I have a confession: sometimes I like to spend a good chunk of time browsing our family pictures from previous years. They bring me to tears, make me smile, and make me giggle as I look back at the expressions, the little nuances, and the moments that feel so far in the past.
Each year we have our pictures taken, we make sure to hire a photographer who will take candid pictures. We love seeing the little things that make our family what it is, reflected in our annual pictures.
As I look through these perfectly candid pictures that so perfectly captured our family dynamics, there are 5 things that stand out to me. Those are the things I have made a conscious effort to implement recently, and have added to my feelings of truly enjoying this journey of being a motherhood.
5 Tips To Truly Enjoying Motherhood:
My husband and kids remind me to just be silly. It’s not something that comes naturally to me. I tend to be serious and reserved in most situations. Lately, however, I have been making a conscious effort to be crazy in front of and with my kids more often. The funny thing is, the more I do that, the more confident my kids seem to be in other situations.
My kids are known for being shy. My oldest especially. Recently, though, I noticed he has started to let his silly side shine in pictures, and even with his friends. It’s a HUGE step for him, and a great reminder to me to continue to encourage silly, playful, goofy moments and let the kids know that all those things are what make them special.
Follow Their Lead-
I will have to share with you sometime my day of multiple Pinterest fails! I was determined to have a “fun day” with the kids so I looked up activities that we could do together. I would set it up, get the kids ready to do it, then it was over in 5 minutes or less and I was left to clean up the mess. Sure, it made for some cute picture-perfect pictures, but SERIOUSLY, the time it took to do all that was simply not worth it the 5 minutes of play time. I’m ashamed to say it took THREE activities for me to realize it just wasn’t going to work.
I decided to skip the pinterest ideas and just let my kids do what they wanted to do. They started using their imagination, playing with things that were already out, and loving the “unforced” and natural play time. I was a little bummed that I couldn’t write super cute Pinterest worthy posts of activities, but that’s not what my life is about. Real life isn’t pinterest, its the little moments that happen naturally and spontaneously. If I just follow their lead, I have all the games in the world at my fingertips. It’s not as much about creating play as it is engaging in it and identifying it when it occurs.
Take Time To LISTEN…
Each summer I take car trips with just my kids and I. We have a ritual that we spend a certain portion of the trip just talking.
During our car conversations the kids have asked about everything from sex, to jobs, and even God. I am sometimes shocked at how easily the conversations happen even when the subjects could be uncomfortable or difficult. For us they are easy and natural. Our car conversations are always safe. I have never set ground rules for them, but there is a clear amount of respect and freedom to ask and say anything they may be thinking at the moment. Sometimes the thoughts are random and sometimes we get into pretty neat stuff. No matter what, it’s my time to listen and hear what they have on their minds. I love learning from them and taking the time to teach when questions are asked. I hope to always have this open relationship within the walls of our…um car?…maybe we will work on having these conversations more in the home…lol!
Take Note of the Good
This picture reminds me of the pure, good, honest hearts inside each of these three kids. Sometimes I feel like all we do is fight, yell, and argue with each other. I have felt lately that these three can’t even be in the same house together without getting on each others nerves. But then moments like this happen.
When I am being honest and looking for these moments, they happen more often than not. I see that the kids truly do love each other. They all have such great hearts and such happy souls. Taking notice of these moments fills my heart with gratitude, and allows them to see the love that exists between each of them. Noticing the moments helps create more of them.
LOVE the Life I Live
My life isn’t perfect, but it’s mine and it’s the one I get to live. I can love it or fight it, either way, this is my reality. My perspective determines so much of how I see and react to the daily events that inevitably occur. I can choose to see the good or be enveloped in the negative. I’ll never have the most, I’ll never be the best, but it’s ok because I have all I ever wanted.