Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Why I Don't Want To Be A Selfish Mom

I hope this post does not offend. That is not my intent. It has sat in my drafts for over a week as I debated whether or not to post it. I couldn't shake the feeling to do so, but I still worry about offense. Please know that these are just my thoughts. Try to make it to the end.

A couple of weeks ago, I read a blog post about a mom who wants to be "selfish" and make sure she has plenty of "me time." I 100% agree that it is so important to take time for yourself as a mother. For example, I have to shower and put makeup on every day. It's just a thing that I know will make me feel better and it matters to me. So I do it. I like to blog. I like to read. I like to exercise. And I still do those things. Going even a step beyond, I think I should do those things. I need me time.

Some parts of the article, I absolutely agreed with. It's okay to take the biggest bowl of ice cream. It's fine to eat the last piece of cake. It's good to do things that you enjoy and spend time alone. The thing that bothered me about the post I read was the idea that these moments of me time should be selfish. That they can trump the needs of the children. There was even one section that suggested ignoring crying children to finish a certain activity. And for some reason, it just struck a chord with me. Her reasoning was that the kids will still be there after you get a pedicure. After a long soak in the tub. After a good, long run. After.

But will they?

When the two year old says "Mommy, look at the picture I drew you!" And I say, "in a minute," will he still want to show me? Will he see that I would rather finish one more episode on Netflix than look at his masterpiece? Will the next one still be dedicated to me?

If the little girl is dying to show off her newest dance move and I tell her I will watch just as soon as I finish my makeup, will she be as eager to show me next time?

When a little boy brings in his greatest treasure from an exploration outside and I dismiss it with a "that's nice," and continue to paint my nails, will he confide in me again?

What if we reversed that train of thought? What if the pedicure was still waiting after getting the kids' lunch made? What if the long soak in the tub came after a fun afternoon at the park? What if the good, long run happened after a great talk with the kids? What if the blog post gets written after some good cuddles with the baby?

Now I know that I am treading on shaky ground here. I don't want to sound judgmental. I think we as mothers need to support each other, not tear each other down. I don't want to come across as judgmental or condescending. This is only meant to be my imperfect thoughts on a subject that I recognize that I am really not qualified to talk about. But I feel a strong need to share these thoughts, so I am going to.

When Kymri is older and she wants to play a game for the 100th time, I want her to know that I will drop what I'm doing and spend the afternoon with her. I want her to know that if I am on my way out the door for a run and she comes to me with tears in her eyes, that I will hold and comfort her before I head out.  When she comes to show me a picture, and I can't even tell what it is, I want to praise her artistic abilities and sit down and draw another with her. I never want her to think that whatever I am working on is more important than she is.

I am in no means saying that we as mothers should deprive ourselves. I just don't think that we should be proud of selfishness. I think that there is plenty of time to take care of yourself as a person, still enjoy hobbies, and still get the things done that you enjoy while being a mother first.

I'm going to get a pedicure every now and again. But not until after I have played with my kids.

I'm going to blog. Once I get the baby down for a nap.

I'm going to exercise. But that might mean waking up extra early to do it while Brad can be available if the kids need him.

The main reason I feel so strongly about this is because of my favorite passage of scripture in the New Testament.

John the Baptist had just been killed. Not only was he a friend to Jesus, but he was a cousin. When Jesus heard the news, he wanted to be alone. He wanted some "me time."

Matthew 14:13 "When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart."

I'm sure that he was weighed down with extreme grief. If anyone deserved "me time" in that moment, Jesus did.

But like so often happens when a mother is trying to get some time alone, Jesus was not left alone.

"and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities."

The selfish thing to do here would have been for Jesus to send them away. To say that he wasn't going to teach them at that time. Tell them that he had just suffered a great loss and he needed some time. Come back tomorrow. After.

But He doesn't do that.

"And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick."

When He was hurting so much, when He sought time to himself, definitely needed that time to Himself and the multitude came, He pushed aside His own desires to help them. To heal them. Even when He needed healing to His own grieving soul.

He goes even a step beyond. The night draws long. Dinner time is approaching.

"And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, this is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves victuals."

The disciples suggested that He had done enough. Send the people away and let them take care of their remaining needs on their own.

"But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat."

