I always seem to get a little bossy and grouchy and sort of unpleasant around the kids’ bedtime. I poke and prod and rush them up (because kids get extra slow at bedtime), and don’t take time for much joking or laughing or listening to stories or fielding last minute questions from stalling elementary schoolers.
But, sometimes I have a night when I just decide not to worry too much about the clock. I ask lots of questions and get good answers. I giggle and play jokes and just try to enjoy every last second of the last seconds of the day with my kids.
Those are my favorite nights.
When my kids remember me, someday when they’re grown and gone, I want them to remember that I laughed a lot. When they picture me, I hope they don’t see a frowning face or an annoyed sigh. I want them to remember that, from me, smiles came easy. I want them to know how much I enjoyed having a front row seat for their growing up.
When the sighs build up inside, when the shushes and the not-right-nows and the I’m-too-busies creep up, I want to smile instead. I want to laugh at the craziness, hold my kids close, and shake my head in a giggling surrender to the chaos.
When they think of me, I hope they picture me laughing.
This cut me to the core. At heart, I don’t think I’m fun mom. I get annoyed far too easily, and sometimes I’m too focused on what needs to be done to laugh when they do something silly. I do laugh with them, but I don’t know that it is something that comes easily. Still so far to go!
Chelsey, I will just bet that your kids think you’re a fun mom. We’re much harder on ourselves than our kids are! Keep on keeping on. Motherhood isn’t easy, and it’s okay not to laugh your head off every moment! I don’t! But, sometimes maybe we’re a little too serious when we shouldn’t be. Baby steps to laughing more! 🙂
Good reminder for me not to be so driven. After 20 years of parenting four boys, I’m still struggling to let myself see their view of the world.
Michele, four boys! You’re a superstar! It’s so hard to see things from their perspective, especially when they have little concept of everything that needs to be done. Thanks so much for your comment!
Very good, thank you!
One word of caution though. Our 3 children are now in their early 30s (one right after the other) and 2 have their own children. Their memories of growing up are 3 very different stories. Not sure why, and they can’t express it, but particularly the oldest has a fairly negative memory of me and of overall growing up experience.
So my word of caution is that you are responsible for you and how you do things and react to things. You are not responsible for how other people, even your own children, think and feel about their growing up memories.
Have a blessed day!
Great reminder, Keith! Thank you for this!
I have linked this to my blog post for Friday. Thanks so much!
Thank you for that, Dale!!