Sunday, May 11, 2014

Fitted sheets and lullabies

Last night was filled with multiple awakenings by a sad, sick 4 year old child and empty of any quality sleep. Every 15 minutes I was desperately needed by this boy who was scared to death at  the intensity of his illness.


The morning after a night like that always tests me and pushes my body to its limits. Of course there were multiple loads of sheets and towels and pajamas to launder. As I yawned and folded yet another fitted sheet I realized that my skills at folding fitted sheets are subpar.


My Mother certainly tried to teach me how to fold them neatly; hospital corners were expected in the making of a bed in my growing up home. My Mother is an amazing organizer and has neatness woven into her character. I missed out on that gene somehow. . The skill of somehow managing to control those rounded corners into a tidy pile of linen to be properly placed on a closet shelf was not something that transferred from my mother’s skill set into my own.


Last night when my sweet boy was wracked with illness and I held him and kissed his sweaty brow and rocked him and rubbed his back,  I sang to him and gently put him back to sleep. Neat sheets were low on the priority list last night.


In addition to her skills with hospital corners and fitted sheets, my Mother also taught me about nurturing a sick child in the night. I remember being very young and getting horrible ear infections and sore throats. One of my earliest memories (probably the same age as my son), is of her, rocking me in the wee hours of the morning in the creaky old rocker, while singing “Bye-O" to me (our family lullaby). My Mom sings off key and always has, but I remember as a child thinking her voice was like an angel’s. I can almost picture this night in my mind’s eye, it is one of my very earliest memories.


I'm quite certain the skill of folding a fitted sheet pales in comparison to the most important lessons she taught me that night almost 40 years ago. Thank you Mom for all the life skills you taught me, but most of all thank you for teaching me through example that my children are worth sacrificing for, staying up for, and staying home for. I know through watching you that Motherhood is a noble and worthy calling and the best choice for my life. Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Survive or thrive?

(Image found here

I remember going to my first power of moms retreat and April Perry talking  about not just surviving but thriving in this journey of motherhood. That really resonated with me because I had already years before decided that I do not want to spend a good chunk of my life in survival mode. I've been doing this parenting thing for 15 years and have at least that long until my youngest leaves home. That's 30 years that I don't want to white knuckle it through life, but I want to thrive and become who I am supposed to become. I want my kids to know that I loved life and adored being their Mom, that I was always trying to learn and grow and be better. My Mom is such a great example of always learning, growing and bettering herself.  Of course there are days that I white knuckle it and barely get through but I don't want that to be my life.  It's about making a conscious choice to love this life I've chosen and that has been given to me. It's about waking up every morning and to start out with the question, "What is this day going to bring and what am I going to get out of it? What am I going to learn and what adventure are we going to have? I am going to be an amazing Mom and person today!" 

This wasn't always the case. I remember some days waking up and sort of dreading getting out of bed, I remember even occasionally vocalizing that I hated my life. I had sort of let life happen to me and hadn't made the choice to choose happiness and deliberately make my life happy. It's not about circumstance, it's about mindset. I for sure still have days where I have a hard time getting out of bed and where I feel down, but those are much fewer and farther between than they used to be because I have made the choice to intentionally be happy no matter what. 

So what is your choice?