Hurry, hurry!!! That phrase is the norm in our home these days. No time to break, no time to waste. They stop what they are doing and obey. They don't yell or complain as I rush them out the door. We have no time to play.
When did this change? I recall the days my oldest and I had no hurries. We took our time, we explored the world, we used our imagination. Sure there were things to do, and we did them, but not in a rush. We had all the time to play.
Two more kids later and time always has a name; doctor, errands, events. Even as simple as get dressed and brush teeth. Hurry, hurry!!! And they obey.
Then one day God makes me be still. I hear quiet voices. No yelling, no screaming. We have something to be at, but a voice is whispering "hush". I follow the little voices I know so well. With imaginations going strong they are playing so well. I listen to the voice that begs me to slow. Time will be gone before I know it. So I am still... and I let them play away.
It is a sad thing when we can look back as mothers and see the mom we used to be and the mother we are now and long for the first to return. How I had patience for my daughter in those days. Lance and I made it our goal in raising her that we would not "hurry" her. We would not pull her from smelling the roses, or from watching the slug cross the sidewalk, or from taking an hour to eat a meal because she was telling stories in between bites. I look back at the old mother I was and ache for her to return. Is that you mommy? Are you looking back to when it was a simpler time raising your children. Do you ache for the old you to return?
As mothers we are so very hard on ourselves. We want to do it all, all the time AND be perfect doing it. Even in the recesses of our brains that nagging that we need to be 100% all the time remains. It is true we push it back there, we try our very best not to have it consume us. But just as no man is without sin, no mother is without that nagging notion she should be doing more, being more.
I look at my life now and I think if the old me... no scratch that, I don't think I KNOW. If the old mother in me saw me today it she would have turned the other way, in her head probably judging me for my unkept hair, no makeup face, and unruly children. Heck if the pre-mother me saw me she may just decide right then and there to never have kids!
But... and this is a big but; I may have let go some of our goals with Briseis and slacked in certain areas but I have grown so much from the chaos of it all. I love being a stay at home mom! Some of you know I am homeschooling them and if you don't then now you do. I love my children with every fiber of my being. I don't have to share my love with them or with Lance. My love just grew, it's such a cool concept. It grew! One of my favorite parts of being with my children is when I get to see them playing, and not just playing a game or something, but using their imaginations. It is like my own personal 10, 15, 20 minute TV show that no one, no one gets to see except me. And there is no re-runs when it comes to these moments. It is genuine and authentic. I was pondering this today actually. The kids had some laundry that needed to be put away and the dishwasher needed to be empty. But today God graced me with the memory of NOT hurrying. I could have called them in to do their chores right then and there, but instead I let them keep playing outside until they took a break to come inside for water. Mommies it was liberating! And it didn't even set me back because had I interrupted their game I can assure you the amount of time I would have dealt with complaining about stopping their game would have been the same. Furthermore, because I respected their game and didn't interrupt it, when asked to do their chores there was no whining or crying or even resistance. Oh mothers, what a breath of fresh air.
Now I am not saying there is not a time and place for our children to keep up the pace. I certainly don't want to be caught in a lightning storm and them to stop and count the seconds between it and the thunder. LOL. But I am living proof of a sad reality that new moms and maybe even some slightly older moms don't know about. It started last year. Briseis was in her first year of homeschooling and I could not keep up with decorating for the holidays, like any of them! I was so burnt out from feeling like I had just done it AND to make things worse the same thing is happening this year only it's faster! See my mom always said time would fly when I had kids. I always took that as I would look back once they were out of the house and go "man did that go by fast". NO! NO! NO! It means you will see and feel it going by that fast IN THE MOMENT! I hate it! Can I get an amen from the wise mothers out there that have already gone through this? I don't want this time to fly, I love the age my kids are right now (these are old pictures fyi, you know, when I was more patient. Ha!) and I don't want it to keep going this fast. Sadly though, according to mathematical equations of time it will only get worse because the concept of time is constantly changing. Think about it, when your first child was born did that year fly by? No, in fact it probably dragged on as you impatiently waited for the first smile, the first roll over, the first night of no waking up, the first tooth, the first word, the first EVERY THING. But now that we go into three years, seven years, twelve years time starts speeding up. Oh it is precious time, so precious and so many times we miss the time because it is literally flying by us. Do you see how important it is to stop and smell the roses mommy? Do you see how important it is to let them explore the slimy gross slug crossing the sidewalk (blah! Mothers of boys know exactly what I am talking about). Do you see how important it is to slow down at the dinner table and listen to your children without telling them to hurry up and eat? Sometimes I wish we didn't even have clocks in our home, because I am always looking at them!
As mothers it is our duty to show our children that taking our time is okay. And they NEED to see us taking our time, not hurrying. I know it is hard, I know. You can laugh at me and shake your head because your to do list is increasing as you take the time to read this blog. But tomorrow is not a guarantee and if tomorrow doesn't come and you stand before God will you regret yesterday because you were in such a hurry you didn't stop to watch your children play? I read in the Jesus Calling devotional the other day where the author called out our "TO DO LIST". Called it out, right there were I was, and lets face it you know where I was because it is the only place us mothers can go and hide for two minutes before THEY FIND US! But the to do list was called out as an idol. Oh my gosh! Slap in the face and foot in my mouth. It was right, I had made my to do list into an idol and I was teaching my children to do the same! I was teaching them to idolize being on the go as quick as possible. Whoops, thank God for his grace and for wiser moms then me pointing these things out.
We can not allow our busyness to become our idols, mothers. If this is happening to you right this moment I can assure you that is not from God but from the great Deceiver who wants you to think the list has to get done or you aren't cutting it. LIES! God smiles at you when you slow down to see his wonders because when we do we have the only faith at that moment that can stand above all others, child like faith. So say a prayer for yourself mommy. Ask the Holy Spirit to intervene on your behalf and point out the times you need to hurry and the times you simply need to let them play away. I love you mommies and I know you can do this and I love you for even just trying. We are raising up warriors and to do so I pray you know that means you, mothers, are warriors too.
Matthew 18:3-4 "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."