January 13, 2015

On loving being with my kids and a what the heck?!

OK, first of all I'm kind of jumping out of my skin. Perhaps it's the second and a half cup of coffee I'm on (and it's only 6:09am) or perhaps it's like the SHOUT OUT or something from two of my favorite-ist bloggers Jenny (at Mama Needs Coffee - see love her) and Grace (from Camp Patton - about freaked when I saw her follow me on Instagram, lol. Not gonna lie people.) When checking back in to the bloggo yesterday after being away I was wondering how in the world my traffic (honk honk) had jumped so much. At first I was like Max swooned you all with his running away (he's a swooner, I know. it's taken me almost 5 years to crack down on that boy...) but then this morning I stalked Grace (again, but is it really stalking in the blog world?) and saw a mention.

I've been following Jenny for quite a few years, too, and she is a straight-shooter, super inspiring mama who challenges me to live my faith boldly - especially when it comes to areas of Theology of the Body and the fam. And a side note: I got a kick out of the title she gave me when listing my kind of blog: unknown(ish).  Bahaha, living the stealth life perfectly then, yesssss. And runway model? Bahaha X2 - perhaps if runways were lined in toddler diapers, rows of laundry and sprinkled with baby puke. XOXO Jenny!

And Grace, she's a rockstar mama of 4 (whose kids are all younger than ours so extra props, can I get a what what) and she writes with hilarity and realness that, in the same post, you are guaranteed to both laugh out loud and vow to conquer life all in the same breath. I discovered her through a good friend and am super glad I did.

OK, now on to what I really wanted to post about this morning. It is actually one of those mornings I had no idea of what to write about so, during my morning prayers (Proverbs. hands down it rocks.) I prayed for wisdom and my kids came to mind. So they are what shall leave my fingertips. And quickly, might I add, 'cause I have 6 MINUTES until 6:30am which is my designated blog cut-off time (so I don't spend forever with you and neglect the waffles).

Yes, an XL picture of waffles. But who the heck stole that bite........

A few years back (in between Max and Levi - during the 1.5 months I wasn't pregnant or nursing) I took a girls' trip over to Idaho with a few of my besties. It was the longest away I'd been since becoming a mama - 4 days of hanging out, bonfires, lake time, girl chat, and perhaps a bottle of wine or 5. It was wonderful and rejuvenating and fun. But a couple days after I got back I was getting ready for the day and had a random, out of the blue thought,

"Man, I just need a break from these kids!!!"

But wait. Didn't I just have 4 days?! It was then that it struck me. As moms we are constantly told that we need ME TIME ME TIME or we will fall apart. Or we will forget ourselves and get sucked into the world of children-ness as to never return. But I just had 4 days of ME TIME and was clamoring for more more more. In my usual reflective brain (that won't turn off) I started thinking, what does this all mean?

And so, over time, I noticed a pattern: the less time I spent with my kids (during school breaks, time away, when they went away, and so on) the less time I wanted to spend with them. It was like for every day spent apart I needed two days to get reacclamated to having them back again. And a lot of times I was more annoyed with them when they/I came back then before they left.

In the same regard I also noticed that the more time I spent with them the more time I wanted to spend with them. It was like I realized they are fun or something when I stopped seeing them as another TO DO on my long TO DO list and saw them as these flipping awesome people who are funny and joy filled and so full of life. When we started homeschooling I wondered how in the world I was going to spend all this time with them and not get annoyed but it's actually during break times that I'm more annoyed with them. Make sense? (If not, go watch a kitten video or something. Max has 17,000 on YouTube he could recommend.)

Anyway, out of all that I have come to the conclusion that I love being with my kids. Yes, I love (love love love) the break times and totally need them every once in a while (because we can't be on all the time - especially for a *loves quiet and not Let It Go a million times* introvert like me) but having breaks and me time is not what it's all about. Me time is good - but it's not the salvation the world offers it to be.

This past weekend, while away, I really do feel like I got reconnected with my brood. The long Christmas break and a new iPhone 6+ (ooooo, that screen. not gonna sugar coat, it's like butter) kind of stole me away. I was not looking forward to school time and all the less minutes I got to spend on my own agenda. But after days of hand holding on the beach and now that we are back in the swing of things, I feel like I can exhale. Reading Ramona and Beezus while the big kids do puzzles? Totally awesome. Getting to laugh with Max while he tries his darnedest to write the letter "G"? So cool. Tickling and kissing Levi as I put him down for his rest? (not a nap mind you, not allowed to call it that) A memory I will forever cherish.

So now I will tackle the day with joy and vigor 'cause my little peeps will be up soon and they will need hugs and breakfast and a mama who is fully present. And OK OK, a mama who needs just one more cup of coffee.


Rachel said...

I'm so glad I found you through Jenny and Grace! I have four little kids too and am homeschooling (trying to find time to run with all that, need your secret on how you do it). I agree with this so much. I think I realized this recently too, how much better it is the more time we spend together. Thanks for articulating it so well!

Kristine Mauss said...

Yay! Welcome! So glad you stumbled on my little corner of the world :) And running with littles, so not easy. Definitely comes in seasons! Perhaps a post on that in the near future???