Do you ever get in a rut as a person or a parent?
I realized this morning that I’ve been in a serious rut. I’m calling it fed-up mothering. It’s the place where you wake up wondering if you’re just going to make it to bedtime because you know the day is going to deplete you.
You know, the days where you spend more time saying “stop that” and “give me that” and many other choice phrases. You find yourself more clumsy and distracted.
Eggs drop on counters, cell phones fall on your foot, water spills everywhere.
I know these things happen in the day-to-day, but it’s more common here in fed-up land.
And the underlying cause is that you’re depleted instead of full.
But why is that? Why are we operating from a place of depletion instead of joy?
Because we get stuck. We get stuck inside when it’s raining and snowing and 25 degrees and the baby just won’t walk.
We get stuck on needing to get it all done.
We get stuck in the “I need more time to do X” instead of just making time.
I know at least for me, fed-up parenting comes from striving instead of thriving.
And that’s the place I’ve lived in recently. I’m in the midst of some of the sweetest years of my kids’ lives and I’m striving to just survive them.
But what I need and my kids need is for me to slow down and enjoy these moments. To cry with the kids instead of about them.
It’s my job to teach my kids how to be humans, but getting frustrated with them doesn’t help them ease their frustrations.
Getting fed-up at the beginning of the day gives them a model to be more disruptive and more out of sorts than they should be.
In my quiet time this morning, I realized just how depleted I’ve been. I’m hearing my 2-year-old giving if-you-do-this-then statements to his sisters from sun up to sundown.
I want to break this cycle of busyness, frustration, fear that I’m not doing enough and surviving today.
So, how do we do it?
We go back to who we really are. We ask God to help us be who he created us to be.
I coached my sister through the delivery of her baby last week, and while she was in the hospital a nurse told me something that inspired me.
She came to my Wednesday night toddler class with her grandson one time recently. And after chatting for a few minutes, she said, “You’re a really good teacher.”
And she’s right. I am a good teacher. I’m my kids’ teacher.
My entire childhood, I played house and school. It was my joy to instruct my little brothers and sisters in how to write, how to draw and how to keep a home. I loved pretending to be a mommy and a teacher. No wonder I get excited over fresh notebooks and freshly sharpened No. 2s.
God gave me those loves because he knew I was meant to be a good mother to the kids he created. He picked me to be their mom. Isn’t that an honor and a privilege?
That’s the first thing I need to dwell on.
I love being a teacher. I love to see the lights of understanding come on.
For instance, I noticed my little non-walker extend her sentences this past week from “Thank you” to “Thank you, Mama.” I noticed she knows every person and animal’s name in the house.
My little technical geek boy was making octagons and triangles with the rubber bands I use to keep them out of the cabinets in the kitchen last night. (Thank you, Mickey Mouse for teaching him shapes.)
I see my beautiful big girl learning to put in her own ponytail and tying different knots. I see her instructing her friends in how to round numbers and estimate whether Mama has enough money to buy all the groceries.
I’m going to miss these moments if I don’t slow down and stop being fed-up.
So, I’m pledging to myself and to my children that they will see a difference in me today.
We’re going to put the joy back in our days. We’re going to fill our tanks with fun, laughter and operate from the fruits of the spirit. We’re going to slow down and learn how to serve each other. We’re going to spend more time outside. We’re going to spend more time working together to learn how to love each other and less time correcting and reacting.
I wrote this post to give myself some accountability and to lay out a vision for how I want to raise my kids. I hope it inspires you. I hope you can relate. What do you do when you feel fed up?
Thanks for reading!