Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Still learning

I am not a perfect mom or wife nor have I ever been or ever will be. I do try my best everyday to do the best I can at this wonderful job God has entrusted in me as a wife and mother. I just wanted to get that out of the way before I got to the real lesson of the day. I am not saying that what I was doing was wrong, but I certainly needed to take a longer look at what is/was most important. I just feel as though I have learned a very important lesson today as a mother and I wanted to share.

Today I started potty training our second born, Judge. To say I have been dreading this day would be the understatement of my life. I have been putting it off and finding excuse after excuse not to do it. I had it in my head that I was going to do it after baby number 4 arrived and before school started next year. Well to put that in perspective I would have 2 1/2 months in which I would give birth, recover, and train a 3 year, all while adapting 3 kids to having a new sibling in the house. Yes typing it out it seems even crazier then I first thought.

So what made me decide to "bite the bullet" and do it before then. Well I have to give all the thanks to my best friend Mrs. Karen Hudson. Without her I would have kept putting it off and I know now he would have never started school in September. She gave me the encouragement that I needed to believe I could do it.

Yes we have an older child but it's a girl and she trained herself. Judge on the other hand wanted NOTHING absolutely NOTHING to do with the potty. And what did I know about training a boy? I was a girl. I know how girl parts work, but boys????? I mean really I don't think any mom is ever prepared for what comes with training a boy.

Anyway back to the whole lesson of the day. This morning after dropping Annabelle off at school and running by the store to pick up "potty treats" we came home and got straight on the potty. We spent 2 hours in the bathroom together, playing, talking, reading. It was HEAVEN. I felt as though I was seeing Judge through new eyes. This was the little man I had brought home from the hospital almost 4 years ago had really changed. He had grown. He was his own person. He wasn't just one of my kids, he was "Judge". He was my son. I carried him for 9 months. This is the child I once had rocked to sleep. He wasn't a number in a family he was a person. And boy that was just the first round on the potty.

He did go potty on the potty and we went and got Annabelle from school. When we got home it was time to go at it again. So from 2:30 until 5 Judge and I were back in the bathroom,talking laughing, playing, really we were just having a good time (with a few occasional visits from other siblings.) It was amazing just to see him laugh and really take it in. He laughs on a daily basis, and as any mom I smile and go on about my chores. But today my God to really see your child laugh, to see there eyes light up. I can't believe I have ever taken that for granted. It is a beautiful thing. Well after 2 1/2 hours in the bathroom he went potty again!!!!

Some of the important ?'s of the day answered:

Yes Judge stayed dry today and did great on the potty.
No my house was not cleaned.
Yes dinner was out of a box.
And No I didn't mind one bit!

As much time as we (mothers) spend in a car on a day to day basis bringing kids back and forth to activities that are supposed to make them smarter, or help them achieve in a certain area of life. How much time do we really spend "with" our kids? Really think about it the time we spend on our computers or on our phones, or the time we spend cleaning house and cooking. How much of our undivided attention do our kids really get.

We are a society of multi-taskers. As a mom I really thought I was doing the best running from place to place everyday, making sure my kids were involved in as many things as possible so they would be able to "keep up with the Jones". But what I was really doing was depriving them of time with me, and depriving myself of time with them. We all ask ourselves "Why do their young years fly by?" It because we are not there. We may physically be there, but if your mind isn't there then your heart can't be there.

It's the little things that we as mothers take for granted. A smile, a laugh, a cheesy joke from our five year old. It's these things we take for granted on a daily basis, but it is these things that we try so hard to get back as they grow older. It is these things that we will miss when they are grown. It is these things that make being a mom the best, most rewarding job in the world.

So tonight after I had tucked my kids into bed and I was cleaning the disaster of a house, I realized many things for the first time:

1. House work will still be there in the morning.

As I was standing in the middle of the play room, arms loaded down with toys. I thought "I could have made the kids clean this. Or I could have squeezed this in somewhere in my day." But then I started laughing, I remember the smiles and laughs I got from Judge earlier in the day. Cleaning this should have been put on the back burner. This isn't worth missing time with my kids over. We all say housework can wait, but most of us try and cram it in here and there in our busy schedules. By saying this I am not saying you need to totally let your house go to dogs, but that some things can really wait. So as I put the toys back in their places I had a smile on my face because I knew my day had been spent exactly where it should have, on the floor in the bathroom, with my son.

2. Dinner may have to come out of a box some days.

I am no where near saying we will become a family of take-out menus, but it is ok not to have a 5 star meal waiting on the table when dad gets home.

3. Being a mom is not only about being physically present for your kids. It is about being there, completely there 100%. That old saying "mind, body, and soul" now has new meaning for me.

I am not saying we can do this all day everyday I am saying we as mothers need to try harder to notice when these little moments arise, so we can take advantage of them so we don't look back one day and have so many "should have, could have, would have"'s.

4. They really are only little for a a little while.

When you have young kids I don't think you get it. They grow up in spite of you not because of you. Before we know it they will be going off to high school and college and we will be the women saying "I don't know where the time went!" I am going to try my hardest not to be someone who says "When did they grow up?" I want to be able to sit at my sons graduation and day dream of the years of the fun we had playing together, not riding here and there in a car. I want to be able to recount hours upon hours of the time my daughter and I spent together.

Things can wait.
You never know when this will all be gone.
Enjoy it while you can.

I could sit a write for hours about how it felt to block the whole world out for a day and just spend it with my son but I would be up all night. So Yes I think Judge got the lesson in potty boot-camp today, but I to learned quite a few things. I am happy and pleased to say my kids are still teaching me lessons on life EVERY single day.

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