Monday, August 3, 2009

Lightbulb moments.

I had a revelation this weekend.

Here goes.

I love my job.

Since I don’t work outside the home, that would be the job title of “Mom.” I don’t know why it was such a revelation to me, because I have reflected on this same thought many times, and I have even said those exact same words in the past. But something was different in my mind. It was like everything just clicked, a light bulb went off, and I realized that I really, truly mean it this time.

I love being a mom to these four little human beings.

Do you ever have those moments as a mom when you feel like everything just turned out right? Everything just fell in place? This weekend was one of those times for me. My sisters and I threw a baby shower on Saturday for our sister Colette, and Bill and I traveled with the kids to our hometown three hours away from where we live. Actually, I left with the kids a day ahead of Bill, so I did the initial traveling part without him. And I was superbly proud of my kids.

It is no small feat to take my kids anywhere by myself, but I do it. I do it mostly because I am not interested in being a shut-in, nor are my children. My kids are champion travelers by now because they have been doing it since birth.

My four little roadies.

When I said earlier that everything fell into place, I never said the word “perfect” did I? No, I'm not that big of a fool. But my kids all behaved, cooperated and helped out to make it a fun weekend. I was surprised to see them embrace the group mentality and being part of a big family, rather than, the I'm-looking-out-for-number-one mentality I sometimes see from them. Charlie and Henry are the two oldest cousins, so I love watching how tender and kind they can be with their young cousins. They have this nurturing side to them, and selfishly, I hope Bill and I can take the teensiest iota of credit for instilling it in them.

The shower was beautiful, and all the women at the shower wrote motherhood advice in a journal for Colette as she embarks on this journey. It made me stop and think about what it all means.

It’s so much more than carpooling, making dinner, grocery shopping and laundry.

The longer I do this job the more I enjoy it. I have always told myself to relax and enjoy and just take it all in, and now I am finally listening to myself. Bill and I try to set realistic expectations for our kids, (the key word being “realistic”) and we are pleasantly surprised that they are actually fulfilling them. My kids are getting older now, so I'm passing up the frazzled new mom stage, and I'm loving this current stage when I can have real conversations and laugh with my kids more.

Of course I don't have teenagers yet, so talk to me in a few years.

I dread when the words, "I'm taking away your car keys as punishment," enter my vocabulary. Car keys? I shudder to think of it.

This job is hard, but at the same time it isn’t. Discipline is hard, but in the long run it is making our lives easier. Consistency is hard to maintain, but I am also slowly realizing that maybe the experts are right. Another lightbulb moment for me: consistency is what is making our discipline stick.

Of course, we still have to discipline every single day. The naughty step is still very much my friend. I still have those moments where I feel like I am just an ineffective talking head blathering on and on while my kids don’t listen. But every so often I get a glimpse that they are.

I hope I don’t come off as "Today's Special Guest Lecturer Braggy McBraggerson." Like my kids are better than yours.

Because they are not.

I just want to encourage you to see your mommy glass as half-full rather than half-empty.

I wanted a blog entry that focused on the good stuff. If I write these thoughts down, it makes it real and cements it in my mind. Then I have no choice but to actually believe what I am saying.

Enjoy. Kiss. Hug. Praise your kids when they doing it right. Thank your husband if he is truly a partner to you. Don’t micromanage. I’ll say it again. Don’t micromanage. (Those two words are my own personal mantra, so I want to make sure they sink in, mostly in my head.) Breathe and slow down and you will be amazed that your kids will too.

Congrats if you’re already doing those things every single day.

It always takes me a little longer to figure these things out.

I still have so much to learn.

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