Sunday, August 26, 2007

Squashing the Selfish Bug

This weekend I fell in love with my son all over again. Not that I am ever "out of love" with him, but lately I have been a little too reliant on how much time Park wants to spend with Daddy on the weekends. Of course it is wonderful to have some much desired free time, but too much of a good thing tends to feed the selfish bug that lives inside me.

Chris had to go out of town for a student retreat this weekend, so it served as a wonderful reason for me to starve the bug and work on ridding his existence from my life (the bug, I mean, NOT Chris:) And, it actually turned out to be wonderful for all of us. Chris had an amazing retreat and was able to invest in the lives of his students, while Park and I enjoyed some quality time together.

Park and I spent Friday morning in search of some accessories for the house. Here is what we came up with:

He was such a little trooper and even helped me pick out some candles. Granted he later used his bat to knock over those same candles, but it's the thought that counts:) After leaving the store, he screamed out, "Shoppin' FUN, Mommy!"

Won't that makes his daddy so proud?

We spent Friday evening at the pool with Cooper and his mommy, and no I can't believe they still wanted to hang out with us after the poop parade, either. The boys had so much fun and were both on their very best behavior. But, if Bonnie WAS relishing that Cooper had outgrown such "poopie nonsense", he proved her wrong with a little "surprise" at the pool. Whoever made swim diapers did a dandy job, though, because the mess was much more self contained than Park's mall explosion. Good work!

The rest of the weekend we read a million books while snuggled up on the couch, sang and danced to every song we know and ran around like monkies in the backyard. We laughed so hard at one another and just genuinely enjoyed ourselves together. I let the laundry stack up, left dishes in the sink, the TV turned off, the Internet untouched and just soaked up BEING in the moment.

As a mom it is sometimes too easy for me to focus on "doing MY things" and forget that Park IS my thing. I mean, yes, we can't live in a dirty home and my family needs clean clothes to wear and food to eat and all. But, sometimes I can sacrifice reading one less blog to, in turn, read Park one more book. Or, I can talk to one less friend on the phone in the car, to enjoy hearing about one more tractor or airplane that he finds during our drive.

I want to live in the moment. I don't want to look back on my life as a mother and pat myself on the back for the clean house I kept or all the things I got "accomplished". I want to look back and see that I forever impacted the life of my son and I want him to know that he is valuable and worthy of my time. I also want to know that I savored each day- the good, bad, and in between.

This weekend reminded me about balancing the time I need for myself in order to be a good mom with the effort I actually put in while I AM a mom. Just because I am spending large quantities of time with Park does not make it quality unless I make the effort to truly be in the moment.

Obviously I won't succeed at this every single day, so I am very thankful that God made motherhood a marathon instead of a sprint! And wherever I fall short, I trust Him to make up the difference.

TAKE THAT, selfish bug!


Anonymous said...

Love this Post. Park is getting so big and is soooo cute. We miss you tons. Come visit us in Austin sometime:)

Kelly said...

Thank you for this. My girls are 8 and 10 and it can be so easy to allow them to "do their own thing". They are so much more self reliant now, and sometimes I allow myself to feel justified in reading blogs or looking at decorating magazines, but the fact is, I am still mommy and they want to be with me. I have some repenting to do... (and I love "motherhood is a marathon, not a sprint". That one is going on the fridge!)

Kirstie said...

Excellent post, Brittani! I, too, get caught up in what I think it means to be a mom and forget to just be a mom!! Thanks for the reminder!

carrie said...

Good reminders. I appreciate what you said about motherhood being a marathon, not a sprint!

Nat said...

It's so true that it's not about the quantity of time you spend with your children, but the quality. I admit I have a bit of the 'selfish bug' too, and can sometimes be dound emailing or blogging whilst nursing my 4month old! It's shocking, I know. Your post made me realise I should be enjoying these quiet moments alone with my daughter and that I should just 'be' in the moment. Thank you! xxx

Liz*** said...

Amen, Sister!

Embracing my cup said...

I completely agree with every word of this post!!! Sarah and I had a conversation about this same thing a while back. About how we can be home with our kids but still not spend any time with them. You know, like when we are so busy with laundry, dinner, and blogging!!

I am with you! I choose the most important thing - my boys!! Life is way too short to keep a spotless house!!! :-)