Hey guess what I got to do for a few days last week....
I watched my sisters kids! 2 of these are mine, 4 are not....well, technically. I would kidnap every last one and keep them as my own forever, if I didn't think it would hurt my sisters feelings.
You know what, sometime motherhood is just plain hard. It is good and is filled with lots of amazing moments that make it all worth it, but it is hard! Especially bedtime! Oh heaven help me! Bedtime! My brain and body are begging for relief and it just won't come! Every 2 seconds someone summons me to their bedroom for one more thing they need, or thought they saw, or because of the noise they are producing! Usually with just my 2 kiddos, because of their ages, we say "Head to Bed" and that is that. They disappear and we rarely hear from them until morning. It's a good phase, this one! However, with 3 cousins per room, there was endless giggling (which reminded me of my brother, sister and I growing up and sleeping in the same room on occasion, laughing all night and making my mom seriously frustrated), some fights, a lot of teasing, and a whole lot of NOT SLEEPING! I can say that last weekend gave me a whole new glimpse and understanding why my Mother-in-Law, when my husband was 10, tied him to his bed with a jump rope to get him to stay....he laughed at her the whole time, and made like Houdini and busted out in seconds! With 7 small children, all close in age, it's no wonder she would be willing to try anything! And now it makes for hilarious story telling!
This last weekend I really thought a lot about the rewards and trials of Motherhood. At all it's phases, and with all it's numbers. I have only my 2 to raise. I had expected and wished for more, but I hashed out all of those expectations here. What I expect, and the Lord's plan for my life don't always line up, but I am smart enough to know that His plan is always far better (and almost always harder) than my own, in the grand scheme of things.
I guess the things that I most thought about is how important it is to just try to enjoy the journey. If we are constantly focused on the tasks that are ours, we will burn out and feel like a "slave" or "servant" in our own home. Can I say that I totally believe those are thoughts placed in our minds by the adversary! We all feel them from time to time. A feeling like we are losing our identity or so overrun and under-appreciated. I get it. Those feelings totally affect me from time to time, but I have to remember the source of those kinds of thoughts, let them go, and then remember to spend more time enjoying my role as a Mother! I love playing and laughing with my kids! How the heck do I forget that and get caught up in the task list?! And then worst of all, let my task list affect the way I treat them?! Those items on that list may get checked off the list, and they may not, and the ones that get checked off usually show back up the next day. Some days, that is just the way it goes, but when we have spent the day strengthening our relationship with our kids and building their self worth, we have done what is most important, and we feel better about ourselves, more happy, and we have a greater sense of fulfillment!
I listened to Sheri Dew & Wendy Watson Nelson speak one time about our roles in this life. They taught that we have all been sent to earth with a "to-do" list. This list is full of items that we are expected to complete in this life. It is a list personal to us. Only we are able to complete this list, the way it is supposed to be done. When we are working on this list we feel a sense of joy, peace and fulfillment in our lives. When we are not, we may be busy, but we will not be filled with those same feelings. There will be a lack of peace, joy & fulfillment in our lives.
I love that! It helps me keep myself in check! My children are on my task list! If I am feeling run down, negative or like I don't have purpose or have lost my identity, I try to remember the source of those feelings, then take a good and honest look at what I am missing or what needs to go and make the changes.
In Motherhood, with all of it's crazy phases, it is so important for us to remember that this time we have with small or young children is gone in an instant. Believe me! I swear I was just giving Jake his first bath on his first day home from the hospital....and suddenly he is almost a teenager! Before I know it he will be leaving on his mission! It makes my stomach hurt to even think about it! Will he leave knowing how much I love the heck out of him?! Will he KNOW that because I have shown him through the ways I have treated him?
It is my goal to spend more time playing, baking cookies or letting them figure out how to cook something new, reading stories, cuddling and laughing with my kids, celebrating my victories and letting go of my shortcomings! I prayed long and hard....7 years of my life, for the opportunity to be a mother to the children I have. The fact that I have them is miraculous to me! And that is how I need to look at my role as their mom! I gave everything I had to my Dawson, which sometimes fell dreadfully short, but it was still all I could give, and I know it was enough! That is one of the gifts I have been given, with him now on the other side of the veil. He has let me know, in no uncertain terms, that I did more than enough for him! And now I hope that when my other kids are grown I can feel the same about them!
Alright, now that that is off my chest.....here are a few of our magic moments from this last weekend! Once we found our groove (uh hem, Mallory and her temper and inability to process the madness), it was SO much fun to have a house full of kids! Granted I felt like I was either cooking or cleaning the WHOLE time, but still...We did manage to squeeze some fun moments into the mix, and my kiddos had a BLAST!
The biggest adventure of them all! The little kids riding to church in the back of the topless monster Bronco! Could there be anything more exciting in their lives?!
This is me celebrating my victory! 6 kids all bathed, dressed and done up for church! It may have taken me 3 hours to get through all of them, but we were 15 min which made my hubby happy! I think this made me the hero of the day! Yay for me! :)
Lego parties! These were the moments I loved most! All 6 of them playing together and totally happy! Even Gizmo tried getting in on the fun! A big thank you to the makers of Lego's for making a toy that these kids could play with and be entertained by for HOURS all weekend long!