Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Embracing Childhood

As I mentioned yesterday, I have struggled with the things that I feel should come as second nature. I have always wanted to be a wife and a mom. Now, I am and it is harder than I imagined it could ever be.

I admit that I am a task-oriented girl, I love to get things done and mark things off my to-do list. I don't survive very well in a cluttered house where chaos reigns. And, to keep chaos out - I have a full time job even trying to keep up.

So, with God's help - I've been trying to let go of some of this. To say "yes" when my children bring their ideas of picnics and tea parties, of going to the park and cutting flowers from the garden. I know I will never be sorry that I spent time this way, but I admit that sometimes it is hard to think of all the things not getting done. But, God is helping me!

After being gone for a week from the girls, I was eager to spend time with them. When asked if we could have a picnic - I agreed and made it happen. And, we had a great time enjoying our lunch and coloring together under a canopy of leaves. What a beautiful day and a perfect way to refresh ourselves in God's beautiful creation.

I hope to share more of these moments with you and hope you will share how you are embracing and enjoying childhood as well!

As I said recently - my house may be a mess - but my children are happy!

27 comments:

Lisar said...

Although I am not a mother, I can somewhat relate to this and think of when my niece comes to stay....I just love the fact that when she goes home to her parents, she is full of stories of what we spent our time doing....so precious and much more important than having a spotless and organised home....Your children will have such wonderful memories of the previous time you spent with them....Bless you...

hip chick said...

There will be plenty of time to clean your house when your children are older. But, you will never ever get another chance to do the things you can do with them now. I can tell you as a mother of grown and almost grown children, who was able to stay home with them, that one of the things you will wish you could go back and change is the amount of time you spent with them when they were young.

Ami said...

We have shifted our homeschool focus to reading more, and we've been going outside and bundling up on a blanket, with pillows and books all around, drinking hot chocolate. I think, if I paid attention, I could enjoy this second chance at childhood much better than the first. I wasn't much exposed to the great literature of childhood, but now I have it! We just finished The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne. My son and I were sobbing for a half hour at the last chapter when Christopher Robin grew up and left the land of make-believe! My son just turned 6, he'll be leaving pretend behind soon, too. I'm going to cry again!

Wendi said...

"my house may be a mess - but my children are happy!"

That, my friend, is a lesson that I am learning daily. It is reassuring to know that I am not the only one who struggles with this.

Leanne said...

Monica- we are cut from the same cloth I think! I've been trying to "let things go" also... so hard, but thank you for reminding me that this is REALLY the simplest way to live!
I ADORED your post from yesterday...and started reading Daniel, too! You are so creative and crafty and frugal, but it is your love of the Lord which inspires me most! Thank you!
Leanne

Anonymous said...

Let the house and other things go for a while. I speak from experience. My two older children are 18 and 17. And I am so regretful about putting other things first when they where small. Praise God, who knows my heart. He has given me another chance to be a mom with the adoption of a little girl. This time around I am not going to miss anything. The house will still stand and the dishes will get done. I rather God be smiling on me than myself feeling satisfied with my clean house.
You are a wonderful mom.

Char in Mt. Airy

Mom said...

Do you remember this poem that used to hang on the wall of our house?

"Cooking and cleaning can wait 'til tomorrow,
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep,
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."

Instead of rocking our babies, it could be having a picnic or tea party or taking a walk, etc. I know it's important to you to have a clean and tidy house. And to some extent, that should be something the children could learn to help you maintain. But, when you get to my season in life, you will look back and remember more vividly the fun times you spent with those sweet little ones than how clean the house was!
Sending love and encouragement, Mom

Anonymous said...

With my children turning 20,17,13,and 8 this year i will be witness to this one thing. The years fly by, the days sometimes not so much, but the years fly!! There will never be a time when you are able to recature the time now. Sieze it!!!! We are never promised another tomorrow here with our babies, this can be such a hard and harsh truth, but it is true. Love on them. The house, well your investment is good in your home, BUT it will be left here when we are called home, people are all we can take with. And Monica most folks never notice all my uncleaned parts of my house. They have come to visit us!!! And for the few that you open your home to and it does matter, well pray for them that the Lord Jesus would help them to know what really matters in life!!--I am not sayin don't clean or get rid of clutter, it is important to some degree. But it is down on the priority list of lovin my husband and children and discipling my children and lovin my neighbors. Be blessed dear Monica and know we are all on this learning journey together. NO ONE has it ALL together (whatever man's idea of altogether is!! :-)!), and the years fly by, i just can not express this enough. With love to you precious lady~tammyp

Bonnie said...

Wow did I need this. I am struggling with this same thing, obessing about the house needing straightened, and the kids needing my attention, etc.
Thank-you for posting this, I'm sure I will be re-reading it often.

Cheryl said...

Ah sweet Monica, I can identify with what you are talking about. When my littles were toddlers I was very much the list person and wanting a clean house too. I learned over many years that when they want you to play "tent" (my kids loved to pretend they were camping) you have to drop the laundry and go play. Those times were the best times and they remember them to this day. It's hard to let go of the dirty house, chores, etc. but you will and be glad you did. I will pray for you.
Hugs to you.

Mary Ann said...

Thanks for this post. I don't even have children and all year, I have constantly felt behind on housework and all the things I think I should be able to accomplish every day. After a huge meltdown last week, I'm needing to learn to step away from my to-do list, should-do list and want-to-do list that are each about a mile long and take time to enjoy life and spend time with my husband. Instead of like last night, when I was way too busy to sit down and watch NCIS with him. Which of course he understood, as we are going out of town this weekend and I also have some other things coming up in the next few weeks that I am preparing for, but still...I want to learn to just be and have a better balance of priorities in my life.

