|One of my favorite pictures of my girls so happy playing together with no other agenda other than: ENJOY|
Today, I am aware more than ever why it's such an art or practice to stay present. To be in the NOW. It's a constant balance between looking ahead and behind just enough to plan and reflect so we can make the best choices for our present and then be able to actually LIVE in our present...mindful, grateful, intentional. That's the goal. :)
As a mother/parent this can be super hard. In addition to thinking about our own lives, we are making decisions for our children. Now think of the movie Inside Out where it shows all the different emotions and feelings and thinking we have going on inside of us... our committee of sorts. The committee in my head (all the parts of my mind thinking about all the parts of my life past, present, future) is extra crowded when I'm in the thick of motherhood...it's not only my personal committee, it's the committee that helps me understand my children and know the best route to guide them as individuals! We are their advocate, cheerleader, advisor, and enforcer all at once. We GET to love them and know them deeply. We know about their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, temperament, who they like to play with, and so much more. We also know when they need a little nudge to do something they wouldn't do otherwise because of fear, apathy, or simply not even knowing what it's like so not caring enough to have any desire to try. Whether this means helping them try a sport, read a new book that may look too hard, talk to a grown up about something difficult, speak their mind, join a club at school, make new friends. Whatever the thing, there's a balance with the role we play. Guide. Facilitator. Supporter. Advocate. Comforter. And you know, sometimes we even know our child enough to give them a little (or big) PUSH. I know, I know... in the name Parenthood PC, we often don't use that word PUSH anymore but why not? Sometimes our kids do need pushed! Pushed by someone that loves them and KNOWS they will fly once they are given that nudge to the next step. I'm a pusher sometimes. Not always but I push when I know it's time... pushing, balanced by all those other roles I mentioned above. It is indeed a balance.
I woke up this morning feeling like my motherhood/children/life balance is off a little. For the next two weeks (while my oldest's theater performance/rehearsals wrap up and she begins gymnastics team at a higher level along with my other kids being involved in sports), I can definitely say we are signed up for too much! Too much for my tastes anyway. There is undoubtedly a balance between guiding our kids and helping them grow learn and challenge themselves through extracurricular activities, sports, etc. and providing enough free time so they get to simply be a kid and relax! This balance is different for every single family. Sometimes it comes to knowing what their child can handle and sometimes it's about money or logistics. For me, right now, it's about wanting my kids to have just enough involvement in extra classes/sports/theater...whatever... to where they have goals and feel excited about being involved and working hard, but not too much to where it feels like all we are ever doing is GO GO GO Going. Right now it feels a lot like that. Driving, dropping, picking up, scheduling, shelling out $$$, and way too little relaxing as a family and getting lost in play while they are still young.
I also woke up this morning questioning my decision to speak up on behalf of my son to have him moved up in gymnastics. That's part of the knowing when to nudge and when to let things be. I know he is ready on a physical level but did I push too soon? We shall see. For now, I'm going to trust that he's in his just right place and although our Tues/Thurs schedules will be NUTS, this move will eventually allow for my kids to have at least 2 days a week where they have NOTHING on the agenda! I want this for them! I want this for ME! Life is too short and childhood goes so quickly. They will have the rest of their lives to be BUSY. I know myself enough as a mother to know that I need this downtime for them probably more than they care or need it themselves. And that's what this motherhood/parenthood gig is all about, right? Finding what works best for us as individual families so we can thrive and be happy. And not judging others for doing life differently!
Here's to a long, unorganized ramble of a post that is really, a personal journal online. Here's to nudging (or pushing) my kids a bit. Here's to giving our kids challenges and opportunities for them to discover new talents and interests while improving in what they've already started. Here's to knowing how much is too much and how much is not enough. Here's to finding that balance with all of it...so we don't have so much going on (in our heads and our day to day schedules) that we aren't truly enjoying LIFE! And here's to not overthinking (easier said than done)!