I want to be careful in how I deliver today’s post. I know we all have our own opinions on what makes a “good mom,” and sure, we can be pretty critical of both ourselves and others on this subject. I have to be honest, though. I truly believe that even the worst of the “worst” moms have a heart for their kids. I’ve just seen too many people facing too many big things that, well, for lack of a better way of saying it, kind of get in the way. It’s not that their heart is bad, or that their heart isn’t for their kids, but that life can get really complicated and really messy really fast. So I don’t want to deliver today’s post in a way that either a) makes you feel like there is one more thing you need to work on or, b) causes you to feel critical of other moms. If you are a mom, like me, then we are all in the same boat. It’s all hard. We are all trying our best. Some of us mess up super publicly in big ways, while others of us mess up privately in smaller ways. It’s all the same, folks. We are imperfect people, parenting imperfect people, in imperfect ways. So grace all around.
With that being said, I have two things I wanted to share with you that I’ve been attempting to do on the regular. They are small things that I believe will have a big impact in my kids’ lives.
I’m not sharing these new practices with you to beat you up or make you feel like you need to do more. I’m not sharing them with you to make you feel like I’m doing such a good job as a mom. I just really get the fact that this parenting gig is hard, and I’m acutely aware of my faults, and I needed a few, simple, practical ways to try and do better.
My goal, as always, is to encourage and inspire. So take heart that we are all in this together. Take heart that I too mess up as a mom all the time. And take heart, because it really is the simple things that matter the most.
Praying for my kids as I fold their laundry – I hate folding laundry, but I love my kids. Lately, as I fold their little shirts and pants, I pray over them, using their clothing as inspiration. Sometimes I think of their physical body that fills the clothes and I pray for physical things – health, protection, freedom from habits that would harm their body, positive body image, etc. Sometimes I see their little personalities shining through their clothing choices and I pray for things like their hobbies, talents, personalities, and future experiences. Sometimes, as I match their socks, I pray over the places their feet will take them, praying that they find adventure and joy, but also peace, integrity, and bravery. Every week is different. Every week their piles of clothing inspires a new thought, a new prayer, and a new hope.
Pausing to look and at smile my kids when they are speaking to me – Ok, this is a tough one, because kids are constantly calling for their mom’s attention. But how many times do I respond to them with my attention divided between the many things I’m multitasking? How many times do I put down what I’m working on to pause, turn to them, and respond with a soft word and a smile? Not often enough, honestly. So I’m working on this. I want them to see me smile more, and not just in general, but at them. Yes, kids are such a huge amount of work, but they are also such a gift, and they bring so much joy. I want the joy they bring me to be reflected in my actions, attitudes, and expressions towards them.
This is a hard one because sometimes I feel like people insinuate that parent’s who do this are making their kids the center of their universe. I’m not saying that at all. My kids know life isn’t all about them. But at the end of the day, they are still kids. If I get nothing else right as a mom, I want my kids to know without a shadow of a doubt that I don’t just love them – I like them. I want to be around them. I enjoy being around them. Nothing communicates this better then giving them my attention when they are proudly showing off their latest creation, or responding to their stories and questions with a smile.
So those are the two things I’m doing lately that I believe are important, but also incredibly simple. What about you? Do you have any tips or suggestions for simple but significant things we can do for our children? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below, email me (find the link in the “contact me” tab), or join the conversation on instagram!