Mamas, sweet mamas. I think I’ve discovered the secret to enjoying your kids. So I want to share it with you today. But let me step back, just for a minute.
This unraveling of motherhood to discover the ways it brings joy, fulfillment, and peace has been a 11 1/2 year journey for me. Motherhood was different than I expected from the start. Yes, I’d been an achiever, in fact, an overachiever. And once those children had been birthed, motherhood was no longer something I could achieve. Motherhood was something I had to learn to enjoy and appreciate – day, by day, by day. Because the truth is, motherhood isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, unicorns and puppy dogs.
I’m not saying motherhood has been horrific. I’m not saying motherhood has been terrifying. And I’m not saying that motherhood was a bad decision.
I’m just saying that motherhood has to be one of the most life altering experiences you can ever have as a human being.
I fumbled from the earliest of days. I had no clue what I was in for. I stumbled through motherhood feeling like I was totally missing the mark, like I was failing BIG TIME. I wondered what I’d done wrong. I wondered why nobody told me the truths about motherhood – before I’d become a mother.
The task of motherhood was so much bigger than me, so much bigger than I ever imagined. It felt weighty. It felt real. This realization that I was raising human beings? I wasn’t so sure I was going to be good at it. In fact, I’m still not so sure I’m going to be good at it.
But here’s the thing, mamas.
You might always feel like you’re fumbling, at least a little bit.
You might always wonder if you’re really up to the task of raising human beings.
It might take years for the fruits of your mothering to appear.
And it could be years before you realize that motherhood was the best thing that ever happened to you.
I think we need to lighten up. Because motherhood isn’t something to be achieved or accomplished.
Motherhood is a journey.
As mothers, we choose. Will we feel stressed out, burdened out and frazzled out? Or will we be peaceful, joyful, and blessed?
In light of that, let’s move on to the reason I wanted to write today.
It’s time to share that secret I discovered about being a mother, the secret to enjoying your kids.
It’s taken me all these years to learn this secret, 11 1/2 to be exact. And I didn’t even work hard to discover this secret, I just happened upon it. So let me share – so you don’t have to wait and wonder how to make this motherhood thing a little easier, a little more enjoyable for you, too.
Here’s what you need to do…
1. Turn off the world. Yes, turn off the world! Put away ALL barriers between you and your children, including books, checkbooks, cookbooks, newspapers, televisions, computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and paperwork. Whatever that barrier is? Get rid of it. Take away the barrier for yourself, and take away the barrier for your children. Just put it away. It needs to go.
2. Now. Get quiet. YOU need to get quiet. And the KIDS need to get quiet. You might need to be in separate rooms for a while, or at least in separate spaces within a room. If you feel it’s necessary, intentionally set your child up in a space that will allow them to flourish creatively, or maybe they need space to feel bored, or maybe you just need to put something new in front of them.
3. Let this be an organic moment. See what happens. Busy yourself with something quiet just a bit. (But NOT one of those barriers!)
4. Then, carefully and quietly enter in to whatever it is your children are doing. When you first arrive on scene, do not talk, do not engage. Just watch. Enter in to their space. In fact, may I suggest that you continue to remain calm, collected and quiet during this entire process. Continue to enter in to their space. Do not engage to teach, suggest, or rebuke. This is very important. There’s a quiet to this process that is essential.
5. Allow yourself to get lost in the moment. Position yourself in a way that allows you to see differently. See what your child sees. Feel what your child feels. Open your eyes to a whole new world. Believe it’s possible they’re here to teach you something as much as you’re here to teach them. Forget about time. Yes, forget about time. If you’ve gotten this far, you’ve really, truly gotten this far, you WILL forget about time. You WILL be lost in the moment. And you WILL be enjoying your kids.
So I challenge you, mama. Try this. Try it for you, and try it for your kids. Because this could translate all sorts of ways in your life.
I’m no expert. In fact, I’ve only been really, REALLY successful at this a handful of times. But every time I try, it gets easier and easier, becomes more and more natural.
So do it mama, do it. Enter their space. Open your eyes.
Forget about time. Get lost in the moment.
Enjoy your kids.
*This post is part of a month-long series titled Motherhood Unraveled. To read more from this series, click here and read to the bottom where all the posts are listed and linked!