I exhaust my husband…. yes, I do! I don’t mean to, I don’t intend to, I don’t realize I am doing it.
What do I mean….
Well, I have a personality and tendency to make a big production out of everything. This whole Christmas season and Christmas seasons past, I plan, run, prep, run more, and am constantly busy trying to make things “perfect” for our “traditions” or “celebrations.” I sometimes overwhelm myself. I end the day trying to have a conversation with my hubby and I usually fall asleep in the middle of it due to exhaustion.
I feel the urge and need to make everything perfect so that we have perfect memories.
Well, Alex has to always remind or even gently force me to SLOW DOWN. He says his head spins and I just need to settle down and enjoy the moment.
I know he’s right…. But who wants to make memories without everything being perfect??
Well, apparently everyone in my house but me!
It was Christmas Eve 2013. I had 3 days of plans and schedules about “what we are going to do” all in order to keep with traditions and memories. As we were still laying in bed early December 24th, the kids all piled in the room and I gave the family the “low-down” on the next 3-day memory making plan. They all looked at me and graciously said “okay mom (or dear).”
So the day began and so did the plan…. crafts, cooking, game-playing, pizza party, snow play and I scheduled myself for an afternoon of cleaning. We could not have a homemade pizza and game night and wake up to Christmas morning the next day while the house was not in order.
The kids did their chores and started their day of crafts, snow-play, gingerbread house making and daddy helping them all.
I was ready for my part – got my cleaning caddy, my gloves on and started to walk upstairs when something happened…….
Our sweet little Josiah (miracle baby) who is now 2.5 years old, grabbed my leg as I walked by, squeezed it and looked up at me with his big eyes and said, “Mommy, will you play Wegos wif me?”
I stood there with an actual dilemma – “clean house so we can make memories?? Or spending one-on-one time with this precious little boy??”
I mean, I actually stood there with a dilemma and had to think about it. Looking back on that incident from a few days ago, I am shocked and disappointed with myself that I even hesitated!
Even with my hesitation, I decided I could give him a few moments of my time to play Wegos (Legos :)). After all, I could do it all – Lego time and still get the house clean to where I wanted it!
But what I didn’t expect was a greater gift that day……….
We just happened to share this photo on our Facebook page right before this whole experience… it’s funny how that works 🙂
As I sat on the floor playing Legos, it was such a beautiful time. He blossomed in sharing these moments with his mother who was usually running all around to get everything done that I don’t take the time he and the others really want – making memories with mommy right there, not rushing from one thing to another.
Well, the longer I sat and played the less I wanted to get up and get back to what I called “Christmas preparation.” In fact, I was settling in quite nicely and enjoying this time together. But everytime I readjusted my position or moved a little, my son would reach out and put his hand on my leg and say “don’t go mommy” even though I wasn’t intending to. These were the memories I wanted to create instead, but he didn’t know that. He thought I was still wanting my “first we will do this, then I will do this, then you will sit here while we make this…. etc.”
What was starting to occur to me was not that we tried to get “everything” done and in for the season, but rather that we slowed down to enjoy what we could instead.
With the busyness of the season, this fact become more known than other times of the year. I try to spend time just “playing” or “hanging out” with the kids without distractions normally, although I do not devote enough time to them and to their emotional needs any time of the year.
It was quite an ironic situation, trying to make things special and perfect for those wonderful memories when all they want are the simple things – like actually spending time with me.
I know I have a lot of things I need to work on with being a mother. No mother is perfect, no mother has it all right and apart from the Grace of God, I would be a total failure.
It is exhausting to be mom, wife, Proverbs 31 woman and all that others think the perfect woman should be. But God does give us the strength and wisdom to know what our children need. Society does not know. The dynamics, personalities and circumstances affect every household differently, but I think one thing that is universal is our children need us…. they don’t need stuff, they shouldn’t feel like they need to earn our affection or attention, they shouldn’t feel like a clean house, perfect meals, or any other earthly tasks are a priority over them.
A few days ago, I ended up spending as much time with Josiah as he wanted to spend playing “Wegos.” It was beautiful, fun and memorable!
Somehow, our memories, pictures and time together skipped over the fact that when we had our pizza and game party that night, the dishes were stacked on the counter behind me. Somehow the pictures and memories missed the fact that the bathroom attached to the laundry room was filled with unsorted laundry. Somehow the pictures and memories missed the fact that the toilets weren’t cleaned that day.
Now I couldn’t let myself have an unvaccumed family room for Christmas morning…. but I did that after the kids were in bed while daddy brought the load down. I didn’t need to do it while they needed me!
For 2014, I already know that a priority I am going to make is to make more time with my children , more specifically slowing down to spend time with them with less distractions.
I often think “when else could I do those things I need to do…. I am already going, going, going all day…..??” But for me personally, a little less time on Facebook, online and email will give me time I need to take care of those necessities.
I can certainly re-prioritize and I certainly will!
So All I Wanted for Christmas Was a Clean House, But I Got Better Relationships Instead
So what does this article have to do with saving money or a thrifty lifestyle? Everything and nothing. I hope you understand. 🙂