Summer Vacation: What are you giving your kids this summer?

It’s midnight and I’m sitting in my bed with my laptop. It’s been a long past two days. And well…. I felt compelled to  share it with you.

So…lucky you…haha.

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When I started blogging a few years ago, I wanted to share my life experiences with others. Not because I am “an expert” on anything but because I love life. I am a natural extravert. I pride myself on “bringing the fun” to any situation and I’m always up for a good party or a cozy night with wine on the couch. I love watching people be transformed by God’s love, some good advice, or the love of family. My blog is about sharing my heart with friends everywhere. Some blogs are lighthearted…and some blogs are a little heavier. However, that’s very reflective of my life and where God has me at any given moment.

So…..moving on to yesterday….this picture says it all….

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Yesterday, was a physically tough day. My husband left for a business trip on the same day that I started one of the toughest days of my cycle. To give a brief history, I have struggled with endometriosis for years. After having three years of infertility and a surgery to remove endometriosis tissue, I was able to naturally conceive my first daughter, Sweet Pea.  Five children and 12 years later, my body has finally returned to those infertile days and all the terrible side effects that come with it. To say that I felt terrible would be an understatement.

Nausea, dizziness, painful cramping, diarrhea, heavy bleeding…and five kiddos who just want to tackle and love all over me. My first thought was just to cry…but …crying was not going to help everyone get through the day, nor make dinner, or put kids to bed.

So I decided to take everything slow.

I called the kiddos in and explained that I wasn’t feeling well. I needed them to “step up” and help each other. And then…I just started doing everything in slow motion. My son brought me a glass of water and my oldest daughter helped make me comfy on the couch. I laid on the couch with a pillow and blanket and watched them play. It was something close to the kitchen scene in “Nanny McPhee”…They used their “imaginations” and like several hurricanes they “devastated” my house. There was pots and pans for their “bakery” filled with legos. I watched them mix large bowls of “cake mix” with my vacuum, and they danced around to music. Their outfits changed constantly as did the activities they were playing. My house was decorated with puzzles, and music sheets, and tons and tons of barbies!!!

found these in the fridge.

found these in the fridge.

I didn’t have the strength to yell at them…so I didn’t. I spoke slow and deliberately. I didn’t care if someone came by and saw my house….I was in survival mode.

I wasn’t rushing around meeting the demands of a schedule…I was just trying to get through the day. There was no TV on in the background, so the children could hear me when I called.

When it was time to leave for piano lessons, I gave plenty of notice about needing to leave. There was no yelling, or rushing out the door since I was just trying to find the strength to drive. I paired the little girls up with the bigger kids and asked them to help them in the van. I watched as they helped put on shoes and grab water bottles. My directions were clear and concise…and the kids met my expectations.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Because I realized something important about yesterday….

I need to slow down.

My kids need a mom who slows down.

Life is passing me by and I’m missing so much. I’m trying so hard to give them the best of everything that I am missing what they really need which is …..me….

In the words of Jon Legend:

         “All of me loves all of you….all your perfect imperfections. Give your all to me, I’ll give my all to you.”

My kids really don’t need to do more…they need more of me.

  • I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve actually said, “We have to get in the car. You have about 3 seconds to say what you want to say…
  • I’ve watched my younger two daughters grow in frustration as they feel ignored.
  • I’ve put the TV on to “entertain” my crew so I could fit it more time to get stuff done.
  • I’ve heard countless times “you NEVER listen to me”!!!

So what are my kids getting this summer…..a mom that slows down and enjoys every minute. Instead of sitting down with my checklist and my “bucket list” for the summer, I have decided to slow it down…and give my kiddos the best “me” this summer. A mom who lives “in the moment” not awaiting the “next big thing”……

A Mom:

  • who sits down and enjoys a cup of tea.
  • who wants to watch endless ballet and karaoke performances.
  • who listens to an endless supply of the worst jokes and provides some of her own.
  • who thinks that dinner can be ice cream at 7pm because we were having too much fun at the pool.
  • Who tries to “out swing” her kids at the park.
  • Who plays hide and seek
  • Who wants to sit on a blanket and watch the stars
  • Who teaches her kids silly songs to make them laugh
  • Who just wants to make memories…and soak them in.

I’m eager to see what beautiful blessings will come out of this  new “mindset” in parenting. I am certain that God will continue to strengthen our family and draw us closer to him.

May God show you what path you need to take this summer and throughout the year.

God bless,

Tammi

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