Time for Mom: Stop and Smell the Roses

They say that it’s important to stop and smell the roses. You know, pause and enjoy the beauty around you.

So often, when life gets “harry” for us MOMS, we want to escape, run, find a distraction, “just get a break.” And I think there is a time and a place for that kind of thing.

But recently, as I lie awake at night replaying my day, I have been remembering the snapping remarks I have made or the impatience I have demonstrated toward one of my children. And I feel like the biggest loser.

In looking back at those moments of frustration, I realize that I have made something more important than it should be. It could be my agenda v. theirs, my desire for a neat and tidy house, my feathers being ruffled that someone might think ill of our rough and tumble lot while we’re out and about. It could be any number of things that I am prizing more than my children and their hearts.

No, they are not perfect. My goodness, they each have their weaknesses, just like the rest of us. I’m not talking about worshipping my kids or putting them up on pedestals. I’m talking about enjoying the opportunity for fellowship with them that is unique while they are growing up.

As my oldest has just turned 11, and I see the teen years just around the corner, I can’t believe how quickly time is passing. Our time with him is fleeting. Before I know it, the FishBaby in my womb will be getting married! And I’m going to be forty! Someday!

So, here’s my question: how can we enjoy today with our kids? What do you do that helps you keep things in perspective? How do you “stop and smell the roses?”

I’m looking forward to your comments ’cause I really want to grow in this area. And I need all the help I can get.

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  1. Hey, I caught that “When Harry Met Sally” quote! I don’t know if you meant to or if your subconscious let it out. 🙂 Let’s just hope that you don’t view turning forty as a “big dead end” — isn’t that what she called it?

  2. Mother of Many says:

    I feel you friend. Thank goodness we can repent and start new when we struggle. It is difficult every day. I have on small part of one verse at the front of my mind throughout my day. “Love is kind.” When I am outside of this peramiter, I need to evaluate, repent, ask forgiveness.

    Even discipline, asking for help, dealing with sin in my children…it can all be done with kindness, but only with the Holy Spirit. Not an easy challenge, but as I have studied, being grumpy is a sin. I can’t get around it as much as I try.

    Thank you Jesus for grace!

  3. FishMama says:

    I wondered who would catch my WHMS reference. No, I don’t see it as a dead end. Just a funny, funny scene.

    MOM- good words, thanks!

  4. I am often convicted about my snappiness toward my kids. I don’t like to feel like a joyless drill sargeant. Lately I have been meditating on the verse in Proverbs 31 that says, “She can laugh at the days to come…”

  5. Mother of Many says:

    have any of you woken up your children in the middle of the night to apologize?

  6. Living Frugal & Loving It says:

    I get so caught up with the evryday things that have to be done I get really crabby. When I read this today I had a pile of laundry and a LOT of housework to do. Instead we went to Target and got the ingredients to make popsicles. The recipe is on my blog. Thanks for reminding me that life is too short to be grumpy!

  7. Alexandra Hancock says:

    I am completely guilty of feeling like this too. I have a 9 month old boy and I lose my patience sometimes, but you just have to keep it in perspective I guess. Like Living Frugal said…life is too short. Thanks for reminding all of us!

  8. Twila G. says:

    Great post! I love treasuring time with my kids and making happy memories with them. Even though I fail daily, I find when I apologize quickly to them and to God, it helps me regain my perspective. I love doing spontaneous little things with them – a pillow fight, making up a silly song or story, crazy dancing in the living room to Veggie Tales music, a late night run for ice cream, or a walk in the rain. I find it doesn’t take much to make a great memory with my kids. I like to plan things ahead too, but I’m not as good at that as I’d like to be. I too can’t believe how quickly my “babies” are growing up. Memories are the only things we will have to cherish when they’re gone. My goal is to make as many good ones as possible!

  9. FishMama says:

    Wendy, I love that verse. I want to be that laughing mom!

    M.O.M. – I’ve wanted to wake them in the night to apologize. I’ve certainly gone in after light’s out to see if anyone was still awake. Mostly, I pray and try to remember in the morning.

    Krissy, your comment made my day! I couldn’t get to your blog, thought. It says that your profile is unavailable. Maybe you can check your settings?

    Alexandra, you’re obviously not alone!

    Twila, love your spontaneous creativity!

  10. Garden Gal says:

    Wow, your timing is dead on. I have been a bit down on myself lately as there have been several moments of exasperation, tears, hugs & apologies between me & my just-turned 2-year old son.

    I hate it when I allow the "sleeping dragon" to rise up in me, no matter what my child has done to provoke it.

    But over & over I am so thankful I have the Lord in my life because I truly believe I would be a miserable wreck over this one issue alone without Him!

    I was 34 when I had my son (my only child so far), so I had plenty of time to hone the craft of busyness in my life. My speed was always set to FAST. Though I'm not quite where I want to be yet in that area, I'm so thankful my child came along when he did because I am a changed woman, & not just in that one area. I do NOT want to pass on that unnecessary level of "harry"ness – yes, there are definitely times that it is a must to be quick – like when crossing the street! But for the most part, I challenge myself daily to take it back a notch, even if my son is sleeping. I used to rush rush RUSH through as many chores as possible the first year of his life. These days, I just do what I can do & try not to allow myself to get all worn out over silly things like laundry or cleaning the kitchen. It will get done – it always does.

    But our children disappear before our eyes daily, it seems. In those moments that yet another apology has to be made (from me, mostly) or I'm feeling the pressure of my "to do" list, I literally stop – get on the floor with my son – & tickle, play a game, listen to music together, take a walk, ANYTHING that forces me to only focus on him. Sometimes I'll just sit & watch him – which sounds insane when I think about ALL the chores & other fun stuff that need to be done. But it helps slow my mind, put things into perspective & truly enjoy him.

    Thanks for your post – we all need a good reminder & a boost of encouragement that others are in the same boat, trying to stay afloat & enjoy the ride at the same time.

  11. In our house, the sprinklers, playset, and baking chocolate chip cookies are good ways to slow down and just focus on the kids. When my youngest is asleep, that’s when her big sis and I do school stuff and read together. Those are her happiest times, when I’m spending time with her.

    I often ask my oldest what she thinks is more important at the time (like if she and her sister are arguing over a toy or something, what’s more important–a toy or doing right by your sister?) Well, sometimes that comes back at me w/ her well-timed, “Mommy, what’s more important: your kids or the computer?” I can’t expect her to put relationships first when I am so often guilty of setting a bad example. Motherhood is humbling.

  12. Gosh, these are all great posts. I agree with Courtney-motherhood is humbling! It roots out all your selfishness! About asking for forgiveness from your child: once my oldest (who was about 5 at the time) said, “Mom, are sorry for yelling at us?” That’s humbling! I want their memories of the times we are playing, laughing, and eating too much sugar to outnumber the times I am grumpy, short, or just downright angry. “And God is faithful and just to forgive us…”
    This is the good news of the gospel and we need it everyday. One other quick thing that helped me this week is my best friend’s baby was born last week and was very sick and her husband has lost his job-this affected my perspective on the smallness of the little annoyances in my life like messes, loud children, bickering, and my car air conditioner being broken. My children are all well, and my husband has a job and for that I am grateful.

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