Friday, November 18, 2011

Fun but not relaxing :)

A few weeks ago I went on a little getaway with a friend and our FOUR kids. :) Several months ago my friend Sarah asked if I wanted to go with her to central Oregon to redeem a LivingSocial deal that she had purchased and been unable to use. She said we could take our boys, relax in the deluxe suite by the fire, maybe get some pedicures, etc. It sounded blissful and of course I said YES YES YES, I would LOVE to go!!!!

A couple weeks before we were to leave, she called me and suggested that we bring our girls with us.

Really? Hmmm. Well........I suppose.....

It's not that I don't adore my daughter, because I do. And it's not like I didn't want her to go with us, I just thought it would be SO different then if we just took the babies. Like, a lot more work different. Sarah really really wanted to take them though so I agreed (and secretly prayed she would change her mind, ha!!). I knew that we would have a good time, it just wouldn't be as relaxing as I might have liked.

I got to thinking though and our trip is a lot like parenting in general. It's a whole heck of a lot of fun but far far far from *relaxing*. Parenting takes effort. God didn't bless me with these kiddos to just hang out with and then send on their way once they turn 18. He gave me them to invest my time, love, energy and finances (right?!) in while they are still *mine*.

We had a great trip and priceless memories were created. I am so blessed to have a friend with kiddos so close in age to mine and everywhere we went, people would ask "did you plan to have kids so close in age". Sarah and I used to walk through the mall and people would ask us the same thing with our girls. Fun memories and still more yet to be made.

Everett and Benjamin. They are seriously the sweetest boys EVER.

The girls LOVED this statue of a chipmunk in our room. Emersyn named her Mary and we talked about Mary during the whole trip. It was funny.

Keeping her baby warm. It was VERY chilly!!

My beautiful babies on the shore of Suttle Lake.

Lifelong friends!!

Ellie and Ems at their first playdate, Ems was 11 weeks and Ellie was 7 weeks. I looked at this picture info and ironically, it was three years ago TODAY!

I feel like I have been so blessed with easy babies. (Knock on wood, I know Everett is still young). People see how old Everett is and comment on how tired I must be but if I'm tired, it's my own fault. My kid sleeps 8-9 hours a night, I cannot complain. The preschool age though is by far the most challenging age that I have experienced. But again, parenting is fun but not relaxing. I have been married for 8 years now and it has FLOWN by. I've been a mama for 3 years and again, it has gone by faster then I ever imagined it could. I am so burdened to pray that my parenting years won't fly by and yield no fruit. I am notorious for living vicariously through anticipating the future. I'll think to myself, "I really need to start working on reading more bible stories to Ems" or "I need to be better at taking pictures of Everett" and just thinking those thoughts almost makes me feel better to the point of then forgetting to follow through with what I planned. I don't know if that makes sense but I've been that way my entire life. I always have an excuse. It used to be "when I have a house of my own, I'll be more organized" or "when I lose weight I'll be more involved or confident". And in the meantime, time ticks on whether I like it or not and whether I achieve anything or not. But now, it's not just me that's affected, it's these two precious children that have been entrusted into my care. In my worst nightmares, I look at my teenagers and think, why didn't I take the time to invest in your future when I had the chance?

My daughter is a special little girl I a believe that God is going to use her to be a leader. However, there are times when I am dealing with a situation and I see the ugly things in myself shining through in her. Recently, she has become rather easily angered and it's like she'll go from zero to raging mad in no time. She gets frustrated with things easily and often times she's tired and that leads to aggression which pretty much brands her with a scarlet letter on her forehead as a child that hits or pushes. I am not saying that those behaviors are acceptable, because they aren't but more often then not, I project my own insecurities in parenting onto her and my pride is the one that issues a punishment, not my heart. I worry more about what other moms think of me versus what I know is right in my heart.

An equation that I have a tough time accepting sometimes is that good parenting doesn't equal perfect children. And also, making a poor choice doesn't equal a naughty child, it's a naughty action. Yesterday I had a rough day with Emersyn and she did something that made me really mad because she knew better and it upset me. I do my best not to parent in anger though, that is something I am very aware of in my life. I took some deep breaths and proceeded to head home. When we got into the house I had a discussion and told Emersyn, "you ARE a sweet girl and mommy will always love you. you just made a bad choice and because of that, you have a consequence. I know you can make a better choice next time" and that was that. No grudges. No further guilt. Emersyn IS a good girl and she deserves a mom that will have her back at all times, not just when she is being sweet and loving. That is always the hope of course, but even at her ornery times she is just as *good* as when she is on her best behavior.

Emersyn is my reminder of how much I need Jesus these days. And I am grateful to her for that and promise to do my best for her. Sometimes I have to remind myself, "YOU'RE the one who wanted to be a full time stay at home mom!!". I'm telling you, the working world is a piece of cake compared to parenting. For reals.

I'm rambling I know, but hey, it's my blog. I can do that. :)

I'll leave you all with a picture of my amazingly sweet and cute baby boy. I could literally black out from joy every time I look at this. My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude to God for giving me this precious precious boy.


Kristi said...

oh man, i'm right there with you on parenting a preschooler. it is rough these days around our house. it sounds like you are handling it way better than me!

LeAnna said...

Oh my goodness, that list pic of Ev is ADORABLE!!!!! You are blessed, Mama. :)

Sherrie said...

You are a wonderful mother Patti. Coming from a mom who has a ten year old, it does not get easier as they get older. With each age, comes a different challenge and trying to figure out how to deal with it is difficult. But, you do the best you can and take it day by day. They are lucky to have you, be confident in your abilities. :) ~S