Eileen said...

As a mom of six, most of whom are grown and on their own (I have twin teenager daughters still at home), I must tell you that "this too shall pass" and VERY quickly. Children grow quickly and the time we have with them will go by just as fast. I too struggled with this same thing (and sometimes still do), but now realize how fast the time went by. Keep praying, because although it is a daily struggle, the Lord helped me relax a little about my house and enjoy the precious time I was given with my children.

Bevy said...

Amen! and, my struggle continues, too. It is right there (in my face!) the desire to be that quintessential mom and yet it's often more the reality of just "being mom" - with clutter, chaos and "long-to-do" lists. Why is there such a struggle to let go, relax and enjoy my calling? (I ask myself?)

sigh! ... ever growing as I go.

Kristyn said...

Thank you for this reminder as it is something I struggle with daily. Your posts are a great encouragement!

Danielle said...

Monica ~I understand your struggles. I love things clean and organized. I love to create. I also have 6 children ages 2 months to 11 years:-) For me, having three young children was my hardest part of mothering! Now my three older boys are a big help. They help me with a lot of cleaning and we all can enjoy "lunch break" they play and I get to play too! Even with a baby in the house it is basically clean and yet I still have time to enjoy my children. I can sit and chat with my older ones and play with the little ones. Do not grow weary...

Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

2Th 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

I hope this is an encouragment!

Flyonthewall said...

Amen to your post and all the comments above! If I complete everything on my "to do" list, I will surely impress man, and perhaps I will be pleased with my accomplishments. But what about God? Will He be pleased that I am missing the task He has given me at this time in my life? To wholeheartedly love and train up my children in the way they should go... Oh, how I needed that reminder! Thank you!

angie said...

I can completely relate to your struggle between the to-do list and the fleeting moments of childhood.
My daughter asked to do two things when she gets home from school today: braid my hair and look for socks and shoes to buy for her dolls. Thanks for the reminder to embrace childhood. These things will go to the top of my "to do" list.

Clorissa said...

I am just like you...very task oriented and will do a chore, write it on my to do list, just to cross it off..hehehe.

I too have always wanted to be a mom and wife...I will also admit that I must have been crazy for wanting something that is so very demanding. But I am so glad that God gave me the desires of my heart.

I try very hard to take time out with my girls, almost 5 and almost 3, I have never regretted letting the dishes soak a little longer or the wastebaskets to be filled to the brim a little while longer....my sweet girls love spending time with me and me with them. I believe that God challenges my heart every time I am asked to put aside my to do list....spending moments with them, is to me,to be so close to God.

You are a wonderful mother, Monica. I have learned so much from you. Thank you for sharing your heart and your life with us...you are not alone in how you are feeling. I am standing right there with you.

Love,
Clorissa

Sarah said...

Monica,
You are such a kindred spirit! I have been reading your blog for awhile now and I've just had you on my heart the past couple of weeks. I am from Colorado Springs also- I love the pictues of Glen Eyrie, such a beautiful place! I am also at this place in life and I have a hard time just setting aside all of the chores, but when I do choose to play, read and cuddle my babies instead I am always so refreshed! Thanks for the encouragement.

Anonymous said...

It must be hard to be away from them a week at a time. What a treasure to be back home with them.
I'm much like you; task oriented. However my 3 year old has encouraged me to enjoy spontaneous, unstructured time. Like you said, it's a work in progress.

Kim From Philadelphia

debra said...

I think most of us feel how you do - I know I do. But the lucky ones are the ones who realize what's important before it's too late. The housework and projects will be there forever, the kids won't be. Soon enough they will be wanting to spend time with friends and not us. Oh, I dread that. My daughter is almost 8 and still wants to be with me almost all the time so I take it day by day and enjoy her company.

La Familia Garcia said...

This is a great encouragement! I LOVE doing spur of the moment things especially when my child comes up with the idea, but why does my mind want to say no first? It is a struggle, but thankyou for being open how God is working.

Amy said...

Oh, how I can relate. And my house is a mess whether I fret over it or not! :-)

Lynette said...

I can so identify with this, I am so a list person and love tackling my list. I have to work harder than I thought I would to make sure I spend time enjoying my children. I think you do a wonderful job of it though. I love reading your blog and reading about all that you do with your littles.

Elise said...

Oh, I sooo feel you on this one, Monica. My daughter is often asking if we can go to the park, and my reply is often, "not now" or "not today" etc. Why?? School{an important one, as my attitude is better in the morning}, laundry, dishes in the sink, etc. I do need to just make the rest wait, as she won't always want to go to the park.
You always make me think...
Elise

LS said...

I can totally relate. Lately with 3 little ones I have so overwhelmed by the constant needs and demands. I often catch myself wishing I had spaced my kids farther or wishing someone had warmed me how hard it would be. As someone who loves time to myself to read and to craft, it can be very difficult to give that up when your kids don't nap and you don't get a break from dawn to dusk every single day. I have been forced to let a lot go and have been humbled many times when folks have stopped by to see a tornado of a home. I have been very hard on myself, but have had to come to the same realization, that happy kids are better than a clean home.

On the other hand, God really prompted me to clean extra one week and I had the place just sparkling, which is rare, and my in-laws dropped in unexpectedly (they live 18 hours away). It was such a wonderful moment for me because they are the people I struggle with approving of me the most and they are very, very clean and also judgemental. It was like this incredible blessing from God to me that He allowed them to come when the house was so clean, even if they thought they were surprising us!

Heather said...

Oh, what lovely pictures!

This is the reminder I needed today.