Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The struggle

True story.  I struggle.

I struggle with being patient with my children.

I struggle with giving them the focus and attention that they need from me.

I struggle with being the role model they need to see.

I struggle.  A lot.  And I know in my heart of hearts that I'm struggling.  When I'm doing something that takes away my time or energy from my kids but is not truly more important than them, I generally know it.  I know I'm doing it.  I know I shouldn't be.  I continue most of the time anyway. 

I really really struggle.

I struggle even more with the internal war when one of my children makes a statement that tells me they know I'm struggling. 

My children have been asking for another baby for months.  Months.  And the one child who is probably the biggest proponent of another baby told me tonight that he would pray that I wouldn't have any more babies so that I wouldn't have to be irritated by them anymore.

Break my heart.  No seriously.  It broke my heart.  My poor, sweet, kindhearted child, I do not deserve him.  I do not deserve to be his mother or to receive his love.

This Christmas season I have been so focused on making it happen.  I lose focus on what I'm supposed to be making happen and find my focus so placed on the plans.  The lists.  The growing to-dos.  I was so excited for December first this past weekend.  I just knew that some magical switch would be flipped and it would be amazing and then, well it was just another Saturday.  We did some fun things together and it was great family time.  But there was a sense of feeling let down when Monday hit and it was just another day, in just another week, in just another month.  In what is traditionally my very most favorite time of the year I found myself feeling quite blah.  I've spent the past three days trying to figure out why and figure out how to shake it off.

And I think that tonight I've found my answer.  I've found my answer in some personal reflection after conversation with my two oldest children and what was meant to be a sweet request.  See I don't want my son to pray that I don't have more babies.  I want my son to know that I am home with them every day because I have chosen to be.  Because I want to be.  But the only way he will ever know that is if I act as though I want to be here with them.

I struggle with needing to find that awesome project or activity to do on pinterest and spending hours there rather than just creating a project out of supplies I already know we have.

I pin lists of must read books and yet the dozens upon dozens of books we have sitting on shelves throughout the house go mostly ignored.

I plan these elaborate ways to teach my children to give when really it's just so simple to create something together without all the planning and forethought and go and do.  I experienced that one Sunday in November.  The random opportunity to reach out and give kindness to a stranger who nobody else seemed to see. 

The resources are nice.  Don't get me wrong.  Lots of great ideas swirling in my head BUT when I'm spending more time scouring the resources than I am using them with my children they are no longer of any value to me.

Yesterday my house was a disaster.  It needed cleaned.  Dishes needed caught up, laundry needed put away, floors needed swept and mopped.  Yesterday I pulled out the Christmas stickers, construction paper, and crayons, I layed a folding table flat out on the middle of the living room floor (with the legs still folded under) and I let my kids go to town.  I flipped on a Christmas movie and I sat on the couch and was present with them while they colored, stickered, created with love cards for grandparents they miss.  It was one of the BEST afternoons I've spent in a long time.  One of the absolute best.

And I reflect on that and I reflect on a lot of things from the past few weeks and I sit here and still I struggle.

I just had to share.  I had to get it out.  I feel convicted.  I need to DO better.  Not just WANT to do better but to actually DO.  So if you don't see me around too much in the coming weeks or even months then it's probably a good sign that I'm struggling less. 

My Christmas gift to myself and my children the next few weeks is to focus on them.  Making sure they know by my actions and attitude that I love being here with them.  That I love doing things with them.  That they are not an inconvenience to me.

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