Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Few Captured Memories

Okay, so while being engulfed in mom guilt we also made some new memories this month. I went back and looked at pictures and it was a busy month. Might have felt like a blur but I'm glad that I actually captured a few moments with my phone camera.

We went to see the lights at CALM. Was a fun night!!

We don't take always take the boys to see Santa but this year it was a spur of the moment because I was running errands nearby. And I'm so glad we did! The picture came out GREAT! They were all looking & smiling. Another miracle, the picture is already in a frame :)

We made a gingerbread house! Landon ate more than he put on the house and was wound up from the candy for a few hours afterward, seriously he went a little crazy! We let him have the back of the house so he could decorate it how he wanted without disrupting his brothers' creativity. We usually let them each do their own house but it was fun this year to watch their different personalities work on one project together. Daddy is the perfectionist. Nathan decorates a little well...in a hurry. Carson is the artist and wanted everything even on both sides. And Landon well he had the whole back and he loaded it up while he ate as much as he could shovel in.
 We took the kids to look at Christmas lights and we did a Scavenger Hunt for the second year in a row. It was fun watching the kids work together this year while they tried to find each item on the list. Even the littlest was trying to figure out what the words said and mark off things as his brothers found them. One of the few times, we let them all sit next to each other in the car......

On Christmas Eve, we played a bunch of fun games. The kids look forward to this more than Christmas morning. Remember all those unmatched socks? Well, we put them to use on Christmas Eve during one of our games.  We also let the kids have a contest in which they got to decorate their dads, the dads were good sports!

And here are a couple of pictures from Christmas morning. Although we don't have any family around on Christmas Day to spend time with, it is always such a peaceful day. We eat a nice breakfast, stay in our jammies most the day (sometimes the entire day), and just relax playing with new toys, taking naps, and watching movies. I think it may be the most relaxing day we have all year. I try really hard not to put anything away and just let the kids enjoy their new presents without me trying to find a "home" for them right away. It is a day of being present with our kids and it is my favorite day of the year!
Loving on his dog.
We're excited about new castle blocks...Whooaah!!
Why should he get dressed for breakfast on Christmas? Seriously, keeping clothes on him can be pointless sometimes....
If pictures are the proof, then we had a great month and even if Mom didn't get to all the things she wanted to or document every special moment....our family enjoyed some special moments, some I think the boys will remember. I feel so grateful and blessed for my family and our imperfect life!

Monday, December 30, 2013

It's A Busy Season.......Too Busy For Mom Guilt?

Four months. That's how long since I've written or documented anything on my blog. I guess you could say I've been a little busy. But it doesn't mean I haven't wanted to write. It is my outlet, every part of my being has been calling me back to this computer screen. Not to mention my lack of documenting my children's  lives, especially after losing 600 pictures off of my phone. However, life is busy....and I can't always say what I'm busy doing. Days go by and I can't remember what happened for the previous 3 or 4 days....life, REAL life keeps people busy. You know the kind where people have jobs to tend to, bills to pay, meals to cook, children to discipline, errands to run, laundry to wash, houses to clean.........just day to day life is busy.

And then I remembered, that was the point. The point of why and when I started my blog. It was to force myself to slow down, to take in lessons from everyday life, to find the beauty in the mundane, tedious parts of our lives.

And so it's not some special Christmas memory, or the miracle of carrying a baby, or anything that I particularly care to remember. It's not some vital life lesson that I've learned that's driven me back to writing.

Nope, instead it's just plain old Mom Guilt. Nothing new, nothing unfamiliar. Same old insecurity, fears of inadequacies, and the blame game in which the finger is always pointing back at myself.

In the past two years, during the Christmas season we started some new traditions, made a ton of crafts, and seemed to really enjoy and take in the holiday season. Even though we experienced the loss of our baby during this time last year, our family seemed to really engulf the holidays.

In the last two weeks that I have been on vacation, I have been completely engulfed in mom guilt. You'd think that being on vacation I'd be able to do all of those same things that I've purposely done the last two years to help create special memories with the kids. But it just seemed that I was so behind on everything for countless reasons and  everything felt rushed. Every time I turned around I felt like there is another one of my inadequacies staring me in the face. And I'm not talking just about the holiday part of this mom business. Closets full of disorganization to the point where things are falling out. You know when you have to shut the door super fast so nothing falls out... Pictures laying around, stacks of paperwork that need to be filed, lists of phone calls to be made, and the to do list goes on.....

