Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How I Be a Better Mom

This is a really sensitive post to any mother's out there.  Let's face it, ladies, we're all opinionated when it comes to the best way to parent.

But I learned a big lesson yesterday.

I NEED quiet time.

See, I've always felt that as my kids aged, that quiet time, that nap time, would phase out, and I would just spend every summer day, every holiday, blissfully working and playing with my children every minute from waking until they go to bed (bedtime is not an option, it is a must for my babies for their health and happiness as well as mine and my husbands).

Until yesterday.  Yesterday Curly Boy had pink eye. So when Curly Boy 2 went down for a nap, Curly Boy was still here, not at preschool.
He doesn't need to nap every day, so I told him we would just hang out.  He chose a movie, we did some letter and tracing work, we built a music player out of rubberbands, corkboard and pushpins.  And then I needed to do some work of my own (my bread business, laundry, etc.).

For the next 2 hours, Curly Boy had something he needed, something to say, something that had to be done in my presence every five minutes.

By the time the 2 hours was up, I was ready to snap.  When Curly Boy 2 woke up from a nap crying because he had an accident and Curly Boy followed us to the bathroom, I said in a very forceful tone "You need to leave me alone for just five minutes!"

Mother fail.  
I don't want to say that to my kids!!  It may be true that I need 5 minutes to think, or clean up and comfort a kid, or go to the bathroom, or eat, but that is NOT how I want to get it.

I am NOT ready for quiet time to end.  That quiet time, that hour to 2 hours I get every day -because even on Saturday and Sundays, I still send the non-napping Curly Girl to her room while her brothers nap, Curly Boy uses those days to catch up - I really NEED that time.  To decompress, to clean without interruption, to eat, to read, to whatever.  So that when the quiet time ends, I can meet my children with a smile and renewed patience.

There's a big argument in the Momosphere about this, especially when you stay home, especially when you have babies.  Some argue "I need to be happy to be a good mom" and others argue "It is so selfish to expect time to yourself when you chose to have kids, they come before everything."
You don't hear a lot about the middle ground, which is where I feel I stand - Yes, my children are important.  Right after God and my husband, they come next.  If they need me, I am there, all the time.  If they want me, I am there, most the time.  But in order to be a good mom, to be the best mom I can, I also need a little time, just a little each afternoon, to reset.
I'm not asking for a full-time job, for a day off every week (though every other month is nice), for date nights, or a nanny or cook, I'm just asking for 30-60 minutes at least every day to do something without little voices interrupting, or stumbling over little feet on my way through the house.
So that after that 30-60 minutes I can take joy in little questions, big emotions, and yes, even stumbling over toys.

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