The Millennial Homemaker

The musings of a Stay at Home Mom

Time is running. Stop to catch it.

A sweet friend of mine posted a link to an article that I thought was intriguing. Basically, it talks about not wanting to have more children, per se, but to have more TIME with the children you already created. I couldn’t agree more.

Here was my reply to her post:

“As a mom of 4, I look back and remember feeling that way a lot. Wanting to have more quality time. But, the real gift is just TIME. Enjoy each moment, even if they have diarrhea and are puking all over your floor. For one day soon, it will all be over. They will be driving and going to work or college. And then you wont see them for days. All you will see are the remnants of where they have been… the laundry, the dirty dishes, the bathrooms. And then you’ll wish that you could just read them a bedtime story again. Or take them to the park again. Its so surreal but so true.”

The thought of time passing so quickly has such bittersweet emotions.

It reminds me of that song, “It Might Be You,” which was played in the movie, Tootsie. Watching that movie as a young child in the 1980s I never thought how quickly time would pass into adulthood. Having children has somehow catapulted me into a fast-forward dimension of wishing that I could put the brakes on the concept of time.

Back to the original thought: having more babies does not give the ultimate satisfaction of spending time in babyhood. Babies grow up into little people. Then those little people grow into big people. What mothers crave is the ability to maximize the time that they have with the children already created.

Oh, how I’d love to find a time machine to go back a decade (or two) and tell my younger self to ENJOY IT MORE. Enjoy the diapers and the breastfeeding (or bottles). Enjoy the smell of baby lotion and rubber duckies floating in the tub. Enjoy the endless hours of playing at the park (mostly to wear them out for bed!) and pushing the children endlessly on the swings. Enjoy the snuggles and stories at bedtime. Enjoy the little breakfasts with “EEEAAALL” as my son used to say for cereal.

JUST ENJOY IT.

For one day really soon, those precious babies will be all grown up. They will graduate high school. They will get their driver’s license (Lord help us moms with all that adrenaline) and drive off in YOUR car for the first time. They will find a job,  develop a relationship with a girlfriend or boyfriend, or move away to college (or stay home during college and eat all your food).

In every circumstance of growth and change, TIME makes it hurt. It’s joyful to watch them grow, BUT IT HURTS LIKE HELL, too.

So as you snuggle your little ones, remember that those moments are so brief in time.

ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN 🙂

 

 

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A Generation of Parenting

What, How, Why: My 20+ Years of Parenting

Its officially been over 20 years that I have been called a mother. I have four children that range in age from 21 (almost 21) down to 10. A lot has happened in these 20+ years.

As I look back on the past generation (yes, one generation equals 20 years) of this monumental calling, I realize that my experience deserves a wink. A glimpse. A shot at fifteen minutes of fame. Or, maybe nothing at all. But, here it goes.

If you are a young mom drowning in the mundane duties of side order chef, laundry loader, calm down singer, carpooler, floor scrubber, or heck…. a mammary milk supplier… rest assured THIS PHASE goes by so fast. Trust me.

In 20 years time I have traded the following life-altering experiences as a young mom for the replacement alternatives as a now “seasoned” mom:

  • Sleepless nights —> sleep-all-the-time teenagers
  • Diapers and formula/nursing —> unending trips to the grocery store to fill the always empty refrigerator and pantry
  • Baby and toddler car seats —>borrowed car keys to teen drivers that come home way too late
  • Preschool tuition —> college tuition
  • Book fair purchases —> yearbooks, college textbooks, laptops, cell phones
  • Christmas outfits —> Homecoming and/or Prom attire
  • Family outings and vacays —> “I don’t have time or want to go on a trip with you”
  • Baby wipes —> acne wipes

And the list goes on and on.

So, begs the question: Would I do it all over again?
YES. IN A HEARTBEAT.

IF only  I could turn back time.

Instead, the beating of my heart keeps me going from one moment to the next. Each beat reminds me to cherish each moment with my grown children.

Knowing I only get a limited number of heartbeats helps me stay grounded in the reality of the speed of life passing by. And, so far… it feels as fast at 186,000 miles per hour.

