Monday, July 12, 2010

Random Parenting Thoughts (from a tired but happy mama!)

Summer is rolling by so fast! It's actually my least favorite season so I don't mind, but the kids love it (Jude for playing and Ada for her bizarre steamy naps).

It's been a season of change for us and I guess I've just been reflecting on that lately. Life has gone from busy to busier with Ada in the mix! The child-rearing years are so incredibly busy. It's really nice to have 2 older sisters who are in the same phase of life and can share all the joys and, let's face it, many struggles of raising kids. Someone once explained the decision to have babies as "the end of you." Not in a horrible, bitter way, but the reality is that kids demand so much of your attention and efforts that my needs are the last ones to be met some days. My kids are really tiny and need help with everything from getting their sippy cup to getting themselves to fall asleep, and it seems like someone needs me every minute, no exaggeration! I have days when I sit back and just stare at them, wondering how it is I got so lucky to have these beautiful little people in my life...and some days I want to run screaming out the front door. I was laughing with my sister the other day that bored and lonely are completely foreign emotions to me now! At the end of a long day, all I want is some time alone to myself. But when I'm finally alone, I find myself wondering what the kids are up to. Go figure.
Anyway, I was out with my book club at Binkley's last night. (I use the term "book club"'s really more of a "Snacks/Cocktails/Only-Made-It-Halfway-Through-The-Book Club") We're all moms, and our conversations usually center around kids: little kids, older kids, babies, pregnancy, trying to get pregnant, thinking about trying to get pregnant, you get the point. Kids bring so much joy, so much conflict, so much love, so much worry, so much fun into each of our lives that no wonder its all we talk about! Kids just bring SO MUCH, and no matter how we gripe or brag about our children, they are EVERYTHING to us. Sure, we all have our own interests or talents or jobs, but we're all in this consuming phase together and we can agree its our biggest responsility. And it won't last forever. I'm realizing that more with Ada than I did with think you'll be up nursing a baby at 3am for the rest of your life and then poof! They're wearing a backpack and charging into a classroom, WHAT!? Someday soon they'll be grown and gone and after we topple over from exhaustion...we'll scoop ourselves back up and miss them like crazy. Hopefully from a beach in Bora Bora. Just kidding. And pray we did our jobs the best we could. At least that's what I'm told.
So its been on my mind lately that I need to really make these years count. This is my window to give my kids what they'll need to go forward in life, teach them values, and give them what my dad calls "roots and wings." I'm sure I'm going to fail them miserably and often throughout the years because I'm human and entirely flawed. But if I can raise them to know, love and follow Jesus...for me, that's success.
I want Ada to be a better woman than I am, a better wife and mom and friend. I will try my very hardest to be like the woman I want her to become and give her a positive and healthy example, but I'm going to fall short. I already have a million times and she's not even 2 months old! But I can--and will--point her and Jude to the One who will always be the right example and never fail them. I need Jude and Ada to know why they live and how they'll always be fulfilled: by having a relationship with their Creator and allowing the love from that connection to spill over onto others. Ted and I are much better parents (and partners) when we're talking and listening to God, and when we decide we're "too busy" to engage with Him, we slip. Bad. So I'm making it my mission to be more intentional with my kids when it comes to showing them who Jesus is. They are free to do with that what they wish as adults, but its my deepest desire for their lives. To give them a hope and a purpose beyond what the world can give them.
I don't know why I'm blogging about this, other than to maybe just find some common ground with other moms who read this! Being a parent is hard and comes with so much guilt and worry and insanity sometimes, and I guess I feel like other moms have it so much more together than I do. Maybe it just seems that way? I can get so bogged down in mounds of diapers and cutting up hot dogs and rocking fussy babies that I think that's all I'm really doing. I'm just a hot dog cutter-upper. I have to step back and re-calibrate sometimes. These are not years to "get through." Its precious time I've been given to be a part of something extraordinary--the formation of 2 people--with the help of an awesome husband and a faithful God.

"I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
C.S. Lewis


Dean, Mel, Ben, and Joey said...

beautiful, Caroline. I was having a rough day and for some reason felt called to check in on your blog. I am really happy I did so; just what I needed to read. Your words were a definite blessing to me today. I love your writing style BTW, what a gift. Write a book. I'll buy it :)

Lauren said...

I am often so thankful to God for giving me sisters and that we are so blessed to share this phase in life together. You are doing a wonderful job, and have such a good focus on all the right things. I need to be more like that! They do grow so fast and these precious teaching moments we have with them are fleeting. Show them Jesus, and you have done your job well for sure. It is hard to find joy in the hot dog cutting some days, but we manage to find fun in most things we do by singing. Tyson will start singing a tune and I will realize it is something he has learned from children's church that we used to sing growing up. I love it!! I love you too.

Emmalee said...

Great Post! You're always so great about putting things into perspective. I even read this one to Chad :)

joven said...
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joven said...
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joven said...
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Beth said...

So true about slowing down and enjoying the right now. I so struggle with that and now I miss the things I was rushing! Miss you guys too! xoxo