I remember spending so much time playing on the floor and reading books and singing songs with our firstborn. Everything was new for him and I loved the precious moments we enjoyed together! Second time round I was still getting involved in their little worlds but by the time our third baby arrived I was feeling much more tired and snowed under with even more washing, cleaning and dealing with the challenges that came with mothering 3 kids under 4. We also moved cities at that time which probably didn’t help and to be honest those first 6 months of our baby girls life, felt like a bit of a blur. ?
Don’t get me wrong I still had many great moments with all three and I am grateful for every minute with them, however I found the sleep deprivation kicking in and the last thing I felt like doing was sitting there reading a book or engaging in a puzzle with my kids. I often found myself zoning out!! All I wanted to do was lay on the couch and just let them all play, but who knows as soon as you sit down they all creep up and end up sitting on you!! Haha!
I found myself wishing I could be the mum I was in those first two years of my first child’s life. Then I realized my responsibilities had increased and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. ?
But I wasn’t feeling as fulfilled as a mum. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for self play but I have recently been making more of an effort to get on the floor & spend time doing things together. Most times I don’t feel like doing it (due to tiredness) but when I push beyond those feelings and do it anyway, I soon discover that…
‘by choosing to engage rather then zone out – they seem much happier and more fulfilled and it does something pretty powerful in me as well’.
Now I am not saying I sit there all day and just play. That is not possible! I still have to clean and do washing and all the other things that come with mothering three kids. But I am just trying to be more intentional on the small moments of time to build precious memories and a sense of safety and love for my children. It really is true – this time with our small children goes quickly! Yes the days can feel long – sometimes really long!!! But the years go quick. I can’t believe that my first child is now in prep ?
I want to engage as much as I can (sleep deprived and all), I want to invest what I can, when I can so that the days and years don’t just pass and I look back in regret!
Mothering is amazing but can be exhausting so I also understand that my true strength and ability to love – can only come from God! Spending time in His presence encourages and refreshes me! I am also learning the art of taking a few moments a week to do something I enjoy or just be on my own to rejuvenate so that I can keep on giving of my time and energy.
Encouragement of the week:
We all need our love tank filled. Sometimes it doesn’t take long at all to do that in our kids – here are a couple of suggestions of activities that you can engage in – with your little one:
- Read a book
- Build lego or train track
- Put on music and dance together
- Bake together
- Make something with them (playdough/paint/draw)
- Sing a rhyme
- Go to library
- Baby cino at a cafe
- Picnic on the grass
- Cuddles and looking at the child in the eyes and telling them how much you love them and how special they are
- Getting them to touch their nose, eyes after asking where they are
- Duck duck goose (it’s a lot of fun)
- Blow up a balloon and draw faces
- Puppet show
- Play a card game
- Sing the alphabet
- Hide and seek
- Play cricket or ball games in backyard
- Get the hose out and make rain
- Play doctors and have a lay down haha