Motherhood is an extraordinary experience.
Really, there isn't anything ordinary about being a mom. It takes that "extra" to fully describe motherhood because that's what motherhood is: going beyond yourself. How mothers go beyond themselves to teach, love, play, drive, work, and
care clean up after their children is what makes the experience extraordinary. Motherhood pushes women to prioritize their family's needs yet still finding time to fulfill their own needs. A mothers day is a delicate balancing act.
I think it's easy as a mom to wonder if you are doing the right thing, balancing your family the best way. Moms are faced with so many options between breastfeeding or formula, work or stay at home, daycare or nanny, private or public school....the list goes on and on. What I've learned so far as a mom is there is no perfectly right way. The question should rather be, "What works best for you, your family?" If we stop comparing and start focusing on what works for our own family unit, I think we will all be a little more confident in how we choose to mother.
Right now, what works best for our family is so different than what worked best for our family three years ago. We've made some radical choices but I have to have confidence that this is what is working right now. Here's how I've found my balance in motherhood:
I have always dreamed of being an early riser. It's something that I've always failed at miserably but since October of last year, I've become more determined. What has helped me significantly is being part of the Hello Mornings Challenge. Right now, I try to wake up between 5:45 and 6 a.m. so I can spend time in the word, time in prayer, and time to exercise. I"d love to wake up closer to five so I could write and plan more of my day....but for now, it's 5:45 which is much earlier than I've ever woken before. This summer, I'm serving as the Accountability Captain for a group of ladies apart of the #hmgg (Hello Mornings Grace Givers) Twitter group. It's been a great motivator for me to get up, connect with the Lord and other early risers before my day begins.
Once the girls are up, it's a rush to get them fed, dressed, and out the door. I usually put my makeup on and get dressed for the day while the girls are eating breakfast and watching a show. Right now, our girls go to Mother's Morning Out four mornings a day. I know this is a big debate for moms and again, my suggestion is do what works best for your family. Last year, my girls went one day. Next year, they are only signed up for two days but I'm hoping to add in some additional activities like dance. I think you just have to look at your family's schedule and priorities and decide what is the best option for childcare and then try it.
I try to do something different each morning they are at school. On Mondays, I go to Bible Study, grocery shopping, and try to clean up the house. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I am at work. On Thursdays, I try to write and run errands.
On the afternoons the girls are home with me, we usually try to schedule play dates, go to gymnastics or another event, or we get creative with the toys and dress up costumes. I love doing fun things with my girls. I won't lie, some days it involves more meltdowns than I can handle but on the days that we are all in a good mood, it's the sweetest gift imaginable to spend time with these munchkins.
One of my love languages is quality time. Spending time with just my husband is one of my all-time favorite things to do. We went through a funk where we hardly had a date and lately we've been making it more of a priority.
Now that the girls are getting a little older, we are also trying to take some day trips together as a family. We recently went to the Georgia Aquarium and they loved it!
Besides quality time with my husband and family, I'm a much better person if I get to have time with my friends. I try to say yes to as many girls nights as possible because I am always yearning for more laughter and honest conversation.
Writing also brings me great joy and I cherish the quiet time I have when my fingers hit the keyboard. I struggle with being confident as a mom-blog writer but I have to continually remind myself to rest in God's will. Since my girls have gotten older and I've begun working, it's been harder to find time to write but somehow I've still been able to keep carving out little bits of time. When they were younger, nap time was when I wrote the most. Now, it happens when they are at school, or sometimes I'll take the ipad with me to a coffee shop on my lunch break. Other days, I manage to squeeze some time in the early or late hours of the day. Weekends when we are home, I try to write while the girls are napping or when Raleigh is playing with them. It's not as consistent as it used to be but for this season of life, I'm just grateful to still get to do it.
Yes, being a mom is an extraordinary experience. Some days are right on schedule while other days keep surprising you. Mama, I'm praying for you and your extraordinary kiddos. I'm praying that we all find our balance - what works for our family - and have confidence that we are making the right decisions instead of getting stuck in the comparison game.
Question: What is your family schedule? How do you keep life as a mom balanced?
Till next time, let your light shine!