Lately I have been convicted of something- Tyler is in a desperate pursuit of my attention. You may be thinking, "Well, duh. He's a kid." But I have been convicted that the disobedience and violent behavior against his brother is a direct result of the lack of one-on-one attention with me. This was a VERY disheartening realization because 1. I felt terrible about it; and 2. I ALREADY WORK HARD! This is not to toot my own horn- but between the house cleaning and groceries and feeding and running and laundry and appeasing and trying raise decent human beings I am already drained at the end of the day, is what I mean- I'm not saying I do a good job at any of these. So by the time Austin goes down for a nap, Tyler finally has me all to himself and I am TOAST- or, feeling guilty that the floor is still nasty and socks need to be folded.
But really- Tyler's behavior has had us at each other's throats. And we both end up feeling terrible. SO- The Holy Spirit decided to convict me that it's time to be unselfish. Brooke and Courtney helped by encouraging me to do one day where if the house doesn't get clean, oh well. It's all about the kids. A Kid Centered Day. This is what we did:
French toast, dressed, went to Kids Party Central for two hours (indoor playground), McDonald's, Old Navy (Ty got to pick out 3 shirts), home, Austin down for nap, train tracks, cars, movie (together- I didn't fall asleep or do laundry like I normally do), Austin up, library, dinner, bath, sleep. I have documented my kitchen after the Kid Centered Day:
Aaaaand- I had to still clean all this up after they went to bed. God decided in a way to "bless" this day by having it be the day Doug wasn't coming home until about 11:00pm from a men's conference out at a camp in Sebastopol. So I didn't feel as much pressure to have everything clean when he came home. (Don't worry- he would not be offended by this).
Now, realistically, we can't do all those things every day. Safeway must be visited, and the house must be cleaned, the laundry done. But Tyler was in SUCH a better mood. And so was I. The challenge now is finding the balance between being unselfish for my kids and unselfish for my husband. AND fight off my own selfishness (I mean, who DOESN'T want to take a snooze during Thomas the Tank Engine??) I hope I can continue making time for Tyler in that special way. He hasn't been alone with me really in almost two years. And in two months he'll be heading off to preschool and Austin and I will be alone two days of the week. Which is wonderful and sad and strange all at once. So I guess I better build on this relationship a bit more, huh? Not that the "preschool-ness" behavior will magically end, but it's easier (not easy) to discipline and tell him who's boss when you've filled the emotional tank a bit.
Being a mom is HARD. And worth it.
And maybe someday we'll get a thank you. (I thanked my mom after I went through labor for the first time.)