My Facebook status 12/20/2017:
The girls have been on winter break for 48 minutes and we’ve already had a tantrum and tears…
I’ll let you know how the kids are doing later.
Can you relate? When I taught full-time I was always so excited for the breaks because it meant that, not only would I get time off of my work but, I would also get to spend more time with my children. Once I started working part-time and from home for the most part, I began to look at winter break as just 8 extra hours of the day that I had to fill up with something for the kids to do. I don’t want to say that I dreaded the two week “vacation”, but I wasn’t dancing in the streets either.
My kids are high energy and very social. They will finish one play date and immediately ask for another one. Their desire to go go go never seems to be satiated. If they are “stuck in the house” together they will inevitably fight over something–something that neither one of them wanted until the other one had it. Frankly, they’re a little exhausting and I stressed over having to fill their social calendars for two weeks.
And then I realized that I had become “that mom”. It’s the mom that I used to loathe. It’s the mom that I vowed I would never be–
The mom who takes time with her children for granted.
I tried to remember when was the last time I truly valued spending time with my kids. When was the last time I wasn’t just trying to “get through the day?” When was the last time I played with them? When was the last time we just hung out and liked one another? I couldn’t remember.
And I hated myself for that.
I knew I needed to make a change. So I vowed this season to try to “Mom” a little harder. I don’t know if my girls will notice a difference. I don’t know if they noticed that I had not been living up to my full mom potential, but that doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is that they know that being with them is a privilege and I feel so very blessed by the time we get to spend together.
So while I may grumble over this or that, I will still take them to trampoline play areas and to kid’s festivals with long lines. I will still host slumber parties and play board games and let them win. I will still bake cookies and take them to playgrounds in the cold weather. I will still read them bedtime stories and lay with them while they fall asleep because they asked me so sweetly. And, most importantly, I will cherish the days that we have together…even if I still occasionally count down the hours until bedtime.