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Challenge: Parenting Resolutions

Reconnecting with the FUN of being a mom

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It’s the cold weather doldrums and I'm feeling it. But I have to tell you, this kid and I had the BEST weekend together. Yes, the basketball games were fun, and being in the city was a little thrill for him, but I love what I was reminded of during our RARE solo time together.

Here’s a bit of what I was reminded of:

Kids need one-on-one time with you — and your undivided attention.

It is rare that I spend time alone with our youngest, when it doesn’t involve getting stuff done between practices, or in the car riding to his brother’s game, or a phone in my face, fingers busy in a text thread. But all day Saturday we just got to be people together. No phone, no chores, no running — just us experiencing life.

Why is this important?

Because I really want to know my kid, and I want my kid to know me. Sometimes the best way to do that is to just PLAY! It’s a yes to ice cream, and staying up later than normal and letting him see his mother “boooo” a bad call at a game. 🤫 It’s modeling what I do in new situations or talking through what I am thinking about. For a day, we just got to be friends. And our friendship isn’t about anyone other than he and I. I want him to know that he is absolutely enough to be the center of my world.

Kids need to know that there are moments when you just see them — not their siblings, or their accomplishments, or their failures.

Our day was full of watching basketball, visiting Grandpa and Grandma and navigating places he doesn’t get to go very often. Sometimes, it could be 20 minutes at night reading together, or 15 minutes shooting hoops in the driveway, but all our kids really want is for us to see them, know them, and feel that what we see and know is worthy of love. They are moments where we remind them that in between the activities, busy life schedules, report cards, and friendships that the love we have for them is not earned- but constant. Spending quality time doing things fully engaged in something they love, is one way we can show them that.

Our kids are geniuses at teaching us where we most need to grow, and reminding us why we love being parents.

Our youngest has a special energy to him. I’m sure I think this because I am his mom, but he truly has an energy that is joyful for whatever you are experiencing. He unapologetically goes full out in every experience. Honestly, I find it exhausting sometimes — mostly because I worry that the world won’t understand that his energy comes from curiosity, and love and a need to just experience it all… and if I’m honest, I worry that I won’t be able to teach him how to tame his superpower so I can keep him safe. But throughout our day together, I just kept thinking — he’s teaching you how to let go… and live. He is reminding you that joy literally exists everywhere…when we are present and open to it.

He was also reminding me that I LOVE being a mother to him and his brother. AND… sometimes I forget that being a mom is FUN… because I forget to stop and actually have some fun with my kids.

This is the biggest lesson for me from our day together. I am a worrier. And as a worrier, I often make my role bigger than what it needs to be — always trying to make sure that I have given our kids all they need… when sometimes I just have to sit back and ENJOY them.

We have created some really cool people. All of us. Look at them! Look at what they are capable of! Our worry about if we have done enough or too much or guilt about what we couldn’t spare them from, may just be what also causes us to MISS what incredibly fun, creative, curious, kind, smart, loving, and faithful people we have helped create.

I’m telling you, I sat in that giant arena with my boy on Saturday and just thought...

There is nothing on this earth better than being a MOM.

So often we think that the antidote for our exhaustion is to stare at our phone or disconnect from our little people, or hide upstairs until it’s unsettlingly quiet…. But I was reminded that the cure for our overwhelm is connection. And that maybe we just need to reimagine what our time with our kids looks like, or what our expectations of our time with them is…. So we don’t miss the FUN of whatever age and stage we are in.


For more from Erin go to:

@the.unitedstateof.us

or www.theunitedstateofus.com

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