2016 is SOOO different from 1996

In one generation I have seen the superfluous changes in parenting. From strollers to cell phones, from scrapbooks (real photos from film) to snap chat, from email to texting…. SOOO much has changed.

I almost feel sorry for the young moms in this decade. They have so much more at their disposal, yet they are so overwhelmed by the effects of instant everything.

  • Play dates are arranged on social media, rather than by picking up the phone and CALLING a friend for a get together.
  • Fast food and COFFEE shops on every corner are shaping the expanding waistlines and the need to buy more yoga pants.
  • Home parties (for mom’s night out) have been replaced by facebook parties.
  • Cooking at home is even more rare than the nightly meals once gracing the dining room table.
  • Speaking of the dining room table, this piece of household furniture resembles more of a desk, a craft area, or a museum piece.
  • Children now want (and usually receive) more gifts than ever from classmates that may move away… tomorrow. That $25 price tag for a gift? Nobody blinks at it.

Please know I am not raining on your parade.

My hat is off to you, young mom. I get the pressure you feel to just lie down and rest for 15 minutes. I understand the need to go to the bathroom without an audience. I have been there with the baby strapped in the carseat, sitting in the stroller, crying his eyes out while you are crying because of shampoo in your eyes.

What my mission is in writing this blurb is: I want to encourage you. Keep swimming with the current. Keep getting up every day and trying to squeeze in that workout. Keep learning how to make one new meal that your babies will someday brag to a friend and sing your praises. Keep picking up those socks and finding their homes or strayed partners. Keep singing those lullabies. Keep on mommying on.

For in 20 years, you’ll be trading your young mommy hat for a seasoned hat. And hair dye.

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The Worthy Fight

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About three weeks before the new year I began to get nervous. I was concerned about the future. I didn’t want to face something. That something?

2016.

As a worrier by default, I am not eternally optimistic about most things. I am a realist, yet I want to be an idealist. I want to have things like hope or courage. Yet, these past few years have beaten my emotions to a pulp.

Good News!

As I woke up to January 1, 2016, the sky wasn’t falling like I had worried. The earth was still revolving. The sun was still shining. My kids were still smiling. And I was still breathing.

The past few days I have been pulling myself up by my bootstraps, so to speak. I have been putting on my mental boxing gloves, and I am gearing up for a fight.

The Worthy Fight

It’s hard to think of any fight as something worthy. So, what is so worthy that requires fighting?

FIGHT for your HEALTH

FIGHT for your MARRIAGE

FIGHT for your FAITH

FIGHT for your CHILDREN

FIGHT for your FREEDOM

FIGHT for your LIFE

I am determined to make 2016 my year to FIGHT! Fight for all of the above. This blog post is my personal reminder to keep on swimming, keep on moving forward, keep on keeping on…. especially on the bad days. Because, there will be bad days. But, there is still HOPE.

I absolutely love the song by Rachel Platten called Fight Song.

Here are a few lyrics (I hope that’s OK, Rachel):

This is my fight song

Take back my life song

Prove I’m all right song

…. ’cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Thank you, Rachel, so much for these words. They are my mantra for 2016.

AMEN.

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Finding my WHY

It seems that anyone who wants to be successful in his/her career, family, health, or spiritual journey must first ask the question: What is my WHY?

I have been pondering this question for several days now (if not, for several years). This persistent question keeps coming up, and I can’t seem to dodge it until I have temporarily satisfied my soul’s longing for the answer.

But, something amazing happened last night when I was pondering that question. I realized that my WHY doesn’t have to remain the same. It can change over time! As I accomplish a goal, I can determine a new WHY. Some of my WHYs are permanent, such as “I’m doing this for my kids.” But, some of my WHYs are temporary. These temporary answers can change as I do.

Discovering what you want to be or who you are is one of the most sought after ponderings in the universe. You may ask simple questions to yourself (Where would I like to be in 12 months?), or you may ask the most complex questions that never really have any black or white answers. I tend to toss and turn at night over some of these gray questions/answers. So, how do I find a balance in all of this questioning?

