I've been so convicted lately about spending every possible moment I can loving on my kids. I feel like we are in the "honeymoon" phase of life right now....not that we don't have hard days or problems or stresses to deal with. But we realize that we're in a position right now where we are so enjoying each and every one of our kids and they still love being with us! With Lauren finishing elementary school in just 3 short weeks and Daniel starting kindergarten in the fall, my life is so different than it was just 4 years ago. And I am both painfully and estatically aware of that.
There once was a time when my life (not long ago at all) revolved around days at the park, long walks pushing strollers and long afternoon naps followed by early bedtime. I remember watching my friend Cynthia, who has 4 kids and is about 3 years ahead of me with parenting, and wondering how she manages all of the sports, homework, lack of sleep and bigger people to take care of. Now that person is me! We aren't overcommitted in the way of activities and sports yet, but every day is busy with homework, friends,commitments and activities. And no nap time! I have always been strict when it came to afternoon naps....not only because my kids needed them, but because mommy did, too. Now I can't tell you the last time I laid down and took a nap during the week (I do try to sneak upstairs on Sunday afternoons for a short little nap).
Life has it's ups and downs. There are days when I would go back to 4 little kids 6 and under, two in diapers at any given time, and lots of sleepless nights just to snuggle in bed with a newborn or watch Eric nap with a baby on his chest. But I also love our family vacations where everyone can hike, bike and play together. Or the (almost) weekly trips to Disneyland where we are free of diapers, a change of clothes, strollers and all of the things one must pack with a brood of little ones.
I feel so blessed that I've been home for the last 12 years doing what I love...being a mom. This is something I've wanted since I was little. And I was blessed with a mom who was a great example to me and made me want to be a mom (except I had no idea how much work it was! Laundry, cooking, dishes,....when do you get it all done?)
Eric and I have launched into the world of franchise ownership with Bricks 4 Kidz, which has added another distraction to our lives. But staying focused on the purpose helps me manage my time when they are at school so I can be with them when they are home. We named our company Future Builders....we want to build a strong future for our children by being able to save more money for college, we want to build our retirement funds and we want to build engineering and math skills using LEGO bricks into other children who are a part of our program.
So today, as I enter the last three weeks with my preschooler and our precious time together, I want to stop and celebrate. I want to hold those little chubby baby fat hands that are disappearing. I want to put down my computer so my kids can crawl freely into my lap and let me love on them. I want to manage my time when they are at school so I'm available to help with projects, reports, spelling lists or hurt feelings. Today I want to be the mom I aspire to be.