Entrusted to Me

Two things occurred to be yesterday while I watched my kids by the pool;
1. I have not shared my beach weekend with you.
and
2. How precious is this mothering gig that we have.
It seems like being a mom has turned into the cool thing all the sudden…mostly just in a celebrity sense I mean.  Every celebrity out there is adopting babies or having 5 dozen of their own. If a Kardashian has a kid, it must be cool right?
When I found out I was pregnant with Noah, I did not think it was cool. I was young…too young, and scared witless.
When Noah was born, I was bound a determined to not just be another “young dumb mom.” I learned things, read books, engaged him in tactile and multisensory learning activities…the whole gamut. Also, I was a hard nose.
I had preconceived notions of everything; potty trained by “this” age, writing his letters at “that” age. I loved the heck out of him, but I think mostly I wanted to be the “good” mom.  As in, the mom with the kid that’s potty trained and signing the alphabet too.
In 10 years, I’ve changed a lot as a mom. I’m not so hard. I feel gentler. I enjoy my kids more than being worried about what they know. I’m in no way perfect, but I’ve definitely evolved into a sweeter mama.
You see, these last few weeks for whatever reason I’ve been really watching kids. Watching their faces, watching their body language, seeing how they respond to their mamas and daddies. I was watching a little boy at the pool with his mom yesterday. He was little…4ish, paddling around with his little wings on. His mom was being so hard on him about not swimming “right.”
“No, you don’t need that toy, it’s a distraction. You need to be learning how to swim.”
“Kick your legs or you’ll never swim right.”
“That’s not yours, put it down.”
“If you’re not going to swim right, we’re not coming back to the pool.”
Non-stop.

The thing that made me cringe a bit was not because I knew she was crushing his sweet little spirit and making herself look like a crab, even though that made me feel bad too. The thing that broke my hard was she sounded like I did. I know I sounded like that. 

I look at Noah sometimes and wonder if he remembers how awful I made his potty training experience, if he’s been scarred by my negligence, if I created a barrier between us even way back then by being so authoritative.

Listening to that mom yesterday made me want to scoop all three of mine up on my lap and tell them how important they were. That they aren’t just kids, but they’re people. Real little people. The enormity of our jobs as moms hit me so hard yesterday.

It made me wonder…are my kids happy? Do they feel safe and protected? Are they secure in our love for them? Do they feel “good enough” or that I always want better and better from them?

I want them to feel full. Full.
I want definite security that Jarrod and I support them and love them unconditionally. I want them to have confidence in themselves. I want them to be happy. Strong. Full of wisdom.

Believe me, as a mom that is around her kids a lot I know it gets tiring…it’s hard to not get crabby, but I don’t want an excuse right now. I want my kids seeing me love through the frazzled days. Choosing joy over critical, because I can…and I should.

When I had Jack, my mothering changed a lot. I had more patience as they both grew. When Sophie came along I felt so much more confident in myself as a mom.

So many things in life are a balance issue, being a mom is no different. My worry always used to be that if I let even the tiniest thing slide, they’d be on the path to rebellion. But now I feel the opposite; if we lead with love first, the rest will fall into place.  Would Jesus correct my kids with an iron fist or lead with love?

Watching them yesterday, I think I just had a moment of clarity.  My epiphane for that split second made me see them as such gifts…not to keep, but gifts God has entrusted me with for a time. Clarity, meaning realizing just how important everyday is that I have them under my roof.
What a gift they are to me.
What a blessing.

Life is short, but no duh, right?? That’s nothing new, but since we know that’s a fact I want to take advatage of every day I have with my kids. Not meaning having some unhealthy, I-cannot-ever-be-separated-from-my-kids syndrome, but a real presence instead.

Giving them my whole attention instead of 45%, loving before I lash out first, letting them know it’s ok to fail…that they’re still ok and they’re still loved.

Scripture tells us to teach scripture to your kids (Deut. 4:9), to not exasparate your kids (Ephesians 6:4), to not embitter your kids (Col. 3:21), to train our kids (Proverbs ), heck we’re even supposed to be like kids (Matthew 18:3).

I don’t think these lessons are supposed to be sit-down and listen ones. I think they’re everyday/all day lessons.
How I react when the milk spills? What do I say when someone cuts me off in my lane? How do I behave when I’m stressed to the max?

They’re entrusted to us, what am I teaching them?

We’re all a work in progress…til we’re not anymore.  I’m not trying to be hard on myself as much as just remind myself what a gift my kids really are…to make the most of everyday…just a reminder-to-self.

Have a blessed day, mamas. Enjoy your kids today. Sometimes we have to love through our teeth a little bit, but it’s still love. And I know our kids will be blessed for it…and so will we.

Happy Weekend.

xo,
{alicia}

PS: I forgot to give you this…your Summer soundtrack. It’s good stuff. You’re gonna want to play this while you make an easy dinner and sip on coconut rum while wearing a breezy summer dress…you just are.