In the past few months, I haven't taken very many pictures of my kids. I feel like their growing up so quickly and I don't take enough pictures. And then when I do, what do I do with them? They sit on my phone for a long time or I put them up on a social media site, and occasionally they get transferred to the computer where they sit. I haven't put a new picture up in our house in a REALLY long time. My kids all took school pictures this year but none of them are in a frame. I don't even think I sent any out to family members. The other day in the hall closet I found their elementary scrapbooks where you keep their school memories......half empty from last year and not even filled in at all for this year. Let alone, hopefully I can find the pictures needed to go in the books.
So, in photo documentation ...this momma is not making the grade.

And all of my other guilt eaters are not new if you know me, I think I was just able to fake it for awhile. The busier you get the harder it is to fake things that you weren't really good at in the first place. I told my husband last night, I'm not any good at any of that mommy stuff; I don't cook well, can't sew, I am clean but have been a horrible housekeeper lately with the laundry always five steps ahead, hate baking, and honestly anything domestic really seems to be just a little out of my reach. He tried to make me feel better and say that when I have time to dedicate to those things I can be good at them, but I told him there are other people who do it well and they work, they have kids, they seem to manage it all. And he really can't understand. On Christmas Eve, he cooked tamales, chicken enchiladas, baked a cake, and made homemade sugar cookies for Santa.......all after I had messed up at least three dinners the previous week......
So in the domestic arena.....failing miserably.

And it seems like it all comes down to time. So I rush through the days, hoping to get everything done. Hoping at the end of the day, the house will be clean, laundry done, I'll have prepared a healthy meal for my family to eat, the kids will be getting along when dad gets home, and when there is work involved I'm always hoping it's completed and I'm ready for my teaching days. Oh and here's to always hoping the first graders schoolwork is completed so that we don't have to do anything after dinner except baths and bedtime. Do you know how often that happens?......Hmm, rarely if ever. Today is a good day, because the house is clean and the laundry is pretty much caught up. The kids have been entertained and so when the husband gets home....all will be peaceful and I've planned us a nice dinner...... out at a restaurant. And we didn't have school work today, lesson plans, or grading. So all of this makes me feel inadequate. Like I should be able to get more done, and wishing what was getting done was getting done better. Seriously, where does the time go in a day??

So this mom guilt comes in many forms and sometimes I convince myself I must be the only feeling it, like I'm the only mom who thinks it's difficult to balance it all. But I don't think it's true, I just think it shows it's ugly self in different ways for different mamas.

And after the last few days of letting the guilt eat away at my self esteem, I have come to the conclusion that it is what it is.  Life goes through many seasons, I may not be able to be as intentional as I'd like to during this season of our life.  I have a job that I love where I feel like I'm contributing and making a difference. A job that for so many reasons I truly believe God has called me to do. But in order to do that job well, it takes up a lot of time that I used to have for other things and there's only so much time in a day.   I have a fourth baby on the way and I'm homeschooling my first grader, which on some days feels like a full time job.  And the energized four year old...... let's just say he keeps us on our toes. None of those are a small task all on their own, put them all together and there's a lot going on. We are in a busy season in our lives.

But here's what it boils down to. There are days we are so tired that we are just trying to get to the next day. If we could fast forward the time from 6pm-8pm on some days we probably would. Does that make us bad parents? Does it mean we don't want to enjoy every moment or that we don't love our children? No. It just means we're human. We do the best we can and on some days the best we can involves eating fast food and skipping baths. I'm not a supermom, I'm not a perfect mom. And some days I don't even feel like a good mom. But what I know in my heart is, I'm doing the best that I can for my family. And instead of focusing on all of the things I'm not doing or that I should be doing better, I need to focus more on what I am already doing. Because they're watching me all the time and they're learning more from my character and how I treat others more than anything I could ever do for them. So maybe they'll grow up with a mom who's the worst cook, one who didn't take a lot of pictures and put them into cute baby books, one who forgets appointments ALL of the time, and they may remember the constant pile of laundry and having to get clean clothes off the floor in my room and their mismatched socks from the sock bucket (because I hate matching socks). But if I can teach them how to treat people, how to be patient, and how to love another person......then honestly nothing else really matters.