Monday, February 13, 2012

Tiny Restoring Click


I prayed before my eyes opened this morning just for renewed presence and patience with my kids.  I prayed to be the Mom they need, who gives them her best and serves them lovingly and with joy.

Last week was a great week for blogging, and I have to admit I thoroughly loved it.  I enjoyed the attention and was happy to feel I'd shared some things that so many people found helpful.  I felt like my old blogging self might be back to stay.

And I guess she might be, still.  But looking back over that same week, I'm aware that while I was writing and taking pictures and responding to comments, I let my kids down.  We didn't ever get around to making the mousling Valentine's treats for their classmates, so I'll be making those by myself today, without Bean, and I know she'll be sad we didn't work on them together.  (I will save two or three for her to make, though, just not all 33.)  I didn't play any games with them, and we didn't snuggle together in the Cozy Room nearly as often as they asked me to.  I didn't focus as well as I needed to on Peabody's potty training, and then got really frustrated with him over the resulting accidents.

I don't feel guilty and I'm not beating myself up and I'm not asking you to tell me I'm a great Mom.  I'm guessing Bean and Peabody didn't notice a huge difference in their everyday lives.  Taking time for my own interests and pursuits can actually make me better at nurturing and encouraging theirs.  I just know that last week I let the emotional, heart-balance slip too far toward myself, and too far away from my number one job: them.  They got some good stuff from me -- Bean and I had a great date yesterday afternoon - lunch and a play with our friends, and I set aside time every day to spend reading to Peabody. But they also got left to their own devices at times that, when I see them in the rear-view mirror, I wish they'd had their Mom fully engaged, loving and laughing and comforting and guiding rather than impatiently scolding or barking instructions over a shoulder as her eyes were locked on this bright, magnetic screen.

I want this family always to know they matter most, and I don't think that's what my actions communicated last week, whether they received the message or not.  Gosh, I hope they didn't.

Last night after our busy day, I put Bean to bed and soon after, she began coughing (she's had a cold this week) and didn't stop for awhile.  I went back to her room and had her sip water and breathe in and out slowly as I sat on the edge of her bed, reassuring her that everything was okay, and she was fine, and not to worry.  When she stopped coughing, I thought to leave the room and go back to folding laundry.  But then I stopped and thought about the Mom I want to be sure my precious daughter knows and remembers, and I turned back and lay down beside her, something I haven't done in a few months, and rubbed her back and stroked her hair and kissed her forehead and told her how beautiful she is, and how much I love her.  I could feel her relax into me and just ... rest.

And I felt the scale move back level again.  Simple gestures, a tiny restoring click and peace spread out within me,  and within her.   That's the click and the peace I want for us in the week ahead.

What's your prayer or hope for the week ahead?

Y'all can subscribe to FriedOkra's feed here.


  1. I am so easily sucked into this online world. I'm planning to make computer time my Lenten sacrifice, which starts next week. I see that I am not giving nearly enough of myself to my family, especially the two youngest kids home with me the most.

    1. It's hard. To give mine the attention they WANT, I'd focus on them 100% of the time. To give them what they NEED is a trickier metric to determine, but I do know that I know it when I feel it, and I haven't felt it for a week or so. So now just time to fiddle with it and adjust and get back on track. That's what we do all the time, isn't it? I will miss you on your break but I know it'll do you and the family so much good.

  2. I think the same thing regarding ministry commitments. It's easy to feel "needed" by so many people, and hard to balance that with the ones who truly do need me most. There are other people who can volunteer, but my kids only have one mom. Thanks for blogging about this -- it's something I wrestle with too.

    With that said . . . girl, I thought you'd lost your mind deciding to make a craft with that many pieces to assemble! The closest I got was handprints with a Hershey's kiss stuck on them -- that was messy, but fast!

  3. Thanks for posting this. As a mom of 2 grown children I wish I had had the energy and committment you do. You do a fantastic job with them, but it is difficult to find that balance between them and your own needs!