Before having a child of my own, I had certain expectations and a perfectly painted picture in my head of how life with a child would go. For instance, co sleeping was a hard pass! Calm down co sleeping fans, this isn’t a bash against you; DO YOU! But for me, the bedroom was for me and my husband to unwind and connect with each other again ;-). I swore up and down that our son wouldn’t watch TV, like- no screen time. Period. My son wasn’t going to be a picky eater and sweets were out of the question. Hey, a girl can dream right?! I didn’t want to breastfeed but I felt this tremendous guilt that I wasn’t a good mom if I didn’t so; I drove myself insane, pumped exclusively and tried to get my newborn to latch even when we were both hysterically crying because he wouldn’t.
The perfect image in my head quickly started to wash away. Almost like it was written in sand or watercolor. We eventually started to co sleep (but now I think we’re done! Hallelujah!!) Our son watches Netflix, mainly The Secret Life of Pets, probably twice a week so I can focus on what I need to get done. He prefers fruit to vegetables but will eventually eat almost all of what is in front of him. We did breast milk bottles and formula, guess what? He’s as healthy as can be. Even though I was judged for it.
** Remember….. **
If I could tell my no-kid-having self one thing it would be, NONE OF THAT MATTERS! Who cares if you co sleep?! Just sleep! There are other rooms to reconnect in 😛 (sorry, Mom’s! Haha) If he watches TV it won’t kill him, or you, promise! If he’s eating, let him eat. Pick and choose your battles. A fed baby, is a happy baby. Don’t sweat it. What does matter is: •being intentional •engaging with your children •the most valuable thing to spend on your children is time.
Time passes so quickly and it is so easy for us as parents to completely disconnect. From our children, from our spouse, from our family & friends etc. When we do that we are missing out on a true relationship. There is immeasurable value in that.
Our church recently started a new sermon which focuses heavily on family dynamics and being intentional in all things you do for your spouse and children. Today, it has really weighed heavy on me. Not in a negative way; but more of a “wow- I really fall short some days. How can I be more present and intentional when loving on my sweet family?!” type of way. Ya feel me?
I can be more intentional by:
1 // Listening. I spend so much time telling my little guy what to do, how to behave, to be gentle and kind….. when it comes time for me to listen and turn off my voice, it’s difficult for me. Anyone who knows me will agree! Ha! I need to listen more when my frustrated toddler is trying to communicate with me, I need to listen when my husband tells me (in a round about way) what he needs from me.
2 // Put the phone DOWN. This typically isn’t an issue for me during the day. However, I’ve noticed when my husband comes home, I plug in to technology and “check out”. With his grueling work schedule, our time together is limited. I should pour myself in to him instead of the newest and latest on my Instagram feed.
3 // Meal time is family time. I grew up in a home where we had dinner together. I didn’t realize at the time, the value, in those meals together. We can truly connect and focus on each other, our son, talk about our day. Those simple moments are the most crucial, it fosters a community in our family. Strengthening our bond each day!
4 // Stick to a routine. I’ve never been one to plan my day around naps, I don’t rush home from a dinner with friends so I can get Landon to bed at 8:00 on the DOT. But it is important that we stick to the routine that we’ve found works for us. Like, alllll the oils at bedtime, extra stories because Landon is the master of deflection and lots of kisses.
What are you doing to be intentional in your home? Your marriage? I wanna know!