Becoming a mother really put my perspective on balance into place. I think I was in denial for a long time about my life being out of balance, even after I got married. I just thought I would share a few areas I know need balance that God has really laid on my heart to focus on.
Housework vs. Spending Time With My Kids
I used to focus so much on keeping the house clean and getting the laundry done, that I would neglect spending time with my kids. Don’t get me wrong, I would never neglect them because I don’t love being with them I was just really out of balance. Those things still always need to be done and we can’t live in a biohazard messy house all of the time, but I’ve learn to let go of the super tidy house makes me a good housewife perspective and have really focused on my family being my ministry and that being the role that God has given me. If I’m in the middle of cleaning and Oliver says “Mama, I wanna cuddle!” you better believe I drop what I’m doing and hop into bed to cuddle with him! He’s only little for such a short amount of time and last I checked teenage boys don’t like laying in bed with their Mom to cuddle! I’m soaking every second of that up while I can! I won’t remember my house not being in perfect condition in twenty years but I will remember and regret if I choose to neglect the time that could have been spent with my children.
Making Memories As Our Own Family Unit vs. With Everyone Else
This is one of the hardest areas that I struggle with. I love having extended family in the area, close by. We love spending time with all of them and we always have a really good time! Although spending all of our free time with them is really fun, it could also be hard when they grow up and only have memories at Papa’s house and with his Aunties and Uncles. This is probably a really selfish perspective on my part, but I think it’s important to make memories as your own family unit. Spending time together will strengthen your family and is a good way to show your children your love for them and for them to get a good view on the love their parents have for each other, two very important things. I’m still learning to balance in this area and God is definitely still growing me in that.
Time For Me: Healthy vs. Unhealthy
If you are a stay at home mom I do think it’s important to take a little time out of the week for yourself if it’s possible. I have a hard time balancing this one because I’m not one who loves spending time away from my boys. Honestly, even after a hard frustrating day, I feel guilty leaving them and end up really missing them after I leave. Kaleb and I talked about it when we sat down and figured out what each week should like as far as our schedule (small group, bible studies, etc) and both agreed that I would go out each Monday night after he got home to spend a couple of hours doing whatever. I always go to Starbucks to blog, read, or whatever I feel like doing. It’s really refreshing and it’s always fun to get home and be flocked by a loving husband and two sweet toddlers who are ready with hugs and kisses.
When To Discipline vs. When To Let It Go
I was totally guilty of over parenting, especially right after Carter came along. Being a first time parent, not really knowing how to parent can be challenging and you definitely learn from your mistakes, it’s the best way to learn I think-from experience. Micro managing will just drive you insane, it did me! I started focusing and disciplining for two main areas, one being if what they were doing or how they were acting was sinful and the second being if what they were doing was putting them or anyone around them in danger. Kids are kids, toddlers are always going to be clumsy, they’re all still learning and growing. Toddlers are going to spill their cereal, leave toys laying out, and get their clothes dirty but if you try to micro manage all of those things you’ll be instructing them and getting frustrated all day long. I’ve learned to let it go if Oliver accidentally spills something, if he does it on purpose I let him know that’s not ok and move on. If Oliver goes out in the yard and rolls in the dirt, oh well! Clothes and kids can be washed; it’s not the end of the world. Plus, I know how much my boys love playing in the dirt, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s really freed me up to enjoy them rather than feeling like all I do all day long is discipline. I have really found that my attitude has improved and the day is not quite as stressful.
These are just a few of the areas that I’m learning to balance and I am still growing in that! God gives me grace everyday and I rely on Him to show me how to raise my boys…