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Tuesday 23 January 2018
Motherhood heroines // Thoughts on Intentional Parenting
I've been doing a lot of reminiscing lately... I'm not sure why. I think once you are through a certain developmental stage with your children, you look back and remember all the wonderful memories, and forget all the hard things. I feel a little bit like that about my girls. Our youngest daughter will be five in a few short weeks... five! Can you believe it? My baby girl? Five is no longer a baby... not even a toddler or preschooler. Five is a full blown child in their own right.
The time before school with my little girls feels like a distant memory now. I've found myself recognising that it would be all too easy for my boys to get a rougher deal... carted around wherever the older children take them. Life at home with my girls was slow and purposeful. Spring days in the sunshine playing little house on the prairie... miniature laundry days... imaginary train rides and ride-on street chalk. There are so many memories... I was five years younger, had only two children on my hands, and my days weren't bookended by school runs and after school activities.
The reality is, I can't reproduce what the girls had... school is a part of our lives now. School runs have to be done. Swimming lessons observed. Taxi-ing to church kids groups. But I can use the time I do have with my boys at home purposefully and intentionally. When you're living life with four kiddos, its easy to just let each day carry you along, without really thinking through where you're going or what you're doing.
When Elias starts school, I want to look back on these years, the ones I'm living right now, with the same rose-tinted glasses I have for the girls... I want to have memories to cherish, and funny stories to tell. I don't just want to remember a blur of action in which my baby boys became little men.
I think one of the biggest lessons I've learnt, and am continuously learning, since I became a Mother for the first time, six and a half years ago, is that I will never regret thoughtful and intentional parenting. Playing the long term game. There are seasons of motherhood where you are in survival mode, where you simply take each day at a time and the sole aim is to get through it with everybody still in one piece. But living like that for the long-haul leads to dissatisfaction, frustration and exhaustion.
This blog has been one of the greatest gifts for me in really meditating on shaping this little family of ours. It is here I have typed and thought... its here other people's comments have inspired and encouraged me to think about what really matters for our children, and how I can create a home environment that will support that vision...
But its not just here... its seeking the wise counsel of Mamas further along the line than me... its listening to thought provoking and challenging podcasts, its humbly listening to teaching on parenting and shaping young lives, its reading books and learning from characters - real and fictional!
So here's to some of the people who have helped shape my parenting the most... because honestly? I want to honour them... my own Mama first and foremost, my mother-in-law, my dear friend Anna who was so influential in the early years of parenting, the pastors of our church, fabulous authors like Noel Piper and Carolyn Mahaney and Sally Clarkson, wonderful podcasts like AtHome which have me nodding along every week! Bloggers like Sarah and Rachel and Stephanie, and fictional characters like Marmee March and Ma Ingalls.
All of these women continue to shape and inspire me and make me want to grow in motherhood... to learn, to stretch out and be the best I can be, and yet remember grace and mercy for the many daily times I fail. These women are real, honest women... who make mistakes, but seek to see motherhood as a gift and an encouragement and help me to see the honour that it is to parent these little souls.
So will you join me? Shall we seek to do the work that the Lord has given us with joy and purpose and intention, and see the day to day chaos of life with small children as a gift to minister through?
Who are your motherhood heroines? I'd love to know!