That's one of the things I've learned about being a mom.
I've tried doing what I "think" I should do. It leaves me terribly grumpy and snappish. How do you act when you feel like a failure. Not your best self either?
I have a friend who has two boys. She is always posting on Facebook all the fabulous and creative things she is doing with her boys. She accomplishes more pin-worthy, kid-friendly, educational activities on a Late-Start Wednesday (around here schools starts an hour and twenty minutes later on Wednesdays) than I accomplish with my kids in a year of Saturdays. I'm impressed. Seriously impressed. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a twinge of gift envy.
Truth is, I don't have the same gift mix she does. And I'm just wasting time and energy trying to do what she does. She's rocking the mom thing with HER gift mix. I love that! I choose to be her cheerleader without allowing her parenting successes to make me feel like I'm failing. Sometimes, I admit that requires some praying to change my attitude.
I've learned that I need to know what it is that I love, what makes my heart sing, and aim to do more of that with my kids.
- I love books.
- I love writing.
- I love organizing.
- I love art.
One of the many things I don't do is science (I married a scientist/engineer so my meager attempts look all the more inadequate). I do have a boy whose mind thinks like a scientist. Instead of pinning a bunch of science ideas, I registered my boy for a local science camp. No guilt when we dropped him off with his take apart items and up-cycle-able goods. Just a little spring in my step, a little giddy that he got to do something he loves and I wasn't biting his head off when I couldn't figure out why the light bulb didn't light up when I was sure I followed all the instructions.
Then the girls (who said, no thank you, to science camp) and I headed to Target for some hot beverages and leisurely wandering of the craft aisles. Then we headed to Michael's to stock up on some more specialized art supplies (still much cheaper than a week of science camp). Remember I love art, and as it turns out, so do they!
Over the course of Daniel's week at science camp, we had our own, very unstructured art camp at the dining room table. We made our own art journals and started filling them up. I'm sure some of our art projects will show up here at A Little Grace and Mercy eventually, but that isn't really what this post is about.
Making art is one of my things, it's what I enjoy. What's your thing? Do you bake up a storm? Bake with your kids. Do you garden? Have your kids garden with you. Do you always have your nails done? Do manicures or pedicures with your girls. Do you run? Have your kids run with you. Are you an engineer? Work on circuit boards together. Do you sew? Make doll clothes together. Are you a thrift store bargain hunter? A garage sale guru? Take them with you. You could even make a scavenger hunt out of it. Find something purple. Find something with rust on it. Find something stretched out. And remember, it doesn't have to be a week long camp. It can be one project together. Even just get them started. My favorite line from Super Nanny is: Play and walk away. But if you are choosing to do what you love with them, there is a much greater chance you'll want to stay and play with them and not walk away!
Do what you love with your kids; don't stress about the rest.