The crankies have been hitting us this past week. I’m not sure who invited them or why they think they’re welcome to stay. It seems inevitable when we’re all spending so much time together, but really, it’s only the first full week of summer vacation. In my lower moments, I sigh deeply and pray for improvements.
Then it hit me. I’m the adult in this home. It’s my way or the highway, and if I allow the crankies to stay then I’m essentially saying that that’s ok by me, that that’s “my way.” So I take this moment to show the crankies the door and hit the highway. I rededicate myself to the “summer of love,” where I choose to treasure the time spent with my kids. Time that is too valuable, too fleeting, and too easy to lose to unwelcome guests such as the crankies. In doing so, I feel better myself and pave the way for my kids to feel better as well. To spend our days joyfully.
As a practical note, I’ve had to really revisit what my job is as a mother. It’s not to do the dishes, sweep the floors, or find “me-time” all day long. My job, as far as my kids go, is to show them unconditional love and healthy expression of emotion. To help them grow up to be people with life skills and a thirst for relationship with the living God. And the only way for that to happen is for me to spend time with them, engaged in play, activity, conversation. I have other things that are important: my relationships with God, and MrH; my own development and growth as a creative person, things like that. But those things need to happen at other times. I have time each evening, and most days during rest hour. And chores? Well, I’m finding ways every day to do them with my kids. I’m learning, and these are new ways of operating for me, but I think (hope?) that I’ll get a lot more enjoyment out of mothering this way. And I believe that my children need this from me at the spaces they’re each in. So here’s to the summer of love, the summer where I hang with my kids and get to know them in new ways.