Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Intentional Parenting

I'm tired. I know I could be more tired, but right now my brain feels sluggish and it cuts my patience far shorter and Max will ask for something he knows I will say "No" to (a show! a marshmallow! to push over his brother!), but instead of an immediate reply I find my brain is simply trying to register what he said in the first place. So out trails a, "umm...." and when I finally land on the "no," tears erupt and whines of the screechiest variety are emitted, all because of the pause.

It makes me even more tired.

Mondays look like this around here.

Monday has become my deep-clean-the-house day, the whole time I want to throw everything away and drive off with only the necessities in our car like we did last winter. It was so refreshing to have so little.

I find myself  a midst the cleaning and the yawning wondering if I am doing it right, this whole motherhood gig. It is an inevitable question.  So many Facebook links shared, telling us not to worry we are doing enough, but they also shout out solutions on sleep, eating, discipline, potty-training and it is so easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of information of what we COULD be doing.

After Max was born, that pressure to be doing it right, not to impress the world, but to raise a happy, healthy, child was overwhelming. The judgement to "do it right," felt intense. Slowly though, and still slowly to this day, I am learning to take a step back from all of the information, the noise, the suggestions and opinions. I am learning to let go of expectations and lean into making choices based on a combination of instinct and intention.

I want to parent intentionally. I desire to move forward, consciously trying to improve upon myself as a mother. This means reading those essays, books, and articles. This means talking to friends and studying things out in my mind at the end of the day. What worked? What didn't? This means thinking critically about how my children interact with the world and how to help them navigate being a positive force for good within it.

To do this, I must trust my instinct, that internal compass (the Holy Ghost) for direction. It is the force that helps me sort through what to listen to. It is the driving factor that keeps me thinking and searching, knowing that I must keep trying to improve.

So, I am tired. But I am not tired because of all the information anymore and the pressure to do it right. I am tired because motherhood is tiring. Mothering with intent and instinct is tiring. That effort to try harder, to learn more, to be a better mother for your unique, individual children is hard work.

I believe that this hard work is worth it. It is worth it because parenting with intention is my effort, and I know His grace fills in the gaps. As I try, He completes, perfects and covers my mistakes and weaknesses. Because not only does He care about me, but He cares about the little ones I am raising as well.

He wants us to succeed.

My mind is refreshed and energized knowing that His love is there to make us whole, that we may return to Him, for that is His intention.

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