Monday, May 12, 2014

A Shift in My Mothering Perspective

When asked what I wanted for Mother's Day a few years ago, I can remember saying something to the effect of "I just want to act like I'm not a mother for one day".  I wanted to go get my nails done, go out to lunch with a friend, go on a dinner date with Phil, and definitely get out of diaper duty, bath time, bed time, cooking and cleaning.

I was young, my kids were all very young and dependent on me, and I wanted a break.  I couldn't see that this was "the time of my life" as older moms would tell me.  I could only see how tired, frazzled, stressed out I was.  I looked at my children and saw all the work they provided.  

I was stupid. But mostly just tired.

Somehow over the years, things changed.  It was a slow and steady shift in both responsibilities and attitude.  The kids got older and more independent, fewer were in diapers, they began sleeping through the night, they started school, and I could finally start seeing all the joy these kids brought to our lives.  

I actually enjoyed being their mom, seeing them grow and develop into little boys and girls, and laughed and laughed everyday, both with them and at them :)  We all have so much fun together!! I finally understood why the Bible refers to children as riches.

Even though we continued having little kids in the house, I never felt as overwhelmed and exhausted as I did during those first five years being a mom.  Now a new baby just means a new person to love, and yes, of course they are a lot of "work" but they give the sweetest paychecks ever, in the form of smiles and coos and kisses.

Having children has also completely changed my relationship with Phil.  There's no way to bond with someone better than over a screaming baby at 3 am ;)  We're a team, and we both need each other to make this all work smoothly.  It's unconditional and sacrificial love at it's finest.

So yesterday, on Mother's Day, I wanted nothing more than to spend the day with my kids.  And they wanted nothing more than to make me happy!  It was a great day, full of time spent together and I even cooked dinner, changed diapers and folded laundry...joyfully.

As Phil replied to the lady at the restaurant who remarked "You sure have your hands full!"...

"Better full than empty!"

Our hearts and hands are full indeed, and we are so thankful for it.


  1. That is so beautiful, Colleen. I love Phil's comment to what that lady said, too. I may have to steal that one. (the comment, not Phil)
    I'm glad you had a nice Mother's Day.

  2. This was really encouraging for me to read...thank you for sharing! I have three 4 and under and I am definitely living the tired, frazzled, overwhelmed life! I am so happy to hear that some of that can change! And I loved your husbands response...I haven't heard of that one before!

  3. Encouraging is a good word! I told my sister, all I wanted was to sleep in and no kid duties for the day. Then, I called her at 8:00 am. She was like,'Didn't you sleep in'. And I told her it is very interesting. As much as I want to sleep in, when I hear their little voices, I want them to come cuddle in the bed with me. So, I called them in at 7:00 am- and we all hung out in bed. Then, they brought me their little cards, and I was so in love with them. BUT, I'm not gonna lie, when big a brought the kids to his mom's to see her- I enjoyed my couple hours of quiet...folding and organizing clothes!

  4. I love this...and I love knowing that someday I'll want them around me instead of just wanting to run away to the gym/target/coffeeshop.

  5. Beautiful perspective! (And I love Maggie's dress!!) Happy Mother's Day to you!

  6. I saw Maggie's cute dress at Old Navy, I want one! I am in the stage that you used to be in for sure. . .I love getting out and being by myself. hopefully i will get to where you are at now one of these days, it sounds a lot sweeter.

  7. So true, so true. A few years back it was about me and my plans for the day. It's now turned into just being together, do whatever works out (around nap schedule for little girls of course) and what makes everyone happy.
    It looks like you had an amazing day (and yummy food) as you enjoy the beautiful season you are in right now with your family.

  8. Thank you for writing this one, Colleen! I had a tough Mother's Day, and I think I really needed this healthy dose of perspective. I've only been at the mothering thing for about 4 1/2 years now, and, as much as I seriously love my children to the moon and back, sometimes it just feels like there are a few too many hardship mixed in with the blessings. But I know it will get easier as they get older, and I'll be able to spend more time appreciating and soaking up the moments instead of just pushing through them. It just helps to be reminded of that at times!!! So thank you!

    P.S. I am totally going to steal Phil's response to that comment. It's seriously inspired! I was at the mall this past weekend alone with our three boys --- two in the double stroller and one in the Baby Bjorn --- and I got that same comment over and over and over (until I really just wanted to punch someone! Not exactly the Catholic response, but y'know . . .). The truth is they are much better full than empty, and I couldn't imagine it any other way! Love it!

  9. Do you think this has anything to do with working outside the home? I know that for me, I feel like I never get enough time with my kids because I'm away from them so much during the day. So the idea of a "break" from them seems strange to me. (Although I do sometimes count down the hours until bedtime!) I imagine it's a totally different story for a mom who stays home.

  10. So, so great. I wanted a day to myself to not "mom" and about 10 minutes in I wanted my babies back! Happy Mother's Day to you!

  11. Thanks for this great perspective. Admittedly I'm still in the "want a day off" mode, but this gives me hope that I will still grow into a deeper appreciation of my vocation.

  12. Thanks for this great perspective. Admittedly I'm still in the "want a day off" mode, but this gives me hope that I will still grow into a deeper appreciation of my vocation.

  13. "Better full than empty" I love this!!!

  14. This was awesome!
    It is so encouraging for us new moms!
    Love what Phil sad at the restaurant, too.


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