Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Enjoying Life as a Mom

Ben in tree, 2009

Do you enjoy your life as a mom? Why or why not?

Many moms and dads struggle to truly enjoy their children because they are so intent on building their character and correcting their errant behavior. This is especially apparent in the home school movement when we are (hopefully) making extra sacrifices to invest in their success. They simply have to turn out right, or how could we justify the time and money we spent?

Our children are treasures from God, whether they are complying with us at the moment or not. The atmosphere in our homes must become one of affection and acceptance, rather than grumpy disapproval. Otherwise, our kids will quickly discover that Mom's and Dad's religion is not the only game in town, and they will drift or even run to wherever they feel they're getting a fair shake and good vibes. "Rules without relationships reap rebellion."  

When you are thinking about enjoying God's gifts, I hope that your children are right at the top of your list! Take some time to have some fun with them as a whole family and one-on-one. How long has it been since you had an awesome vacation or even a day trip that wasn't strictly educational? Yes, it costs some money, but you only have so long with your children before they grow up and move away. (Ask me how I know this! As of spring 2015, four of my ten children have moved out, and I have several grandchildren.) Now is the time to start planning for summer!  

They grow up!
These three kids are now 9, 12, and 14!
Here are a several terrific ways to have some guilt-free fun with your kids.
  • Cuddle up on the couch with your kids to read a good book: How to Read Aloud and Enjoy It and When Mother Reads Aloud.
  • Do craft projects that have a low frustration level for parent and child.
  • Play table games like Pente and Mancala that use strategy, but are simple and fun enough for parents and kids to enjoy together.
  • Join your local YMCA so the kids can get fun PE time, and you can relieve stress by working out and getting in shape -- our family gets a 50% scholarship so ask about one if you can't afford it otherwise!
  • Take advantage of outdoor fun, such as taking a picnic lunch outside to the yard or a local park, or letting your kids take a book up into your tree to read while you take pictures!

Note: I wrote these thoughts in 2009 and just found them in an old Hope Chest e-magazine issue when I was looking for something else. The photos and embedded links are from back then, too. There was more in that e-mail I found, but the topic shifts so I will save it for another time.

However, you may also like these mothering posts written since then...

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