many little things that if I didn’t slow down I would never notice. I wouldn’t notice that when I feed Trevor he still likes to hold my hands. Or that he likes to put one big toe between his other big two and second toe just like his daddy. Or that he is starting to giggle and stick his tongue out at us. Or that he needs something to chew on because he is starting to get teeth. Or that Brooke loves to see our reaction to the drawings she makes for us. Or that Kendall likes to trip over things and then blame whatever she tripped over. There are so many moments that pass us by that we don’t cherish and realize that it is ok for us to just simplify life and live in the moment. They grow up so fast and we can never get those moments back.
I am so grateful that Emily’s book spoke to me in the bookstore that day and that I decided to read it. It made me stop and keep things simply. It made me want to just relax and soak up every moment that I have with my kids. If I have realized anything, it is that I don’t want Matt’s work break, I want to be home with my kids because ever in those 8-10 hours he is gone and most of the time Trevor is sleeping and the girls are at school he still misses out on so many little moments that I am grateful to see.
Cherish those moments with your babies. Don’t take the time for granted, get off your phones, computers, etc. and spend the time with your kids. Practice sports, teach them something new, simplify everything and just enjoy the time you get with your kids while they are young!