Saturday, August 1, 2015

Mama Guilt

Sometimes I worry that I don't spend enough time with my middle child. He is as introspective as they come and he takes time to open up about all he is thinking. I focus each day on bending down and looking into his eyes when he talks, asking him what he'd like to do together and stopping his older brother from interrupting. I was thrilled at the opportunity to spend a week with my daughter and him while their brother was at camp.

I dropped my oldest off at camp and one of the counselors said hello to my three year old then asked me, "Is he as inquisitive as his brother?" I thought about it for a moment.

"He's quieter but he listens to everything. He's constantly surprising me with all that he knows." The question stayed with me because I realized that I wasn't sure if he was as inquisitive as his brother. His brother has such a big personality. My three year old always seems to be in his shadow. Why didn't I know this about him? I'm with him all the time...

We drove away and each sat with our own thoughts. Suddenly, out of nowhere, my three year old asked, "Mommy, did dinosaurs really exist?" I answered as best I could then asked him what made him think about it. "Well, they never show dinosaurs on Noah's Ark. Wouldn't they go on the ark with the other animals?"

A few days later he stood looking out our sliding glass door and watching the rain fall he said, "Mommy why does it rain?" We talked about the water cycle and he stared with wonder at the pond and the clouds. "Do the clouds suck up the water like a big giant vacuum?!" he asked, hoping to catch a glimpse of this amazing phenomena. I explained evaporation and we looked up some science experiments to learn more about it.

These kinds of questions came all the time. He asked questions as we played baseball and painted pottery and drove through town. He never stopped wondering. On Friday, he went to speech therapy for the first time and they had a mini meeting with me. They told me how bright he is and I told them how wonderful it was for him to hear those words. "I think he's amazing, too," I told them.

We walked out of speech and he wrapped me in the longest hug I've had in a long time. "I really really love you, Mommy."
"I love you, too, bud. So much."

It's so hard to balance multiple children's needs and demands. As soon as we feel like we've got it handled, some little piece of guilt wriggles its way into our hearts. For me, it was worrying about spending enough time with my middle. For you, it may be worry over their choices, their friends, the amount of extra-curriculers or whether you make enough organic food. Most of the time, it isn't even worth the energy. This week I learned to stop and just pay attention before reacting. Sometimes God is already there saying, "Don't worry about this one. I got it."

What are you feeling mama guilt about this week? Pay attention to the truth of the matter before letting it lodge into your heart. Is it something that requires action or is it already taken care of?

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