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18 thoughts on “Entrusted to Me

  1. I'm not a mom, but your language does compel me to be the best at what I have been charged with, what I've been called to do.

    I mostly wanted to say, I love Poe's Tavern. Best ever.

  2. i
    pray
    pray
    pray

    that the Lord will wipe
    most of my mom mistakes
    from their memories

    i often cringe at my own gaffs

    but grace is rampant
    and forgiveness is a lesson
    best learned
    through experience

    love your photos
    and the reminder that
    this mum thing
    is the best job going

    alison

  3. Great pics girl. Love hearing your heart in this post. I've experienced you mothering and you have nothing to worry about. You are sweet and gentle even when you think you are being hard and iron fisted. Those kids definitely know you love them..

  4. Thank you beautiful girl. This speaks to my soul in so many ways. I was so much harder on my first girl and the guilt over that makes me so sad 🙁 I know that I am a good mom but I pray that my kids will think so too.
    As always, you encourage me! Have a great weekend! xoxo

  5. i was that mom, too.
    and i still have those tendencies.
    thank the Lord He fills in so many of the gaps i have left and His grace has covered my MANY mistakes.
    i, too, pray that my kids will know that they are more important than anything, ANYTHING to me.
    and i'm really working on being a 'yes' mama, instead of always saying no.
    superty duper awesome sweet, amazing post my dear.
    xoxo

  6. i think i'm a pretty good mom to two of my kids and then there's one who probably thinks i don't love him at all. every single days it's a struggle for me. it's like we're both in this pit and there's just no way to get out; either for him or me. he's strong and willful, unkind a lot and it's so hard for me to handle. i lose my cool all the time and i'm having a hard time giving grace.

    thanks for the reminder!

  7. I think we all tend to be that way with our first maybe..i was so like that mom with my first..but i also had her at a very young age..so maybe it was the youth in me..i dont know..but as i had more..and then my third child came along..a pure blessing and truly a gift from GOD and it really taught me that when they walk or crawl..or talk for that matter..bc she is 5 and still cant really communicate with me..IT DOESNT MATTER!!!! Who cares…and then my twins came alng and brought craziness to a whole new level..lol!! But I dont care..all of my children are a blessing from GOD..yes all of them..and i wouldnt have it any other way:)

  8. so that texture on the last pic is super rad. i love what you said about being a mom… not being worried about what they know, but just enjoying them. that is so important. i am learning that. it's okay if my kid isn't the best, because that would just bolster my ugly pride anyway! kids are such a joy. i love all your pictures, next time, i'll be in them! : )

  9. This post…your honesty…your Christ based Mama love…has been a HUGE blessing to me. Thank you. I couldn't agree more and truly appreciate the mama reminder to love fully and focus on matters of the heart first. May God bless you abundantly as you glorify Him as a Mama. :)xo

  10. My dear friend, oh how I love you. Thank you for this beautiful post. I actually read it this morning when I was super grumpy- I couldn't even comment in fear of sounding like 'Miss. Negative' But you know what? You changed my day (and my kids thank you for it) I really took your words to heart and tried my best to be that fun mom. Thank you for once again having such a positive influence in my life!
    Oh . . . and potty training the first child, sounds like we may have read the same books and used the same tactics. Not pretty.
    And I'm pretty sure I bought that exact same hat yesterday. But you look way cuter in it than I do!
    Have a wonderful weekend with your beautiful family! Loved seeing all your pics from your beach adventure!

  11. After reading your post I went and kissed both my sweeties as they slept. I didn't even care if they woke up. This mama gig is HARD, but I think I make it harder than it needs to be. I tend to be a tad of a perfectionist. Thank you so much for this post.

  12. Alicia, that was an awesome post and such a great reminder for me. I err on the side of strict rather than loving, as though I'm afraid that if I let things slide, my five kids will step off the path. I often pray that God will give me unconditional love and motherly affection for my kids so that I can love them like He does.

    I also often remind myself that it's okay if they stumble. It's even okay if they fall right down. God is a God of love and grace and redemption … and maybe that will be their testimony.

    Thanks for this awesome post that left me thinking.

  13. Great post! Thank you so much for sharing … it's been our first week of summer and there have been some tense moments of crabbiness from ALL of us … I've been frustrated and wanting to turn things around and create a happy, fun summer. This was a great encouragement to me to keep on keepin' on! =) Many blessings to you sweet friend!

  14. love.every.word.

    i feel like the hard iron fisted mama. it's SO hard!

  15. You are DARLING!! These photos are so sweet…I am a DEFINITE work in progress. All. The. TIME. LOL

    And I love the new blog look.

  16. Modelling what happens when we make mistakes is part of our job as moms … therefore we must make mistakes.

    You are a sweet, nurturing, creative mom … I can see it through the computer. Really.

  17. This is so simply beautiful.I want to print it and tape it to my walls. I need to read it every day, be reminded of the ultimate goal of parenting and appreciate my kids for who they are. Xo

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