A silent reminder to all of us moms… Don’t miss out on the life around you every day in your kids’ smiles, tears, feelings, growth…
“Just hurry up!”
I catch myself saying that a LOT lately. It seems I’m constantly telling my son to hurry up with eating, dressing, undressing, going outside, coming in… everything.
It hit me the other day:
Do I really want my kids to hurry up about EVERYTHING?
Is that the message I want them to come out of childhood with?
The more I think about it, the more I realize that I want them to do just the opposite.
I want them to slow down. To enjoy life. To cherish every moment.
And if I’m always telling them to hurry up, how will they ever learn to JUST. SLOW. DOWN.
The words I say have a huge impact on the way their little minds think, the way I speak to them becomes their inner voice to themselves.
Is ‘hurry up’ really what I want their default thought-line to be? Is that what I want them to tell themselves, subconsciously, for the rest of their lives?
No, I don’t.
While there are times that it’s necessary to do things quickly, I do not want to instill in my children the feeling that life is a race against time, like if they aren’t fast enough, they aren’t good enough.
Because the truth is: they are always good enough for me, no matter how quickly, or slowly, they accomplish things.
I will always love them.
If I want them to know that hurrying doesn’t make them any better, if I want them to slow down and enjoy life, then I need to change the way I speak to them.
If I’m trying myself to slow down every day, then I need to make my words match my actions, so they can learn to do the same.
It’s going to take some time to break this habit, but I believe it’s worth it.
I realize that title is probably making you think of paints and canvases and a huge mess, like you remember from art class when you were a kid. And while that is usually the first thing that comes to mind when the word ‘art’ is mentioned, this post is not necessarily about finger-painting or making clay sculptures with your kids.
Lately, I’ve come across various articles and blog posts dealing with the idea of creating beauty in our lives. And I’ve realized that no matter who you are, where you live, or what your circumstances are, everyone has the ability to create beauty and be an artist.
After all, that’s what an artist is: someone who creates beauty. And there are myriads of ways of being an artist.
As mothers, we have more opportunities to be artists than most people. Creating beauty not only enriches our own experience, but also the lives of everyone around us. Simple things we can do every day have the power of changing the way our families see life and the world around them.
Picking a bouquet of wildflowers and arranging them in a pretty vase can add instant colour and life to a home and make everyone who walks by smile inside without even realizing it.
Lighting a scented candle, or playing beautiful music throughout your day can drastically change the level of palpable joy and comfort your family experiences in your home.
And there are more radical ways of creating beauty in your lives. Laughter, or just a simple smile, can turn someone’s day around. Sharing a good story, baking cookies, taking a long walk on a warm evening, singing a song, holding your child’s hand, opening a window, planting a garden… all of these are simple things, but when shared with those you love, they can change the way your family will remember the past.
And by giving them, and yourself, beautiful memories, you are also creating beauty in the future, not just the present. Motherhood is an amazing thing, isn’t it?
And the easiest way to create beauty? Just. slow. down.
Look around and let the beauty you see everywhere around you enter your heart, not just your eyes.
Just slowing down can give you instant beauty and joy.
By continually finding new ways to add joy to the lives of everyone we love, and in seeing the joy in their eyes, we find joy ourselves in the knowledge that we helped them see a little more beauty in life.
Way back in August of last year, when I pressed “Publish” on my very first post here… my goal was to encourage other young moms like me, letting them know that they ARE a vital part of society, and not a lesser person for being “just a mom”. While I’ve veered slightly now and then, with more practical posts, a few recipes, links to other interesting articles, the over-all point was that we CAN be the mom we always wanted to be. I hope that has come through occasionally, and it’s not just staying in my head!
In today’s culture, moms (especially stay-at-home moms) are considered boring, ordinary, and nothing too special, at least compared to everything else a woman has opportunity to do. Why would you choose to stay at home with your kids when you could be making money in an office somewhere?
It’s like Kattrin Davida wrote: “[A new mother will] swiftly realize that in the balance of things motherhood is the most fulfilling role any woman could possibly experience in a lifetime. Placing everything into perspective, surely raising another human being well takes priority over almost anything else we could imagine?”
Life as a mother can sometimes feel like a rut that you’re stuck in for a long time. But a little perspective on what we do and who we are to the little ones around us can change our view on motherhood.
We have the greatest job in the universe, for we are molding and influencing the next generation of the human race, and thus, our future world, every. single. day.
All I am I owe to my mother.
I attribute all my success in life
to the moral, intellectual, and
physical education I received from her.
– George Washington
If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)
I just made my own mozzarella cheese! It turned out pretty good, so that’s definitely happening again… I’ll share more about it in the future.
Moving on… today’s topic: the unnecessary stress parenting books can give a new (or seasoned) mother, and why learning more about different parenting styles and ideologies is not always best for a parent or kids.
Actually, I was more than a little lost when I started writing this post (or thinking about writing it, since I didn’t have so much as a letter typed yet)… One of those days.
But then I got my daily update from Simple Mom and… problem solved.
Sarah Dunning Park shared her thoughts on parenting books yesterday and the effects they can have on actual parenting. And she included one of her poems on motherhood from her new book!
If you’ve ever had a concern about your child and started a week-long search for a solution or reason or advice you could actually do something with, asking everyone you know for their opinion an expertise, combing through book after book on parenting methods (and, if you’re like me… lots of internet searches and a few Kindle purchases), and still not been satisfied…. you need to read this post. I know I did!
Here’s a little piece from Sarah’s post:
I’d start with a simple question — is my baby supposed to be acting this way? — and somehow it would turn into an epic quest to find the One Right Answer, which I was certain must be found somewhere in the impressive stack of parenting books on my bedside table. I was spending way too much time poring over these books — time that I could have spent finding my own way to mother her, or, I don’t know, catching up on my sleep.
Head over to Simple Mom to read more!