At which time He proceeds to feed the 5000 with but 5 loaves and 2 fishes. He gave all He had. He took care of spiritual and physical needs that day as He healed, taught, and fed.

Now the key comes in verse 23 after having ministered to all the needs of the multitude.
"And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone."

Jesus still got His "me time." He still went off to take care of Himself. He did send the multitude away. But only after ministering to their needs. After making sure they knew that they were important to Him. After loving, caring, and being present in the moment.

I want to be a mother like that.

Now, I know what you are thinking. "Kailei, you have a one month old. You don't understand what it's like. You have never had a 2 year old crying while the 5 year old pounds on the bathroom door where you are trying to take a shower for the first time in days. You have never had a toddler screaming for your attention while a newborn doesn't sleep through the night. You have never had to make lunches to send to school, help with homework, drive the carpool, take kids to soccer, and still get dinner on the table when your husband gets home. You don't know what it's like."

And you're right. I don't.

And I know that I won't be a perfect mother. I know that there will be times where I do choose the selfish route. Truly Jesus is our perfect example and we will all fall short from that mark.

All I am suggesting is that we try to model our motherhood after the pattern of the Savior. That we absolutely still take time for ourselves, but never at the expense of our children. That we choose time for self without being selfish. That we, as the Savior, send the multitude away only after ministering to their needs.

The pedicure will still be there. The blog post will get published eventually. The laundry will get done before anyone goes naked. The run will be just as invigorating after the kids' bedtime.

But the baby will only stay small for so long. The toddler will only want you to look at his masterpiece for a short time. A teenager will confide in you only as long as they know you care.

So I say take care of yourself, momma! You are doing a great work. You deserve a break. Take that time. Soak in the tub for an hour if you want. Go to lunch with friends. Train for the 10K you are wanting to do. Blog. Scrapbook. Sew. Be you. You need this. It's necessary for your health and happiness. I know I'm going to. But after. After my kids know that they have all of me. After they feel that I will be all that they need me to be. My me time will still be there. After.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Somehow a Month Has Passed

Time has flown by much too quickly. Suddenly our baby is already a month old! We had a lot of fun on Saturday with a little photo shoot. (loving our new camera). Hope you enjoy this little glimpse into the last month of our life and our beautiful little girl.

Dear Kymri,

My, how this month has flown by! Your daddy and I have loved watching you grow and learn. But we think you need to slow down! You are getting too big too fast.

We haven't been to the doctor in over a week, so we aren't absolutely positive, but a week ago, you weighed 8 lbs. 8 oz. and measured 21.5 inches long. But you are feeling a lot heavier this week, so we think you have gained quite a bit. Good for you! You can't fit into your Newborn clothes anymore. The 0-3 month clothes are still a little big, but you are really starting to fill them out.

So far, your eyes are still a grey-blue, but we will see if they change. Daddy thinks they will be brown. I'm still not totally sure. Maybe you will get Daddy's blue eyes.

You are getting much better about sleeping at night. You still like to wake up every 2 or 3 hours to eat, but now you go right back to bed, so I am getting more sleep too and feeling good. I always change your diaper half way through the feeding because it wakes you up enough to finish eating. If I let you fall asleep before you finish, you will just wake up again a half an hour later. But we have a pretty good system down now. Every now and again you don't want to go back to sleep after a night feeding, and daddy takes you for awhile so that I can get some sleep. He's a good daddy.

During the day, you usually take two naps for about an hour and a half to two hours each. You sometimes fall asleep on top of your longer naps for little cat naps of 10 minutes or so. But for the most part, you are becoming much more alert and starting to be more and more active during the day.

In the last week, you have started to track with your eyes and this is our new favorite game! Daddy and I like to catch your eye and then move from side to side and talk to you while your eyes follow us. You even turn your head along with us.

You have started to make some pretty funny faces. It is absolutely adorable! You have discovered how much fun it is to stick out your tongue.

You have rolled over from your tummy to your back three times! The first time it was a bit of a fluke and we didn't think it would happen again any time soon. You are too little! But then you did it two other times in the last two days, and you actually seemed to know what you were doing. You don't love your tummy time, so you start kicking your legs and get a little bit upset until you flip to your back and then you calm down all over again. Don't you know that you are only one month old??? At this rate, we aren't going to be able to keep you in one spot for very much longer. You sure do think that you are a big girl.

