When you become a parent it seems like your life become too busy for just about anything. Every second of time is important. However, every once in a while I find time to chat on the phone or catch up with a friend by email. This week I had a friend ask me what I have been up to other than my usual “mommy stuff.” I kind of had to laugh. So much of my life is centered on what makes my kids happy that I actually had to stop and think because I couldn’t recall the last thing I did that wasn’t for my kids. It took me a few minutes to get out of mommy mode and recall the last time I did something for me.
When my friend asked me what I had been up to other than mommy things, the first things that came to mind were all related to my kids. I thought of how I am having so much fun with my son Oliver at our parent-child swim lessons. I thought of what I was working on with the PTA at Thomas’s school this month. I thought of how much I enjoy playing in our backyard with Ellie every afternoon and how much I love to push her in her baby swing. I wanted to talk about all the cool finds for the kids that I found at a garage sale last weekend or what I plan on doing with the kids this summer or about our upcoming family vacation.
I do have things that I enjoy and do for myself. I enjoy photography, cooking, and have recently been very active in our church and I have even started working out at the gym. However, the first things that came to mind to describe myself were my kids. My children have become such a big part of my life that they now are part of my identity. What a powerful thing parenthood can be!
It made me stop and think for a moment about how much my life has changed. Almost every part of my day revolves around my family and more specifically my kids. Years ago my former self would have said that this was a BAD thing. “Adults need freedom and the ability to do what makes them happy. Kids need to not be the center of the home. You have to put yourself first!” I would have said. I would be furrowing an eyebrow at the new me. How dare I give up my independence and push aside my needs and wants.
It is funny how parenthood can change a person and transform a person’s values. This is not to say that this is the case for other people, but for me it certainly has been a truth. Before kids (and I would even say as a new parent) I had a totally different perspective. Today my world is absolutely centered on my kids! I would give up anything and do anything to better their lives. Really important things from before seem not nearly as important. There are a lot of things that I would love to indulge in. For instance photography classes, a Kindle fire or all the new technology gadgets out there, the latest and greatest fashions, and pedicures every month. Those would be nice. When you have a family though, other things become important. Swim lessons, T-ball, family vacations, and college savings become important. Our goals as a family are to do everything to make both our lives and our children’s future better. I will give up a pedicure and latte any day to give my family the experiences that will forever change their lives.
With Mother’s Day approaching this weekend I have to admit how much I love my family. I feel blessed to have children with unique personalities that lift me up every day. I love the way they giggle and laugh, their little wrinkles on their feet after bath time, how they explore the world, their curiosity, how they love learning new things, and all the extra cuddles and hugs I get from them (sticky fingers and all). Some days are challenging for sure, but they are always rewarding. I love that Brent and I are walking through this journey of parenthood together. We walk through it together and we never take for granted those little blessings that we get each day.