5 Things Thursday – 5 Things That Make Moms Amazing

A side note from Ashley: I KNOW that there are more than 5 reasons that moms are amazing. AND I know that dads are awesome, too. But, for the sake of being concise and in order to not write a 10,000 word post, I’m keeping it real and posting 5 reasons that I think moms are awesome.

I wrote yesterday that this week I would be taking the time to celebrate moms and motherhood. And in keeping with that proclamation, and clearly taking advantage of the fact that my children are engrossed in Little Einsteins at the moment, I’m going to do my best.

Here at (just) 5 reasons that moms are amazing. In no particular order.

1.) Moms can make everything better. No, really. I’m almost 30 and I still call my mother. Whether it’s for a favor, for babysitting, to chat, to grab me milk when she’s in town. Whatever it may be. If anything crops up in my day to day life that has me frazzled, it’s probably nothing a phone call to her, asking what I should do won’t cure. Even though I’ve long since moved out, this somehow doesn’t bother her. I suppose that holds true for a lot of moms.

2.) If mom can’t find it, it’s lost. Just this past week, with some assistance, I fished a stick my son had been using to go pretend fishing out of the Tuckahoe River. It was knocked into the water accidentally and my son was plenty upset about it. Even though I knew it would be perfectly reasonable to let it go since, you know, it was floating away down river I just couldn’t. Cue me, hanging off the edge of a dock, fishing in this stick. Why? Because it made Jerry happy. Therefore, it made me happy. The same goes for sippy cups, trains, toys, books and socks. Mom has got it…unless she doesn’t have it. Otherwise, that special item is nowhere to be found and has most likely made it’s way to Narnia.

3.) Moms have intuition. Most mothers know when the sickness is coming before it has arrived. Or know what their child wants at the first gripe or whine. Or know the difference between a teething fever and a cold induced fever. We just know. It’s built into us. It’s probably more mysterious to us than it is to you. But John Edwards has got nothing on an intuitive mother. Word.

4.) Multitasking. This is a skill that like a fine wine gets better the longer that a mom mothers. Chances are that she is feeding babies while talking on the phone and emptying the dishwasher. Or making dinner and conversing with the hubby. It’s another one of those things that we don’t understand. But it’s a gift God gave to moms because He knew we’d need them. Now, if we only had some of Inspector Gadget’s gadgets or the ability to fly. We’d be unstoppable.

5.) Dedication. What makes a mom especially great? Her dedication to her child or children. If all else crumbles in this world but my children are alright, then I’m good. If my house were an absolutely disaster everyday until they moved out, but my children finished school well and live to be happy adults, I’d get over it. Your priorities shift when baby comes along. And it is the best shift you can and will ever make. And if it hasn’t happened for you yet, that’s ok. Hopefully, you had a great momma who thinks the world of you and made you her priority.

There you have it. Just a handful of reasons that moms are the coolest. Hug your mom this week, and tell her thank you. I promise, that is something that will never ever get old to her.

Happy Thursday!

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Five Things Friday: Five Reasons I (sometimes) Miss Being A Kid

There have been some germs flying around my house as of late. The kids were sick last week, and I picked up the bug this week. Woot <— sarcasm. My husband has been holding out while…wait…this just in…Rob is sick, too. Dang it. I did the mom/nurse thing last week. I checked temps, I doled out meds, I wiped little noses and consoled the babies who woke up snotty at midnight…and again at 2…and yet again at 5. I saw their little “what the heck is going on?!” faces. At those hours even the most energetic of children want to be asleep. And mine were no exception. They were not happy about being up.

Since I’m battling the germs this week, major props to my children for being great by the way, I have realized the “beauty” of one more part of being a grown up. When you’re finally the grown up and the parent…there is still crap to be done. Crap that will still be there waiting for you after you get well…so that you can get right back to doing it. Being sick stinks on more than just a “not feeling well” level. It’s just one more element to being a responsible, level-headed adult that we should just get over and embrace, right?

…Right???

5 Reasons I Sometimes Miss Being A Kid.

1.) Days OFF.