There are lots of things that you like, and some things that you don't like. You love to cuddle with me and daddy. You love when we talk to you and you are starting to find your voice a little bit and have started to coo every now and again. You LOVE to eat. You must be going through a growth spurt because recently, you have wanted to eat every hour! Before that, you ate every 2 to 3 hours with the occasional 4 hour stretch. You are super content until you decide that you are hungry. Then you are suddenly angry and let me know that you want to eat right then. We have been trying to teach you to take a bottle with pumped milk, but you want none of that. We will keep working. Recently, you have loved laying on a blanket on the floor on your back. You like to look around and take in the world. You like to be walked and rocked and sung to. You like the Shushing sound. You like the sound my blow dryer makes. You like the light. You find a light and just stare at it for awhile. You like riding in the car and fall fast asleep when we get in (only two times so far to your doctors appointments).

You don't like having your diaper changed, but you also don't want to sit in a messy diaper. You don't like your crib. Luckily, you like your bassinet, but we are hoping to move you to the crib soon. Still in our room... Mommy can't picture you being in another room yet. I like having you near and being able to check on you. You don't like your bath, but you are starting to realize that it's not so bad. You don't like when we use the nose aspirator. But we can't blame you there.

In this month, you have had lots of visitors. You met all four of your grandparents and they are all completely in love with you. You met your Grammy (my Grandma), Uncle Mackay, Uncle Kadon, Aunt Kim, and some of mommy and daddy's cousins. They all think you are beautiful. The first thing almost everyone says about you is "look at all that hair!"

You used to spit up a lot, but that has gone down since I stopped eating dairy. Yesterday you didn't spit up at all until bedtime. I miss milk, but you are worth it.

You still have us totally mesmerized and we think the world of you. We love watching you learn and grow and discover new things. We love to talk to you, in both English and Spanish, and you are becoming more alert to what we are saying. We wonder how much you are taking in. We love being a little family and learning more about each other with every day.

We are getting excited because you are almost big enough to leave the house. The doctor says that we can go back to church on Sunday and we are so excited to join daddy there. We are planning on going on lots of walks now that the weather is finally warming up. Daddy has a month off between his finals and his summer job, so we are enjoying a lot of time with him. We are looking forward to heading down to Arizona for the summer where you will meet even more of your family. They are all anxious to meet you. Everyone thinks you are so great -- and you are!

In all, this has been a wonderful month. We can't believe how quickly it has flown by. You are growing up so fast and you look different almost every day:


One Week

One Month

We love you so much! Happy one month.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Watching Husband Become Father

Brad has been the perfect husband from day one.
I have literally never had a single moment where I thought otherwise.
He has been a man of God, my best friend, my companion, my greatest love, and my everything. 
I didn't think it was possible to love him any more than I already did.
I didn't think he could become any more perfect than he already was. 

But then he became a father, and I did. I loved him even more than I already had.
He was even more perfect than he already was.
He was somehow even more attractive than he had been before.
And let me tell you, he was already the most attractive man I had ever seen.

But to see this, the first look he gave our little girl, I fell in love with him all over again.
When I watch him rock her and sing to her.
When I see him wake up in the middle of the night to change her diaper before I feed her.
When I listen to him talk to her, telling her how perfect and beautiful she is.
When I see the way he looks at me when I am holding her.
When I watch him read her a story, put her pajamas on, and get her ready for bed.
My heart melts every time.
And I fall in love all over again.

When I see the concern that he has for me when I am completely exhausted.
When he calls me on his lunch break just to check in and tell me that he loves me.
When he tells me that I'm doing a good job, even when I feel that I have no idea what I'm doing.
When he lets me rest my head on his shoulder as he holds our gorgeous baby and just sit together as a family.
When he tells me I'm pretty even with spit-up on my shirt, bags under my eyes, and my hair in a wad.
When he leads us in family prayer and scripture study.
I fall in love all over again.

We have absolutely loved being parents.
We weren't prepared for just how much we would love it.
We somehow even enjoy being up long hours with her!

And what I was even less prepared for is just how much more I would love Brad.

Watching husband become father has been one amazing ride.

Fatherhood looks good on you, my love.

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