With or without kids?

Sometimes as a parent you find yourself searching for that little sliver of peace. That small moment where you can drink a cup of coffee without wondering what your little one is doing in the kitchen. Or type up a blog post without being interrupted by someone having to use the potty.

I would get desperate for that moment. In fact, some days I would get more frustrated searching for that peace, instead of just being satisfied with my situation.

Now some might think – how can a mom be satisfied by always running around tending to others without tending to her own needs? It’s not that easy, but true satisfaction as a mother comes when you finally accept your situation and let it fall naturally around you.

After I had my third child, I had a good friend who I would talk to about parenting and making time for myself. She told me something that I had never heard before: That I couldn’t expect a free moment to be carved into my day when I was fulfilling my job as a mom. It was truly an “aha” moment for me. But it got me thinking to all those times I would be trying to deperately check my e-mail over breakfast, only to have a 1-year-old swiping at my phone. Instead of accepting that I had a child who wanted my attention, I would get upset at the fact that I couldn’t check my e-mail in peace.

I never realized that as long as I am being needed as a mother, I had to accept that position and make my own time. It wasn’t going to be handed to me on a silver platter.

So finally after three kids I found out the secret to parental bliss: Making “me” time work. My friend also said something else important. I had to literally make time for myself. Bathroom visits, showers, going outside to dump the garbage, couldn’t count. It had to be specifically labeled as such. So I started weekly classes, which were at a walking distance. These weekly trips allowed me a chance to clear my head while walking, and in class I was in an adult setting. I would talk and discuss things with other adults, think with other adults. It felt good!

While I am still navigating these waters of creating a satisfied life as a mother, I am learning that I need to stop feeling frustrated when I don’t get my way. I have to make it work because my kids need me in different ways right now, and they don’t understand what I need. I can’t expect them to understand either. It just isn’t fair.

So here I am trying to savor the moments with them while building them into smart, kind people. If I don’t get to pray with the long, deep prostrations of before, it’s OK. Even with the 2 minutes I do get, I will pray for patience and peace in my soul.

We only have these few precious moments with our children when we can tend to their characters so let’s make the best of that time. Later when I finally get my peaceful coffee break, it will be all the more sweeter.

3 thoughts on “With or without kids?

  1. great post, I find it really important for both the peace of the mother and the child(ren), that if someone decides to be at home with their children, its essential to accept the situation just as you described it. children will be children, and we need to be the best example of a mother (which symbolizes so much to each individual child in addition to each family) as much as possible. the only way to do that is to *accept* how it will be so long as the child(ren) are awake. This is actually one of the many reasons I’m so adament my son has a sleep schedule that we do our best to keep to. I know that after he’s asleep, I have more “me” time and can recharge. That’s also the only timw i try to allow myself to give more attention to my phone/laptop/book than to my son. of course on days when he wakes up or doesn’t sleep until later than expected, I have to remind myself to accept that situation too!

    acceptance makes everything so much more calm and peaceful for everybody.

    • Totally agree, Soraya. We sometimes, as moms, underestimate the importance of a routine, and then go nuts when our kids are misbehaving. But it’s that routine that will actually help us get some free time to recharge.

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