Monday, May 14, 2012

Pick Me Up

Today was a day devoted to me.  Well, not *just* me, but moms everywhere.  Moms, moms-to-be, and those who act the role of a mom--the most vital of all roles in the world.

Being a mom has only been a part of my resume for the past 6 years (and 5 days).  Earlier this week, we celebrated the day when Gavin was born.  Recently, I spent time (what little I have) looking back over photos from when we became a trio.  All the cliches I heard when Gav was born (and Brynn, and Raegan for that matter) about enjoying every moment because time flies has unfortunately lived up to its bleak reputation.  Taking a few moments to actually reflect on the magic that has been the past 6 years has brought me back to the core of what I strive to be as a mom. 

I know I'm not alone when I say that the day-to-day goings on in our lives can be remeniscent of a three ring circus at times.  Each day, month, year brings us new challenges and hurdles to navigate.  I've been personally working on my reaction to these hurdles, and trying to make adjustments to my approach of said situations.  I've been redefining my definition of 'perfect'...and actually eradicating that from my vocabulary.  Rather than striving for perfection, the goal is 'excellence'.  It's a discussion we've had recently in some of the leadership trainings I'm attending for work, however the carryover and application into my own life is extremely fitting. 

I've spent a lot of 'think time' in some magical ideal world, where three young kids and full time career can somehow equal a spotless home, delicious and healthy homecooked meals prepared every night, and the laundry...ahh, the laundry...well, let's just say that in that world, laundry does itself. 

In this world, I envision so many other households and moms, yet I have struggled for the past 6 years seeing myself in that picture.  Every now and then, I'll get glimmers of hope...meal plans are set and followed through for more than a week, the toy clutter has been somehow restructured into a temporary relief system, and I even get the urge to tackle the laundry until it's *finished*. 

Then, life happens.  And I fall into a cycle of non complacency.  I feel like I'm slacking, and at times, like I'm failing.  Which takes me back to the concept of 'perfection' and its unwelcome presence in my life. 

It's a challenge to shift my focus away from that advantageous existence.  While I don't necessarily feel like my shortcomings are in my role as a mom, I have felt like I'm working toward a greater goal than I'm physically/mentally/emotionally capable of.  And so I strive to find a shift in my thinking.  A 'pick me up' in the way in which I view my successes in my own personal perception of life. 

I have worked for the past 6 years to teach my kids that they need to be confident and self-reliant individuals who accept responsibility for their shortcomings--so they can accomodate.  Why is it so hard for me to practice what I preach? 

Today, my dear friend stopped by our house to drop off Gavin's birthday gift, along with gifts for each of my girls (she's the most thoughtful and considerate person I know).  We were chatting about how quickly time has passed.  She became the first person with whom I became very close with after moving here.  Her family has become our family, and her friendship is among one of my most valued in the world. 

She often times compliments how wonderful my kids are, and what a good job I'm doing as a mom.  While I don't ever discount her opinion, I struggle personally to internalize these compliments and truly 'feel it'.  But today, after she left and I was getting the kids organized for dinner, baths, and bed, I spent a lot of time thinking.  I've been thinking about and praying for some sort of 'pick me up' that will get me to come to a more positive realization about the good and wonderful things that I'm doing for my kids...for my family. 

And in comes my dear friend.  The positive energy, wonderful stories, wisdom, and genuineness she carries with her is exactly the 'pick me up' I craved.  Her presence in my house, albeit a short visit, came at a time in my life when I'm in need--and for that, I'm beyond grateful and blessed.

In two short weeks, the hiatus from teaching (otherwise known as the gloriousness that is *summer vacation*) begins, and my role shifts back into a SAHM (stay at home mom).  While I did not enter into teaching for June-July-August, it certainly makes for an ideal situation for a person like me, who has been mentally and emotionally torn about staying home with the kids or working full time. 

Now, my stress levels begin to elevate with the upcoming change of schedule (or lack of, to be more accurate).  I feel the pressure to create a memorable and amazing summer experience--all personal pressure however, not from outside sources in the least.  As I work through this new adjustment in my concept of excellence over perfection, I'm hopeful for my selfish feeling of contentment.  I know my kids are none the wiser to the inner-workings of my brain, as are many of my friends.  Even now as I'm writing this, there is a tiny shred of my mind that is concerned with other peoples' opinions--and the ensuing guilt for feeling self centered.  But...I keep reminding myself of why I write this blog.  The journey of motherhood causes many feelings to ebb and flow throughout the course of life.  Documenting for my kids, for me, and the memories throughout our lives...that's why I write.  And to sort through the madness of it all.

mother's day toes in the grass watching my amazing kids
my oldest princess and the gift for her mommy

captured her looking exceptionally adorable :)

time to learn how to ride the new bike!

flowers for mommy for mother's day

pretty girl with the crazy hair

just hanging out

the handsome guy who is the reason I'm a mom <3

homemade tiramisu...translation: 'pick me up' (literally and figuratively)

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