I feel as though I’ve learned a couple important things from the last 2.5 years of motherhood.
It’s been a hard season over here, and I haven’t been very good at posting motherhood things lately. Between building a house, moving into said house, losing my aunt, and raising babes, I feel like there hasn’t been a moment to just sit and meditate, think or do anything that recharges me or ignites me.
I sometimes feel like my identity is “Z and C’s mom” because that’s what I am day in and day out.
I forget sometimes (more often than not) that I am first a Child of God AND I’m Jon’s wife AND I’m a mom, daughter, sister, niece and friend AND I’m a blogger AND I’m a photographer AND I’m a paddle-boarder AND… you get the point. I’m more than JUST a mom.
And in order for me to be ALL of that AND a mom, I need to do a few things.
1. Pray continually
Being alone all week because daddy works in another city means my only interaction is kids most of the time. I’m so very grateful I get to talk to God all day or I’d probably go crazy. HE keeps me on the right track.
And it’s refreshing watching our 2 year old son find a love for praying. When we sit down at the table, he holds out both hands and says “pay, pay” and he closes his eyes and holds our hands. It reassures me that in the mundane, day-in-and-day-out routine of motherhood…I’m doing something right.
2. Date your spouse
At the beginning of September, my husband surprised me with Ed Sheeran tickets for our 4 year anniversary (7 rows back from the stage!!!) and that was our first date since 2017! That was an incredible experience, and it was so good for us to spend time with our friends and be without the kids.
As parents, it’s important to be teammates, and that’s so hard when there is tension or when you’re not on the same page…make sure to make time to reconnect, to reignite your passion for each other, and to remember what you love about each other so you can be the best parents you can be, to raise up future parents. Let your kids see your love for each other and for God.
3. Practice self care
How can you take care of precious little ones if you don’t take care of yourself. This has been one of the hardest things for me to learn. Whether it’s eating a healthy meal more than once a day, or taking nap time to actually nap myself…or doing an activity that makes me laugh or gets me out of a funk. It might even just be hanging out in the hammock where it’s nice and breezy, with the sun on your face and the sound of nature around you.
Find something that relaxes you, refreshes you, ignites you, revamps you, or makes you the best version of yourself.
4. Find a hobby and make time for it
This one goes along with practicing self-care, and one I’m slowly learning to actually do. I usually don’t have time for my favorite things, and my favorite things usually involve driving somewhere in order to do them…but you just gotta do it! Whether it’s paddle boarding or searching for petoskey stones in northern Michigan…make it happen. Ask someone to watch the kids or maybe daddy will hang out with them while you go.
And it’s even better when your babes love your hobbies, too, because you don’t always have to do things alone to get refreshed…as long as you’re doing them and you’re feeling more like YOU after!
5. Surround yourself with your mom-tribe
We’re lucky to be surrounded by an amazing group of family and friends, even after moving away!
And having “girl days” have become so important to me. Whether it’s going horseback riding with my mom, or painting ceramics with “my tribe” or spending the day with the Grampians or Aunt Sue or GG, or staying up till midnight with your best friend just chatting in bed…surround yourself with woman who have the same vision and values, who have the interest of your family’s future at heart, and who love you and your kids.
Doesn’t even matter how big or small your tribe is…just have one, and lean on them.
6. Be intentional and be there
This one involves being with the kids, and it’s so important. They’ll remember a couple things from their young childhood…they might remember an exciting trip or fun memory…but most importantly, they’ll remember that you were there, that you gave them your time, that you were the best version of yourself for them and also that you were real (and you can only be that best version when you do the first 5 things!)
Be an intentional mama, daddy, friend, sister, daughter, spouse…whoever you are, be that person 100%, be there 100%…that they’ll remember.
The funny thing about my list of 6 things is that all of these things are usually intertwined. I need to do all of these things daily (or as many as I can) so I can be the best mom I can be.
And the best part…these don’t just apply to motherhood. The things I’ve learned FROM motherhood have helped me realize what is important in every walk of life, from changing diapers to wearing them.