I'm going to be honest for a minute here.
Being a mom is hard.
Way harder than I ever imagined. When I thought of being a stay at home mom, I though of baking cookies with my kids and playing games together. Going for nice walks to the park. Playdates with friends. Easy naptimes and family fun Fridays where we all sit around the TV and watch a movie together.
All of these are nice things. And all can be reality, just not as perfectly as I had imagined. My boys love to bake with me, but it always winds up in a mess and everyone is fighting over the best spot on the step ladder. Don't even get me started on walking to the park. What should take 10 minutes takes at least a half hour because we have to stop every 5 steps to pick up a stone or look at the ant walking in the street or we're fighting over who is going to push the stroller. Needless to say, being a mom is not easy.
But lately I have discovered that because things weren't going my way parenting was even harder. I had a hard time finding the joy. The constant interruptions to my day were a nuisance. I was being selfish. I was focusing on how my kids poky-ness (that is totally a word) was messing with my schedule. They were happy and content playing with trains, but I wanted to bake cookies. Micah wanted me to sit down and do a puzzle with him but I wanted to read my book. My day was focused around me. I was more worried about what I wanted to do than I was about my children. And it was robbing me of my joy. I was passing on snuggles and tickles and laughs because it didn't fit into my plans for the day.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am constantly reading. Lately, my books have centered around being a Godly mom. Someone who points her children to Jesus. One common theme the books have is giving up your own selfish desires. When we become moms, we lay down ourselves for the sake of our children. I'm not talking about never doing anything for ourselves. I believe that is wrong on so many levels. But it means our focus is on our kids. We have them home for such a short time. We only get so many snuggles and tickles before their too big and too cool for them anymore.
When we first started getting all the details of our move and found out that Brad would actually be away from home longer we both had our doubts. Brad knows I am a person who needs my time everyday. I need time to read and be alone or I can become very grumpy. His new schedule would make this very hard. But, still, we prayed about it and decided if this is what God is calling us to, He will change my heart and get me through this time.
And let me tell you, He has done just that! With encouragement from the books I have been reading, I have found more joy in my children and home in the three weeks that we have been here than in the three months before. I wake up every morning and spend time in Scripture. Sometimes it's a half hour, sometimes its five minutes, but I am starting the day focused on Him, and he, in turn, gives me the grace to focus on my children. Yes, I am tired at the end of the day, but I am truly enjoying playing with my kids. Going to the park with them. Building them tracks. I'm more intentional about disciplining them, taking the time to point them to God's Word to help direct their behavior. We're listening to music together, reading piles and piles of books. And yes, even cooking together.
Don't get me wrong, I have always loved my children. I have always loved being a mom and I would not trade it for anything in the world. It's just that my focus was more on the playdates and naptime then the actual hard work of mothering.
But already I am experiencing one of the blessings of God because we were obedient to God's call to come here to New Mexico. I am sad for all of the joy that I missed out on and I don't even want to think what it would be like if we had not followed God's call to come here. Now, I am eager to see what other blessings He has in store for us.