A New Discovery...

I haven't taken a photo everyday since January 5 like I said I would.  As most New Year's Resolutions go, I've fallen short and already failed at my challenge.  Or so you'd think...

But when I open up my iPhoto program and see all the beautiful photo's of my children and moments that I captured that otherwise would have melted into nothingness, I am encouraged.  I have not failed my challenge.  I have met exactly the goal that I set out to accomplish.   I've reflected on my experiences along the way, putting words to fleeting moments and passing thoughts, capturing our life the way I had hoped.  So today I have no photo for you on this busy preschool Tuesday, but instead some reflections and thoughts on motherhood.

To go along with the theme of resolutions, another of mine has been to suck the marrow out of life and not sit idly by while my children grow up.  To not plop them in front of the t.v. while I take care of seemingly important things like cleaning my house or answering emails, and really experience life with them.  To create lasting moments and magical childhood memories my kids will cherish.  It's amazing how you can spend all day everyday with your children and not really be "present" with them.  I was feeling more and more convicted of that at the end of last year and grabbed the bull by the horns to do something about it.

It was easy to think that I didn't have the time or energy take my kids places or whip out the craft supplies on a rainy day because my day was so full of tantrums and discipline.  It's much too difficult and time consuming to not only be counting to three for the eightieth time but to be wiping up spilled glue and painted hand prints off the kitchen table.  As a parent, discipline was my number one priority.  I didn't want wild, unruly, disrespectful children and anyone who knows Steve and I well would never say there was a lack of discipline in our house.  But somewhere along the way I started to think about the lack of whimsy and childhood excitement amidst our days.  Our days were of monotony and time outs and maybe a coffee date to shake things up a bit.  I started to become not okay with mediocrity.  "I think I got the discipline part down pat" I told myself.  "Give your kids some adventure, magic and excitement."

A little over a month into this year and we've baked, painted snow and bathed in tubs of blue, sewed Valentine hearts, played dress-up and ran errands while dressed as a bumblebee, taken many trips to the library and immersed ourselves in a sea of books, and gone on a candy spree.  Our days are rich and time is precious.  I'm "present" and I'm with them and I'm sucking at the marrow as hard as I can.

I guess the most ironic part of it all, is that as I type this I can't remember the last tantrum Bella had.  I can't remember the last time either girl sat on the stairs and had a time out.  Once I stopped focusing on discipline and "raising my kids right" and just started being adventurous and curious and silly with them, they were happy.  They didn't need to scream for attention or fight and argue with one another out of boredom.  Instead we play and discover and go on "abenchures" (adventures).

And everyone is happier for it.

That's not to say that disciplining your kids isn't important, but I think the bigger lesson in all of this is Balance; and I'm so glad to be discovering it.


Carla said...

Well said and thought provoking.

Julie Hawryluk said...

I LOVE THIS POST!!! Well said and something I need to follow as well! Thank you for that ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kin. There is some rich wisdom in those words. Many families and mother sanities will be better for following your lead - including mine.
Love you Kin. Let's figure out a time when I can abenture with my littles your way and we can all play together.

Kindra aka "The Meal Planner" said...

Thanks everyone. This post struck a chord with a lot of people, since I also got some comments on facebook. We're all in this boat journeying together!

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