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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Life with many toddlers and parenting confessions

I'm a mom of 4.  Wow...it's crazy to say that...makes me feel a little old.

I have 3 toddlers.  And a new baby.  :-)  And guess what?  I'm still not a pro.  In fact, the further along I get on this parenting journey, the less I think I know.

It's really terrible how I used to look at moms with little children and think "My kids will never do that," or "When I'm a mom I'll have things so much more under control."  Wow.  I can't believe that I used to think like that!  I guess it just goes to show how easily ignorance can lead to pride.  :-(

Now as a mom for 3 1/2 years, I think about those moms I used to look at, and I wonder how in the world they did it, and how they always looked so pretty and calm.  {And sane.}  Because honestly, I'm not half the mom I thought I would be, and it doesn't come easy.  I struggle with feeling guilty because I'm not on top of things.  I struggle with finding the balance between keeping a clean, orderly home and dropping things to just spend time playing with, loving, and teaching my children.

So that's kind of what's on my mind today.  Me realizing my weakness of doing, doing, doing, and not taking enough time for my kids.  I know that too many times I get distracted by all the things that need to be done, or I turn to cleaning house as a way to deal with the stress of my children fighting, not napping, etc.  {Yes, I really did just say that...having a clean, organized home is therapeutic to me.  In other words, being in an organizing store is like being in a candy store.}  I actually do start getting rid of stuff when I'm stressed.  But...while a clean, orderly home is a good thing, putting all my focus there and not treasuring precious moments with my children, is not.

Since I'm such an organizer freak type, I know that I need a plan.  A schedule, a goal, a purpose.  I'm purposing to spend more time enjoying my children and doing fun, educational activities with them.  I found this Preschool Planning Form that I'm going to try out.  I think it will work really well.  It gives me space to plan and then will help me not to forget.  And I can just mark it off as we go {like a To-Do list, you know, since my organizer side really likes those.}  :-)

How do you balance life as a mom with toddlers?  I'd love to hear your ideas.  :-)

If you want fun, educational ideas for your toddler(s), stay tuned!  I'll be posting about the creative things that we find to do, and maybe I'll post some of your ideas too!


Amy said...

Sweet Sarah, get out of my head! LOL

I think all Mommies feel this way sometimes. Balance is a hard thing to achieve. I have gotten to where if I notice I am working on house work while the kids are awake, I have to tell myself "can't I do this when they are napping or in bed tonight?". It really helps me to refocus and drop everything to enjoy my sweet precious babies.

I feel less guilty when Charlie is home from work and can give the kids his full attention. It gives me a chance to cook and get a few other small chores done.

I wish I had some wonderful advice for you, but the truth is I struggle with this so much too. If you are like me, you will go through phases. I go a few weeks doing great at giving my all to my kids... then I have a week where I just feel as though I have not given ANY of myself to them :-( Boy, balance it HARD!

I will say, this is one reason I love "school" with Lula Mae. It is time devoted just to me and her. We learn and play and it is great. You will love having a plan for fun! It really does make a huge difference!

Matt said...

hey Sarah!!! I really enjoyed lunch today!!

This post sounds very familiar...I think I have had this same conversation inside my head!!! I always think back to how prideful I was before I became a mom. I've always heard, "You're the best mom you'll ever be before you're a mom!"...I think that is so true...in our heads at least!! I think you're doing a great job and you have a beautiful family. Thank God for his grace and that his mercies are NEW every morning!!!!:) Talk to you soon!!!:)