One of my biggest worries day-to-day is how I’m doing as a mom. What are my children going to remember about their childhood? Are we doing enough to shape them into good, happy people? Are we giving them a good foundation to make the right choices as they grow into teenagers and adults? How will they feel about me when they have children of their own?
We’ve had quite a few changes around here in the past couple of years. Things are definitely NOT what they had been. Some of those changes have been traumatic, some overwhelming, some just irritating. We’ve survived, and in many ways, I think the changes have been good for us. We’ve actually become closer as a family, relying more on each other for entertainment than things we can no longer afford. I will admit I miss the dinners out and take-out on busy nights, the house cleaner twice a month, big vacations, frequent date nights, etc, etc, etc, I have come to appreciate the new time we spend together.
Friday nights, after ballet and baseball, we usually end up playing Band Hero together. The kids still think it’s fun for their parents to get in on the action, grabbing the microphone, guitar or drum sticks. They like it even more when Michael or I get the whole band booted with our less-than-stellar skills. I’m learning to let go and just have fun. Goofy is good. Dinner has changed as well. For years, the kids have sat at the island in the kitchen while Michael and I either stood at the counter, or sat at the kitchen table. We were in our own little worlds. Now, as often as we can, we all sit at the kitchen table together for dinner. It doesn’t work out as often as I’d like with all the kids’ different practices and games, but a good three or four nights a week, we’re all eating together. And we go around the table, each person talking about their favorite and least favorite parts of the day (and why). The kids are learning that Mom and Dad are people too, having good days and bad days, and they’re learning how to listen and ask questions.
Grace helps in the kitchen a lot. She LOVES to cook. Part of cooking is shopping, so she helps with the groceries as well. While sometimes I get frustrated that meal prep is taking longer, I love the time it gives us. She can be silly, and she definitely has a wonky sense of humor. She cracks me up constantly. Grace does like to make things harder than they are. I think in her mind, if it’s easy, that can’t be the right way; she seems to search for the most difficult process, most difficult answer. I can sometimes feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall trying to get her to see what’s right in front of her face, but then she smiles and we just start laughing. Oh the things she has inherited from her mother!!
All three kids are old enough to help around the house. Again, this doesn’t always enhance the process, nor make it more efficient, but it’s time for them to see that they play a role in the household and to take responsibility for their part. Ethan fights this to the bitter end. Ryley cracked me up when he asked how much longer he and Grace have to be responsible for feeding the dogs. HAH! I told him I’ve been doing it since I was a little kid and now it’s his turn. You should have seen the look on his face. They all three really want a DS, which we told them we are not buying for them. They have to earn the money for the DS, and that means digging in and helping out whether that be helping with laundry, sweeping the floors, cleaning bathroom mirrors, dusting (which they love to do by the way – I know, weird), taking out the trash and bringing it in, and helping in the yard. Grace spent quite a bit of time with Michael this Winter helping to build a new bed for Ethan and also making shelves for the courtyard, as well as starting a mini-greenhouse.
During the Olympic Opening Ceremonies a couple weeks ago, all five of us were sitting on the couch together. I looked around at my family and breathed a sigh of contentment. I’m not a perfect mom. I can pretty much guarantee my kids will have something to complain about when they grow up over how we parented them. But I think we’re doing okay. I truly do think we’re good here. We are blessed to have a beautiful family.