Like I already said, even when you are sick there are STILL things to be done. You don’t have a no-strings attached day off to get well. Even weekends don’t quite mean the same thing as they used to once you reach the great wide world of adulthood and parenthood. Especially if you are a parent that also has to work, that extra time out of the office isn’t strictly for relaxation. It’s for going home, tackling chores around the house and spending time with the kids. And all of that doesn’t leave much time for being a couch potato. Don’t even get me started on how kids get three months off during the summer from school. **grumble**

2.) Money

It isn’t like Rob or I were ever rolling in the dough. But before a mortgage, car payments, kids or cell phone bills, he and I actually had a decent bit of extra money to ourselves on payday. There may not have been a TON of surplus but it was enough for the occasional movie or weekly meal out without another thought. Now it takes more monitoring and being conscious  of what we choose to spend our funds on.  One day, there may be more of it (hopefully!) so as to not stress about it so much. Until then, we are good with ramen and Froot Loops and Ledo’s pizza being our occasional treat.

3. Time

It may appear that it is, but having days off and time are NOT the same thing. I’m talking about time to sit in peace. Time to read a book. Time to finish a movie while lazing about on the couch. Simple time. Minutes to waste. Hours to kill. Free time. Do such things even exist? I wouldn’t know.

4. Ignorance

Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I’m a big believer in common sense, responsibility and knowledge. But in hindsight, I can appreciate those days where I didn’t have to worry about paying bills…because I didn’t really know what they were. The mechanics of what it took to run a home ran quietly in the background of my life and it was up to my parents to do the worrying, not me. The problems of the world? What? I didn’t watch the news. And even better? No one expects pre-teens to watch the news. Sometimes, I’d take naivety over information overload and all of the things that I have to worry about.

5. Being coddled

Just one day, when my kids are climbing up the walls, and dinner on the stove is burning and I realize that I haven’t even had lunch, I would like someone would show up and tell me that I look sleepy and need a little nappy-nap. I’d like someone to coddle me incessantly when I’m sick. If I hurt myself or something makes me mad, I want someone to swoop in and take over. Someone whose only goal is to make me feel better. I’m lucky and my life has a lot of love in it. But…being babied? That sounds kind of nice on occasion. And I can only convince Rob to go and make me a glass of Juicey-Juice so many times before he is going to catch on to what I’m doing.

 

I am not hating on adolescents.I was young once myself and I remember those carefree days. I remember just how good I had it. And, as I tell many of them every chance that I get, they should go after every opportunity, soak up and enjoy every (minor) irresponsible choice and enjoy wasting time, but in a fashion so as to truly not waste their time. In those years, it is so precious and, unfortunately, so fleeting. I have my ten-year high school reunion this summer. Trust me, it is fleeting. Soak it up and reach for the stars, or something like that. Be awesome.

I told my friend, who was gracious enough to bring me soup yesterday, that I was working on a post about this topic and he gave me the perfect quote to use. And like I already told him I would, I’m stealing it now,

“You know that you have reached adulthood when if you fall asleep on the sofa, you wake up…and you’re still there in the morning.” – Chris

It was so accurate and it kind of made me sad a little bit. Because it’s true.

Happy Friday, everyone!!

5 Things Thursday: 5 Truths About Motherhood {that I keep relearning}

I want to make something clear, not for any reason other than my own desire to do so: whenever I write something and put it out for the masses (…all ten of you) to read it may seem as though I a, writing as someone who has it all together. This is not the case. These words are just as much for me to take to heart as they are for anyone else. I am a work in progress, probably much like yourself, and I need to read and remember them whether they are words of encouragement, advice or otherwise.

Let’s get to it.

5 Truths About Motherhood:

1. Sometimes it will be the little things that get you through the day.

Whether it is making it out to the grocery store for two hours with no children in tow or that by God’s grace your children decided to sleep an hour later than they normally would, it will be the seemingly insignificant things that make your heart tick on a day when nothing seems to be going right. If it isn’t your baby who has learned how to say “amen!” it will be your three-year old who drew you a picture of the sun. The little pleasures, the little joys somehow become huge and so very important. Sometimes we are entirely to busy or stressed to even notice them.

