Wednesday, May 13, 2015

On Being Mom

At the end of a long day, I gathered the children in Henry and Lottie's room for family prayer. Andrew was out of town, traveling once again for work. I was feeling eager as I could taste the freedom that would be mine once I tucked the children into bed. Suddenly, in the middle of the prayer, Henry burst into tears. I'm ashamed to say that my first thought was,

"Gee, what now?!" At the conclusion of the prayer, I mustered up a helping of compassion as I asked him what was wrong.

"I don't want us to grow up anymore! I want our family to stay exactly how it is right now." My heart swelled with guilt for my initial impatience and love for my sweet boy with the tender heart. I wanted to share with him that I feel the exact same way. Growing kids is both bitter and sweet (I am a broken record, I know)! However, I didn't want to add to his sad feelings, so I scooped him up and told him that I understood. Then, I made my request. I asked him if he would please hold off on our imaginary 'pause' button until Forrest is potty trained. Henry instantly began to laugh (potty humor for the win, mission accomplished) as I described how great it will be when our diaper days are behind us. He regained his composure and soon fell asleep. However, the emotion he shared was contagious as I went to bed that night replaying our conversation.

Like Henry, I want to press that pause button. 

(These photos were taken the week after Easter)
 
We feel blessed. But please know...

Challenges crop up constantly and I feel inadequate on a regular basis. Mom guilt is a companion that I struggle to rid myself of. There are days when I feel like I'm parenting by myself and feel overwhelmed by our responsibilities with church callings, the children's schedules, sudden doctor's appointments, school projects, etc. I try to ensure we have our social needs met which sometimes means I am saying yes to late night play dates for Eliza when all I want to do is crawl in bed. 

Acknowledging these things, I wouldn't change anything. These kids are my world. Motherhood is a noble, worthy calling. I am proud of the size of my family. When its necessary to fill in my occupation on miscellaneous paper work, I write in big, happy letters, "HOMEMAKER" (with a small disclaimer that I can't craft or decorate in pinterest approved ways). I don't take for granted that I get to stay home with the Fleglets full time. I respect completely women who choose to balance both a career and being a Mom. I do. I do. I really do! However, for what it's worth, I sometimes get the sense that people think I "lucked" into my position of being at home full time. They use the word "luxury." But that's not true. We sacrificed much, especially in the beginning, for this to be our reality. We went without many "things" and feel thankful the Lord has always helped us meet our needs. I sometimes wonder what the future holds for me when our nest is empty. The feeling I get each time I consider this is,

"You will know when that season approaches. This is your work. Focus on your work now." I don't know who I am quoting, but that's that feeling I get every time. Okay then.
As for Mother's day, it fell in the middle of Forrest and Eliza's birthdays. Knowing Eliza wouldn't be having a huge birthday party, my Mom and I took just her to dinner and to Cherry Berry for some yogurt. The first thing she said after we got into the car was,

"So what's the latest hot gossip?" Oh dear! After our outing, my Mom and I dropped her off at home and went to see a movie. It was nice to have some time with my Mom. I knew that we'd be with the Flegals for Mother's day so having some time together was important to me. Earlier that day, I had a minor emotional melt down and really appreciated my Mom patiently listening to my concerns and loving me despite my crazy. And kudos to Andrew for taking the kids to the store and cleaning up while I was away. He is the man.

Mothers day was a real treat. Andrew's church meetings were canceled which meant I could sleep in! The kitchen was decorated in pink balloons and the counter displayed cards, flowers (both real and fake) and treats just for me.
 The kids were so excited to show me everything. After Church we went to the Flegals where we enjoyed a delicious dinner and celebrated Eliza and Forrest's birthdays. I have several miscellaneous photos that need a place on the blog so here we go. 
Lottie invited me to a Mothers day tea party. I was treated to special songs and gifts. I'm thankful for my friend Megan for watching Forrest so I could spend this time with my sweet girl. The highlight was the questionnaire she answered about me and when they sang, "You are my Sunshine!"

Spirit week was dedicated to Eliza's friend Brynnli Cherry as her family was hit by a drunk driver. Ejected from the car, Brynnli nearly lost her life but thanks to the competent and inspired first responders, she was saved. She sustained severe facial injuries and is looking to spend many months at Primary Children's and it's been reported that many surgeries are ahead of her. You can read more here and here. Brynn's family is in our ward but Eliza really had the opportunity to become friends with Brynn from their time together at activity days. She's on our mind a lot and in our prayers each day. Her favorite color is green so they did their best to incorporate that color into their outfits.
Mis-match day
There are green ribbons all over the neighborhood honoring her. 
 
I love this time of year.
And, I'd like to note, I used the BBQ for the first time by myself.
I'm kind of ashamed to admit that, but Andrew's usually the BBQ King.
Welcome back Popsicles. 
I hate you Popsicle sticks that don't get thrown away.
Kind of an intimate sibling bonding moment? 
Weird maybe? Or precious? 
I like them. They are such good friends. 
And huge fans of the bunnies.
Sunshine Lottie.
Eliza recently had a program at school. 
The best part was when Bubba showed up as a surprise. 
She loves him!!

Mini Society at Eliza's school is in full swing. 
With the help of Nana Marie, she sewed these bags and is selling them for scholar dollars. 
Each third grader is selling something they've made or created.
They've been studying economics 
(supply and demand, earning, budgeting and saving money, etc) for the past few months 
and with this experience, they are putting their lessons into practice.
Her bags are darling and sold out quickly. 
For round two, she knows she needs to up her price. 
It's all so exciting. 

Well, there's a sampling of what's going on at the home front. Life is good. I love our family. But the jury is still out on how I feel about my new hair color.

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