take joy in serving others

No one said parenthood would be easy. In fact, there were many months where I was beside myself with frustration at my terrible two-year olds who didn’t listen, did the opposite of what I asked and pushed me over my edge. A little over a month ago, things began to change. Sometime around Christmas 2009, my little babies stopped being so baby “ish” and started communicating.

I have watched myself change so much through the different phases of their lives. I began as a very relaxed newborn mother. I had everything figured out. Then they began to walk and talk and do the opposite of what I asked of them. I became so hardened in my style. The majority of the words out of my mouth were directions and scolds. I would push more and enjoy less.

As they have grown up a bit, I find that I have less anxiety about everything we do together. Taking the two of them out for dinner tonight (alone), watching them eat their dinner without the constant scolding about running away from me and jumping all over the tables. They listened and understood what I asked of them. It was like a perfect orchestra in concert. They held hands as I walked them to the car. They held on to mommy while in the parking lot. They walked upstairs without debate to get their bath. They played so well together in the tub.

When we got into Mason’s bedroom, I went through the normal process of dressing, lotioning and getting them ready for bed. Tonight, however, instead of moving on to the next task or chore as it has been for me for so many months, I did something different. I asked the babies to sit in front of me on the floor. Out of nowhere, I started singing to them. They started dancing around the room. We made silly sounds and faces at each other as they ran around the rocking chair. They giggled hysterically and had pure joy written all over their face.

I realized that I was no longer in a survival mode of taking care of 2 children as a single-wife during the week. I was enjoying the moment by moment experience of loving my children. Some mothers may not understand where I’m coming from. However, parenting 2 two-year olds, without a spouse at home, while working full-time can be quite challenging. I have lived in survival mode for so long that I am just now learning what fun I can have with my kids. I don’t need to be so militant in my approach with them. They do listen. In fact, they enjoy listening. I don’t need to run such a tight ship to get through my day. In fact, I have found that when I let go, I find true joy in caring for them, and they respond to me so much more.

Call it a lesson-learned… but it came at a perfect time. (it was a necessary lesson) The look on their faces tonight told me that I was, in fact, doing everything right.

Tilley

Mason

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