The sweet smell of a baby’s hair, the softness of their little cheeks, and big belly laughs are my favorite memories of my little ones. As the days turn to years and those little ones grow up, my love for them remains the same.
Our littlest still has some maturing to do. His preschool teacher is helping him to write his name and solve problems by himself. But at night he still wears a pull-up to bed, and sometimes needs help to dress himself. We’re taking things day by day, one load of bedding at a time.
It was while I was washing his sheets one day that I realized how literally everything I do for my children springs from a heart overflowing with love for them. Because that’s what Mommies do for their kids. I am 100% not nearly as thoughtful and considerate towards other adults. You’d never see me sacrifice as much for one of my neighbors. But because I love these tiny humans with every bone in my body, I give all I have without complaint.
What do Mommies do for their precious children? Well here’s what I’ve done recently:
What Mommies Do
-Re-stuff a teddy bear after all his fluff came out in the washer, and then sew its tattered fur back together.
-Scour the house to find a 5-inch plastic Wonder Woman action figure that by no standards qualifies as a bedtime toy, but that nonetheless must be taken to bed each night.
-I consistently stay up late in the evening to wash dishes or fold laundry just so I can spend more time with my kids while they’re awake.
-Sneak into their room at night, and swap a tooth for money in true Indiana Jones-style.
-Stand in shin-deep water at the beach to teach them how to ride a boogie board even though I’d rather be flaked out on a towel reading People magazine.
-I have to wear sunglasses on the first day of school every year to hide the inevitable tears (mine, not theirs ). Oh, how they grow up so fast. Every new grade at school is a reminder that the years are racing by.
-Peek in on them while they’re sleeping. I mean, could I really get away with that if they weren’t my own babies?
-Read, read, and read again the same scribbled-on, taped-up book about a hungry caterpillar.
-Show kindness to people who don’t deserve it. Because darn if our kids don’t imitate our behaviors, especially our worst ones. The best way to raise a kind human is to be one.
But here’s the thing, friend. While I can’t stress enough the importance of making wonderful memories with your children, there are some things that Mommies just shouldn’t do. One of the biggest destroyers of our joy in this season of motherhood is when we get swallowed up in raising our children… And we lose sight of what used to make us feel alive.
I love my four babies tremendously, but I’ve found that they will still love me just as much if I
-Go to a friend’s house for a spa night. A cute little foot spa and peel-off face mask are all the pampering I need.
-Take up a hobby that they can’t be a part of, like playing the guitar or learning hand lettering.
-Keep a tight budget but not so tight that I have to wear the same 2 hole-y bras over and over every day.
-Let them play in the Kids Club while I work out at the gym.
Because let’s face it. The years are short. But when these little birds fly, will I even know what to do with myself? I can’t let who I am become swallowed up in my kids. My identity has to stay me, the girl who loves hiking and rock climbing and snowboarding… plus the mom that loves her kids.
On Instagram, I shed light on the need for moms keep sight of who they are. I know I can’t be the person I was before kids, but I can still bring that same fire and energy and passion to things that light me up inside. Use the hashtag #MomPlusJoy as you share your photos on Instagram.
Live well, friend.