  1. I have to acknowledge that I do not know all the answers in this life, and that I need to LET GO of the false sense of control that I seem to have.
  2. I have to show gentleness and grace to myself, as I tend to get a little too hard on myself for not solving the problem/question right away.
  3. I have to walk away and leave it for another day, when my strength just doesn’t seem to be there.

As I look back through my journaling this past year, I know that a lot of mid-life moms must go through this period of questioning, seeking, and pursuing. We are at a point of the mountain peak, where we have journeyed for half of our lives to reach this pinnacle. But, when we look around and see where we’ve been, and then look ahead to see where we are going, we get lost in the fog. The beautiful clouds that seem so enamoring from the ground are now surrounding us at this mountain peak. It was supposed to be clear at the peak. We should know how to solve it all, handle it all, and understand it all.

So as begin the descent down to the ground of the latter half of my life, I want to have that kind of peace that surrounds me, even with the clouds. I want to know that my WHYs are not in vain, and that they have purpose for my purpose.

I hope that you’ll take the time to review your WHYs this week. Enjoy the thoughts, but don’t muddle too long on the unknown. Try and take the time to write them down, and just be content with where you are… at this moment.

For one day, these WHYs will become the mosaic of your legacy.

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Every Day is Mother’s Day!

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The first time I heard those words from my mother-in-law, I was taken back for a second. I didn’t quite understand what she was talking about, and I couldn’t figure out why she didn’t want to celebrate Mother’s Day. I always thought that each holiday was special, and that Mothers around the world deserved to be recognized on a special day.

She was right.

As I have become an experienced mother I now realize the validity in her point. Every single day is special to me as a mother. I cherish every moment I can spend with my children, because time is so fleeting and they grow up so darn fast. I don’t necessarily want presents or flowers everyday, but I sure do love the hugs and kisses from my kiddos.

From this day forward…

Every mother who has birthed (or adopted) a child knows how special those first few moments of meeting your new baby can be. Nothing can explain that thrill of awe, of amazement, of sheer joy, when that baby is placed in your arms. It is also the scariest of moments for the first time mother to know that she has the most vulnerable creature in her arms, and all that mattered before motherhood now pales in comparison to loving and growing this child.

From the first breath of her baby a new mother will always be… his/her mother. The biggest and toughest job of the world just landed into a woman’s lap, and she selflessly accepts the position of mother. She doesn’t quite know what is in store for her as a mother. No one will be able to prepare her for countless nights of lost sleep due to crying, illness, hunger, and comfort. There isn’t a way to explain the daunting level of exhaustion, or worry, or sorrow  to this new mother, because no one wants to know the reality of raising a child in that way.

It is easy to share all of the good things that will happen with the position of motherhood. All of the kisses, hugs, smiles, and immeasurable joy can be found in motherhood. Nary a day goes by that I don’t receive a word of kindness, a quick touch of compassion, or just plain reassurance of love from my children.

Moment by Moment

When my boys were babies I couldn’t wait until they were out of the “diapers and formula” stage. Oh, how I thought that season of parenting was so expensive! Now that they are teenagers, I really miss those cute baby days! I am learning now to take each day on a moment by moment basis.

It’s been almost one year since I said goodbye to my dear sweet mother. She was so precious to me, and I am missing her more and more as time goes by. Although I struggled with wanting to be ‘right’ when I knew I should listen to her, I realize now that she did the best job she could for me and my brother. I will always appreciate her love and time and commitment.

Not Perfect, but Passionate

My parenting style has always been on the pursuit of passionate motherhood. I want my children to know that I am passionate about loving them, training them, and “bringing them up in the way they should go.” As much as I’d like to be perfect, I fall short of that misconception every single time. As I take off my perfectionist hat, I do my best to embrace my passionate hat. I want to give 110%, no matter the cost.

Make Each Day Matter

As you continue this week and think about Sunday, Mother’s Day, remember one thing: Once a mother, always a mother. Each day matters to every mother. If you still have your mother, thank her each day for her love (if you can). She is doing and being her very best.

 

 

 

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