Going Out on a Limb today….
I love this picture. I have a very long story about a “yellow bird”. Suffice it to say, God has given me a personal rainbow many, many times in my life…and “yellow fellow” is it. I actually think it is funny that I found it as something “out on a limb”. Could it be that what I am going to say is important to someone? We shall see…
From my previous posts I would hope you understand what motherhood means to me. I truly believe that it is the most important job I have had or will ever have. Hands down. I believe I poured my life into my kids, and that I was a pretty good mother while they were in this house. In fact, I believe that I am still a good mom.
Here comes the limb part…..I might fall off. The limb might break…you might disagree. Even seeing it in print causes me to gulp a bit. Here is comes….
Your Kids Should Not Be Your Life! I confess that mine were. In fact, I have had to check myself over and over to make sure that they are not my life even now.
As a public school teacher the last ten years, I have seen some parents that are so absorbed in themselves that their little guys are simply a burden. I am not talking to those parents.
I am talking to moms who take the time to read blogs about parenting. I am talking to teacher moms, who have a huge job not only taking care of their biological children, but their school children as well. I am talking to homeschool moms, who have the tendency to be swallowed up by the life of homeschooling. I was one of those moms! My husband worked late hours many nights, so it was just me and the two boys for years. We did everything together! Not only was it my responsibility to clothe them, feed them, provide shelter, provide guidance, take them to all their practices… but we had chosen to be responsible for their education!! What were we thinking?
Being a “type A” personality, I took it all very seriously. I loved being with my boys. We had fun. I was overwhelmed many days with the fact that I was raising “men”. But quite frankly, they came first in everything. Maybe it was because my parents were divorced when I was young, and I overcompensated. But they came before my well being, my marriage, and yes, gulp, even my personal relationship with God.
I am not proud of it. I think the fact hit me hard once the boys were both out of the house. I didn’t feel needed anymore. I missed them so much it hurt physically. Moms would tell me this when my sons were younger : “A son is a son until he takes a wife, a daughter a daughter for the rest of her life.” And I didn’t believe it. It is true to a degree…and if we have raised our sons correctly, it should be.
Mark 10:6-8 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Your kids cannot come before your physical and mental well being, your marriage or your personal relationship with the Father. Trust me when I say, if you take care of these things…you will be a better Mom, one that God created you to be.
My husband and I both agreed on what we did. We have learned to date again, and gotten use to it just being “us”. We are a family now.
Practical advice from the limb crawler:
1. Take the dog out for a walk, daily. Or walk down the street in any weather for at least 15 minutes. Do it alone if possible.
2. Get up 10 minutes earlier, or stay up 10 minutes later. Spend time with the Lord. Not just the time you are teaching your children the Word, but read your Bible alone, or a devotion. Write in a journal, pray. You don’t have to do ALL of them at once. But just spending time with you and your Father will start or end your day in the right way. And don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or two!!
3. Get away with your beloved hubby. Even if it is just a walk down the street with you. Talk (try to make it about something else but the kids), listen. Sit on the back porch together…alone. And for goodness sake, try to have a date night or date morning once a month.
4. As your kids get older and don’t “need” you as much, cultivate your hobby. Take a class. Do something that does not involve the kids. I always said that when kids get their drivers license it is practice for when they won’t be living with you anymore.
5. Love God. Keep HIM first. Your life should be poured into Him. You may not be able to spend hours upon hours with Him when the kids are little, but trust me…you will get more time as they grow.
Mark 12:30-31 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
It is a fine line, I will admit. But one that deserves your attention. We live in a day and time that keeps us more than busy. And I believe that the enemy finds joy in that. Something might have to stop, that extra piano lesson, a clean countertop before bed. I found out that the kids were always fine when we left them with someone. We did make some attempts to have dates. And I am SO glad now.
The boys have their own lives. I don’t ever want to be that mother that meddles, or the “mother in law” that does! But it took some getting use to. Learn from my experiences. Be creative. Don’t make your children your life….
Creak…did it break? Hope not!!
Blessings dear ones~
IN CHRIST ALONE