Blue Barn Farm

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Things Every Mom Should Know…

Well I have been sewing lately…honest I have. But I don’t have pictures really. Sometimes you just want to sew and be done. I’ve been in the quick sewing mood. I think it’s because of summer time. Afternoons spent on a big blanket under the shade of our cherry tree watching my kids splash around in our cheap pool. These days are the longest and somehow seem too short. So, when I am in my sewing room, it’s in quick little flashes…like the lightening bugs I watch from our bedroom window when the house is finally quiet. Maybe it’s because I’m watching my kids play so much, but I’ve been thinking over some things I’ve learned in this parenting journey. I’m still learning these things, truth be told. I don’t think I have much of anything “down” so to speak, but I do understand better than I did when I started out with my first. Today I’m writing down a few key things I understand. I wanted to title this post, “Notes on Having a Large Family” but I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate. I think these things apply whether you have one or five or eleven. I certainly wish someone had told me some of these things when I had one or two. But now I have five and somehow that qualifies me to have some sort of insight….which makes me laugh, but I’ll take it. I’ve heard people say that I must be a special type of person to have five kids. That’s pretty much not true. Anyone can do this. It’s just that not everyone WANTS to do this or sacrifice what it takes to live this life. And it’s pretty simple what you have to sacrifice to make it work…just yourself and your selfishness. That’s it. Terribly hard, but simple. So, on to my list of things every mom should know, but moms of lots of kids HAVE to know (a matter of survival folks):

1.  Everything really is pretty hilarious. With kids, most things are funny. Poop is funny. A child throwing up on a car ride while you hold a plastic bag to catch it and then wipe his mouth with a baby wipe…well it’s pretty funny. Think of yourself in a movie. Wouldn’t you laugh at yourself if you were watching yourself on screen as you talk to your six year old about the whys and wherefores of asking a woman if she’s pregnant (when she’s clearly not)? So, laugh at yourself now. I’m not talking about a shaming, making fun of, degrading laugh. I’m talking joyful laughter. My kids are totally hysterical. And they are just normal kids. So laugh. ENJOY THEM! It’s not as embarrassing as you think. And, if someone gets offended at something normal…like a potty accident, or my kid giggling because something made a farting noise, or someone really did fart, or your daughter tells someone you didn’t feed them lunch (woops)…well, if they get offended and give you the stink eye, LAUGH! It’s really their problem anyway.

2. Cleanliness is not next to Godliness…but kindness is. Ooh this one is touchy even for me. My kids trash my house routinely. I know that I can change this, but it would seriously put a damper on their fun, their creativity, their expression, their learning, their normalcy. Believe me, I’ve tried. I did the routine for years. For my house to be really clean on any consistent level, I have to be kind of mean. I have to make people take their shoes off at the door. I have to refuse to do art projects. I have to fuss about toys, and sprawling-across-the-playroom “farms” that NEED to be on display. I have to bar access to my sewing room. I have to say, “you can’t eat until your room is clean.” I’ve tried that. It may even work, but I don’t want to be that mom. I just don’t. I want kindness. I never, ever, want my kids to think that my house, my stuff, is more important than they are. I don’t want anyone to feel like my house and it’s level of cleanliness is more important than they are either. So, I invite them in. And I invite my kids to play. We clean up as we can, and they do have chores, but I hope they always know that my stuff is just stuff. And one day I’ll have all the time in the world to clean. Sniff.

3.  Most things can wait. Honestly, almost everything can wait. The lady who wants your parking space while you change a diaper or comfort a child, and she’s obviously getting ticked at you…well, she can wait. Your master’s degree. Your career. Your “me time”. It can wait. Your perfect dinner. Your perfect body. Your fully actualized self expression. Your fashion. It can wait. Which leads me to…

4.  So much of everything we don’t like about parenting leads back to selfishness. I hate that sentence. But it’s true. If I was perfectly selfless, I’d be a perfect Mom. But, I’m not. And I need Jesus every day. He didn’t have any selfishness in Him. So He can grow me in His grace to clean up another spill, to treat another stain on that same shirt, to fold the mountains of laundry, to shoulder the anonymity of serving at home with little thanks, to not demand recognition or praise, to serve and let go.

5.  A completed list isn’t the goal. I used to be such a list person. I thrived off of them. But my lists kept getting longer and I kept getting busier and more frustrated at being unable to complete my list. Now I have a running list in my head. There are things I simply always have to do. There is never a moment when the laundry or dishes are done anymore. The floor doesn’t really stay clean, even for five minutes. My solution for a while was just to be more efficient with my time. But, efficiency tends to cut out important little people who are incapable of being efficient quite yet. And I didn’t want to make it to the end of their childhood and congratulate myself on my nice, neat lists. I’d rather be congratulating them on thriving in this thing called growing up. And that means letting my list go so that I can read them a book, or make a complete mess in the garden with all their little grubby hands. Which leads into my last point…

6.  Don’t lose sight of the end goal. My end goal is to raise content, kind adults who love Jesus. My goal is not to make it through raising toddlers without a single tantrum. My goal is not to never allow anything non organic to touch my child’s lips. My goal is not to give them everything they want. My goal is not to raise a perfect child who never messes up. My goal is not that they get to try every sport and activity offered in a three county radius. I want a relationship with my kids when they are adults like me. I’d like us to actually like each other for who we are, in all our differences. Mostly, I want them to know Jesus and know how much He loves them…I really do believe that the rest of everything will take care of itself if they can just get that down.
Parenting is such a refining process and that just doesn’t always feels good. But whether we have one child or more, we are better because of them and what they show us. I am not implying that the more children you have, the better you are. No, I’ve seen the reverse of that to be true on some occasions. Nor am I saying that you have to be a parent at all to learn the things I wrote about above! It’s just that when you take a quietly selfish person (me, or any of us), and you throw in a completely dependent and needy child, things get real…and fast. Just like anything in life, it’s how you respond to the stimulus that matters. If you like this post, check out a wonderful little book called Loving the Little Years by: Rachel Jankovic.


5 comments on “Things Every Mom Should Know…

  1. Lindsay's List
    June 30, 2014

    just beautiful, friend. beautiful.

  2. Mom
    June 30, 2014

    You make me smile all the time 🙂

  3. Suzi O
    June 30, 2014

    Love this Susanna. Seems like those little years with Josh just flew by, but I sure loved my time with him on the mountain. Now life is busy, but we still have time for just us, Dad, Josh and me. We are loving being near our grands now, but their lives are a bit too hectic! Enjoy your time with your sweet ones. You are doing it right my love.

    • bluebarnfarm
      June 30, 2014

      O Suzi! I miss you all the time. So glad you’re enjoying your life in FL though. Much love to you!

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This entry was posted on June 30, 2014 by .
Sanae Ishida

This site is the bee's knees


This site is the bee's knees

Made By Rae

This site is the bee's knees

skirt as top

suō ergo sum :: i sew, therefore i am

Night Knitter

another knitting and sewing blog

where i talk about the stuff i make

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