“Mom and me”

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I’ve been trying to think of some special memories to make with my girls.  It’s been somewhere near the back of my mind for quite some time.  Today a friend of mine posted something on her Facebook status that made me start thinking about it again.  Her question was about how to be joyful in the midst of motherhood.  ACK… that’s what we call a doosie of a question.

I have implemented a few ideas that I’m excited about, but I know for a FACT that I have room for more.  MANY more.  I would love nothing more than to hear what you think about this.  Share with me what your special memories are of your mom.  Tell me about some things you do with your kids that are building strong relationships and sweet memories.  While you think about it, I’ll tell you mine.

A few years ago, a precious friend gave me a book called “Love Letters to a child”.  It really struck a chord with me!  The same week that I read this book, I took a journal off my shelf (I used to have this odd attraction to journals, so I had 2 empty ones just sitting around, collecting dust) and began page one.  “Dear Cloe, my precious first born…”  Since then, I’ve had two more precious little girls given to me (okay okay, given to us… but I’ve never been great at sharing…) and I’ve started books for them, too.  Cloe is only 5 yrs old but already loves for me to read her book to her.  I like to imagine that in 15 yrs, her books from me will be invaluable to her!  But even if they’re not, I’ve found that it’s good for me to be writing them.

I bought a book for Nathan last year on Father’s Day called “The Power of a Praying Parent” by Stormie Omartian.  Her “Power of a Praying Wife” book is excellent… I’ve read through it several times.  So I figured this would be just as good!  I’m just now starting it, but I’ve enjoyed it so far.  It’s my latest idea to invest in my kids… I try to pray for each of them, every morning, before we start our day.

My last idea (that I haven’t formally begun, but have been doing loosely when I think about it) is setting aside time to spend with each child individually.  Not doing anything “productive” or remotely stressful… just having fun together.  For Cloe this means painting our nails or painting a picture together.  For Gabi it usually means reading a book or swinging on the swingset.  Sometimes we even make sand cookies out in the sandbox.  I’m a huge fan of those… although Gabi’s favorite “flabor” is usually chocolate-cinnamon-apple which isn’t usually the one I buy at the store…

I remember my mom playing play-dough with me at our dining room table.  I want to be *that* mom, ya know?  Not the one that freaks out over all the play dough that is smashed into the floor under the table.

I don’t want to just survive these years of exhausting toddler days.  I want to enjoy them and relish each sweet moment with my girls.  I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that they are grown and gone and wonder why I didn’t love on them more when I had the chance.  I want to build a foundation in these years that will mean a solid friendship in years to come!  I know several of you have great relationships and memories with your mom… please share them!

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6 responses »

  1. This was timely for me, as I was having one of those days where I told my husband that I wanted them to grow up, that I was tired of being the housemaid and cleaning up the play-doh smashed into the carpet (I even threatened to throw all the play-doh away and the kids were shocked). I wasn’t proud of my “yucky” day, I’ve just been tired and on the edge of getting sick and so over the mess that seems to accumulate on a constant basis. ahhhh, thanks for reminding me that I shouldn’t just want to survive; but should cherish this time and build those memories with them. This….as I’m checking out the Doorposts (www.doorposts.com) website and all the neat things I can do to bring more character and scripture into our home….so many things to work on…. IN ME!
    Alisha

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  2. Thanks for the great ideas! I love the journaling one… I think I am gonna have to combine that with my scrap booking. They LOVE looking through their books, but I have a hard time writing stuff for them. I also need to get that Stormie O’Martian book.

    Our latest idea has been to make a “family circles chart,” They have little pointers that spin around the chart to pick an activity to do with Mom and Dad. Stuff like taking a walk, cooking something special, going out to eat, playing a game, are all on their and they get to pick on our date night. Each parent takes one kid and we go do something fun with them.

    We did it yesterday and it was so fun! Kate and went shopping and out for “coffee” and then for lunch. It was so good to really focus on her and she asked some amazing questions.
    Rob and Luke had a great time at the hardware store and doing a surprise project for Mom.

    I think it is so awesome to plan in stuff or else it never seems to happen (atleast in my house!). Thanks for the ideas!

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  3. Ahhh Julie, you are always such an inspiration with your blogs!! I’ve read like half of that “Love letters to your child” book, but it was right in the middle of packing and moving and Jeremy starting school and unpacking and HAVING the child, so I lost track of where I was, but I REALLY would love to do this…grrr, so many things (like Landon’s 2-yr-old pics that I still haven’t gotten done! Or the stocking I’m 90% done with…) :-p that I need to do and start, I really should pick one thing to start and finish at a time and maybe eventually I’ll get them all done…
    Anyway! I remember making gunk with mom, just doing everyday things like her Wal-Mart runs, or just sitting and talking to her while she paid bills or balanced the church books or did her nails way back when… 🙂 And I LOVED it (even when I was 15, 16, 17-yrs-old) 🙂 when mom read the Narnia books to us while we were eating lunch, she would have different voices for the characters and everything…. ❤

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  4. thank you for being the mom. i never could, it is way to much work for a guy. I am so grateful that you see a future harvest that will take years of work. someday when people ask me why i have such a good relationship with my teenages i will tell them my wife did it.

    i remember books and knowledge being a fiend at our house. we would sit around and devour books. mom would ffed them to us 3 meals a day… and i for one loved it. i was a day dreamer and the world of books was mine. mom was ALWAYS hunting down books for us. if we wanted to try it she let us… and experiment we wanted to try… i remember her helping us figure out how to extract cloriform from leaves, baking soda volcanos turned into a war zone when we figured out how to use the reaction to propel corks out of pop bottles with it. she let us and encouraged it.

    younger though, that is what you wanted. early memories… mom was a hippie… she believed in letting us experiance our world so killing rattle snakes and drowning in the pond were part of that. some might call it careless mothering but i don’t… i am glad it got to do those crazy things. maybe it wasn’t always what she was doing with us but what she was letting us do. I bet it was hard for her to watch me head off to the corn field for a cob war with the village kids knowing that i would be back with injuries, but she let me anyway.

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