These little things will get you through when you’re ready to pull your hair out. These small but perfect moments in time have reduced me to tears in the midst of a chaotic day. The moments when your sleepy child puts their head on your shoulder. Or when dinner turns out better than you thought that it would. I sometimes feel like these moments where it all comes together and clicks are God’s small way of saying to me, “I see your struggles today and I want you to know that all is well”. There may be seasons in your mothering years where the small things are all you glean from long days. Enjoy them. Embrace them. Especially if that small thing is an hour on the sofa with your husband  before bed, watching the news. Sounds good to me.

2. There will never, ever be enough time.

This should be self-explanatory but sadly I see so many moms (myself included) rushing around, trying to get everything done and putting undo pressure on themselves. And while there are things that must be done everyday there is a difference between essential chores and the things that you would LIKE to accomplish each day. Read my words when I say that there will never, ever be enough time to do it all. Far too often we become wrapped up in crossing things off of a mental checklist or in trying to fit into the ill-conceived image of a “perfect parent”.  And in the end we drive ourself nuts. I have got to tell you, I haven’t found a way yet to get my house perfectly clean, keep my two children happy and get makeup on my face every single day. Take it all in stride. Prioritize. Your children come first, the to-do list comes second. No, wait…chocolate and coffee come second (it was a tie.)

3. You will feel…(fill in the blank here)

Discouraged. Frustration. Defeated.  You will feel all of these things…unfortunately on more than a few occasions. It comes with the territory. You will feel like you have fought the same battles, washed the same dishes and repeated the same answers to needy children over and over…and over again. You will feel like your children’s occasionally poor attitudes are a result of your deficits as a mother. You will feel like your children’s shortcomings are an all too present reminder of where you fail as a mother. You will feel like if you just can’t keep the house looking great that you can’t get anything right.

If you walked into my kitchen right now, you would find pieces to Mr. Potato Head on the floor, dishes in my sink and a floor that desperately needs to be swept. If you were to stop by at nap time on a Tuesday, you would find a three-year old that doesn’t want to go to bed and is fighting me every step of the way. If you wanted to see me today, at 11:08 a.m. in my car, you would have seen me practicing deep breathing as my children whined at me from the backseat. There is no such thing as a perfect, has it all together mom. Doesn’t exist. This is reality. It’s raw and sometimes it down right sucks. Tomorrow is a new day, and God’s mercies are new every morning. And today and it’s busyness will be in the rearview mirror. Don’t you ever give up, momma.

4. Your children LOVE you. 

I think that this is one thing that mom’s have amnesia about. I forget this so easily, because read these words: your children love (want, need, care for, desire, appreciate…) YOU. And while this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t guard our children or should be careless with their love, this does allow us some room to breathe. Your children love YOU. They care about YOU. And if you let them, they will amaze you with how much grace they are capable of giving to you. My kids could care less about the messes around the house –  they probably wouldn’t because they’re normally the ones that make them. They could care less if we make it to the bank or if we forgot the sour cream at the grocery store. Your children need YOU. Of course, they need a harmonious and loving home to grow up in, but the actual physical state of the house (barring the extreme) plays a very small part of that fact for them. Parents with a joyful and patient heart are what make a harmonious and warm home that your children will love being in. You are the largest part of that, momma.

5. Parenting is some of the hardest work, but the most rewarding. 

I have done the 9-5 thing. I earned a title or two, punched my time card and collected a paycheck. I enjoyed the work I did immensely. But now that I am home full-time that all seems so distant to me. There is nothing wrong with work outside of the home. But I can say that my children are what I am the most proud of. Watching them grow, learn to talk, say the alphabet and count has been amazing. Seeing how loving they are to one another, listening to my son say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and watching my daughter hug a little girl she just met at the park, well, that all takes the cake. That is a legacy. And you can’t put a price on it.

Those are the fruits of a long, hard labor. Much like the babies the doctor laid across my chest when they were first born, squirming, pink and new beings in their first moments of the world, were the fruits of my physical labors in all of its perfection, watching my children grow with hearts that honor God, love others and live with joy is by far the best thing that I can imagine. There is nothing in this world greater than that.

There you have it. Happy Thursday!