Happy Mothers Day to all you amazing mothers. I thought I would post an article I wrote 3 years ago, just before I started my blog. I hope it encourages you, especially any young mothers who might be reading this xoxox
"I am having a lovely chat with a dear friend who has been my mentor for years, when Chloe (she was 9 at the time) comes in with tears in her eyes. I ask her what is wrong and all I get is a shaking head and more tears. Needless to say, I say goodbye to my friend and Chloe has a good cry. After all we all need a good cry now and then!
When I figure out there is nothing seriously wrong with Chloe, I try to cheer her up with games and fun ideas, but to no avail. Finally the suggestion of baking cookies makes her smile. We make hazelnut espresso cookies, our fav. (One day I will share my secret recipe)
Chloe cheerfully puts on an pinny, some Mozart music and seems happy as a lark. While we are baking, she tells me she love to bake and want to learn more. Which thrills me to no end and I am happy to see the smile on her face. After the cookies are cooling she suggests we both clean the sinks (she can not be my daughter ;-). She informs me she will clean the bathroom sink and I can clean the kitchen sink. With baking soda in hand and our fragrance of choice. Lavender oil for Chloe and lemon oil for me, we set off scrubbing. Chloe takes her time. I can hear her humming, I am humming, all is happy."
It does sound like a bit of a fairytale and I am such a romantic. But it is all true, I promise!
I was thinking of why Chloe asked for us to clean the sinks (I know why she asked to bake cookies). I remember when she and her sister were very little, they would follow me everywhere. They were my shadows and still can be. They wanted to do everything I was doing. I did not push them. I let them choose what and when they wanted to do something. I tried to be leisurely and light about it all. I did not worry if something was done wrong. I could come along and rewipe down a counter. I could live with wrinkled laundry. I could be patient enough to do something in a half an hour, when on my own it would only take 15 minutes. The reason why was I was making a garden. A garden in my girls that I would one day harvest for me and them.
I can not encourage you enough to gladly bring your little ones along side you. This is where the heart of a home begins. Really it is a win/win situation. They are busily, happily, "playing" house next to you. They know you love them and are willing to set aside your time to be with them. They will associate all these happy memories down the road with the work of life. They will be use to working with you and slowly, be able to do more and more.
But more then that, they will be use to being with you. Trusting you, look to you in their time of need. This is why I think Chloe wanted to clean sinks that day. She felt a security working along side with me. A place of safety.
Now I want this to be a truthful fairytale and when my girls were young I was an awful homemaker (and I still struggle, you all know how I HATE cleaning). I did not know what I was doing, I was so in over my head. If the house was still standing at the end of the day, I considered it a miracle. The idea of having my girls along side me, adding to my workload, did NOT appeal to me at all. But after looking to women who were where I wanted to be (something my mother taught me, thank you mom xox) I could see I was focusing on the wrong thing. I was focusing only on the moment, so I started in small steps. Little, by little!
I learned right alongside my daughters. I did not let fears of "how can I teach my daughters, when I do not know myself" hold me back. I just started small and slow and in time I realized one day that the kitchen, bathroom and living room were pretty clean. From that point on I knew I had grown a bit and did not worry anymore.
I want to say if your children are older, do not feel it is too late. It is never too late if something is done in love. I believe if I have faith in the Lord, love my children with His unconditional love and allow God to work in my heart, my children's hearts will be soften and changed. When my girls are misbehaving, I tend to look at me and what am I doing because I have found usually it starts with me. Am I the one in a bad mood, am having unrealistic expectation and no patients? I find it is amazing what love, time and dieing to ones expectations can do.
Being a mother for me, has been about stretching me, dieing to my self-centerness (although I will always have a little diva in me ;-) and becoming a better person. I never want to go back to who I was before. I think all this has made my girls better to. So I encourage you to play, bring your children along side you, look at the big picture and not get mired in the day to day stuff. Yes, today you may not get your bed made and dinner might be scary but I promise down the road you will have a garden that will bless you soo much more (and you will have a yummy meal and your bed made) xox