Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Out of the Mouth of Babes

I am huge advocate of making sure my children watch intentional things. Subliminal (and not so subliminal) messages will shape my children regardless, and the last thing I want is for them to pick up is conflicting ideas about what we believe to be right and wrong. This morning we took some time to watch some youtube videos with uplifting messages. (This, This, This, and This are some of our favorites).
Now we have seen most of these several times but today I just watched my boys. I watched their reactions to what they saw. I saw their faces light up. I saw ear to ear grins. I saw them point to the screen. And I heard D say these phrases without prompting or prodding.

"I am a child of God"
"Jesus is the Christ"
"Trust in God"
"Perfect Hope"

Now in the 20 minutes of movie watching I am positive we heard tens of thousands of words and out of all of all those words my little boy repeated those 15.  How cool is that? Sometimes, at the end of a rough day I think "Is what I am doing making a difference?" Is being home the best  use of my time? And while I might waiver momentarily the answer is always yes.
I understand we are all different and passionate about various things but I am so grateful  to sacrifice these next few years to be with my boys.  Advice I continually receive is to enjoy this time now because they grow up so fast. I about had a panic attack as I thought about sending my little boy to preschool a few days a week. So many questions ran through my mind.

Is he going to be kind?
Will he listen to his teachers?
Will he say please and thank you?
Will he be a good helper?
Have I enabled him to learn?

It was such a good moment to reflect on the work I need to do! I recognize that there will always be more teach; I hope to never be a helicopter parent. But, as someone who has studied adolescent development it is a fact that what kids learn in their first 7 or 8 years matters a lot. It isn't an end all be all, but it can make a big difference if you capitalize on it.

A good friend from high school recently wrote this article (click here) and while she is not LDS I am grateful for her insight and also for the Catholic church and their continued support of families. A favorite sentence from the article, as she wrote about the life of a mother not measurable by the worlds standards, was

Yet, this notion of value imposes a level of economic analysis that, while properly denotive of a variety of fiscal situations, is inapplicable in the case of interpersonal and human interactions. Maybe being a mother can be quantified by a certain numeric pay grade level, if the costs of outsourcing those jobs she performs are considered, but is that really how attending tee-ball games or sitting through hours of romantic drama with a teenager ought to be understood?  

I know that I am a competent individual. I know that I could be polishing a resume I worked so hard to create in college but for right now I will stop and (gladly) put it on hold. Some people feel the need to do both, and that is also great, I will just stick to what I know is right for me.
I will never forget a conversation I had with another good friend from high school. We talked about our ambitions and I told her I was excited to get a degree and receive a great education but that I was excited to be a mom.
She then told me She never wanted to have kids because she would never be able to give 100% to her job and a 100% to her kids. Now I don't think it needs to be this black and white and I know some incredible moms who do both, but I really appreciated the logic behind her point.
She is an incredibly hard working and determined woman and would never want to feel like she was neglecting one title for something else. Maybe that is why we were friends, we were all or nothing kinds of girls even though we were opposite in about every other way. Am I sad that she will never get to experience this incredible thing called motherhood? yeah, but that was her choice and it just makes me more confident in mine. I am a mother, and I am ok with devoting 100% of my time to that title.

I mean who wouldn't want to spend so much time with these cute boys?

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