Silly and spiritual motherhood thoughts

Over the weekend, I was thinking about the kind of mom that I am.  I know.  I say this a lot, but I think about what kind of mom I am a lot.  Being a mom (or dad) is something you never get away from; it’s always a part of you, even when you’re away from your kid(s).  I look at my child and feel the one moving around in my belly and love them both so much.  I want them to have only the best in this world, including the best from me.  So, I’m constantly analyzing myself and often questioning my decisions and parenting skills.  There are no do-overs in the grand scheme, so I want to try and get it as right as I can.

It started with wondering about whether I’m silly enough as a mom.  Sometimes I can tend to be serious.  I think I’ve always been more on the serious side.  That’s not to say I’m not happy, because I am.  And I was a happy kid, but I’m just more on the serious side of life.  I tend to have my own quirky sense of humor, so I don’t always find the same things funny that lots of people do and I often find things hilarious that only make others smile.  When I was a kid I was deemed “mature for my age.”  My husband has lovingly teased me that even when we were young adults, oftentimes I’d have friends who were nearly as old as my parents because I just related well to them, I guess.

My husband and daughter sharing a silly moment during her 3-year-old photo shoot. (Photo by Catherine Hatton)

So, I’m not a super silly mom.  I have fun with my daughter.  We laugh multiple times throughout the day.  But, I don’t have a level of silliness that I see in some other moms.  I don’t really even have the silliness I see sometimes in her interactions with my husband.  He thinks of millions of ways to make her laugh and has ever since she could laugh.  I love that about him.  I love that about their relationship.  I don’t think to make silly faces or turn her upside down or chase her around as the kissy monster.  And sometimes I watch them and find myself telling them, “You guys are so silly.”  Of course, sometimes they’re being silly while I’m doing something to take care of us like making dinner, washing dishes or doing laundry.  And many of those times, they’re being silly together because my husband is doing one form of helping me — distracting the kiddo so I can get things done in peace.

I’m not sure I’m silly, but I do think I’m fun.  We play lots and lots of pretend activities and games.  Yesterday morning Lexiana pretended a jump rope was hidden somewhere we had to find.  I kept pulling out imaginary items that weren’t right.  She did the same.  We made up some silly alternatives that we were finding instead, like I told her she had found a fish, a doughnut and a piece of pizza (I might have been hungry!).  That’s sort of silly, I think.  And she had fun, so that’s all that mattered.  At nap time yesterday, she put her stuffed white cat on my head and we giggled lots, especially because we’d just read a book called “Little Miss Giggles.”  That’s fun.  Maybe not super silly, but fun!

When I mentioned this worry to my husband that I’m not silly enough, he looked at me like I’m crazy.  Maybe I’m sillier than I realize.  So, I decided to stop worrying about being silly.  All I’m going to worry about is making sure that I take time throughout the day to enjoy my child.  I want to make sure that in the midst of running errands, working and taking care of household chores that I also take time to just listen to her, play with her and be with her 100 percent without distractions.  I use my phone timer sometimes to help both of us.  Yesterday after lunch she wanted to play with me before nap time.  I told her I’d set the timer for 10 minutes and we’d play before nap.  She had my full attention for 10 minutes doing what she wanted to do.  I followed her rules for a made-up puzzle game.  We laughed.  We had fun.  And then we moved on to nap time.  I think these are the things that are most important.

The other thing I thought about this weekend is the kind of spiritual example I want to be for her.  I’ve been struggling the last couple of weeks to have my quiet time.  The kiddo is getting up earlier than she had been and she’s wanting out of her room right away, where before she was content to stay in her room and play for a little while on her own.  Sometimes we wake up at the same time.  Other times, I barely am up before she is.  In the time I have before she gets up, I love to have my quiet time and devotions and then eat breakfast.  That’s not been happening.

This week, I’m working to get back on track.  I’ve realized that while I can give up breakfast on my own (even though I love that solo time), I can’t give up my devotions and still be the kind of mom that my child deserves.  I thought about the example of Christian mothers in my life, including my own.  There were times growing up when I’d see my mom reading the Bible or praying.  I didn’t know then what it felt like to be a mom.  I didn’t understand the love she had as she prayed for us or the strength she needed to ask for to be a good mom.  I just knew that it was important to her.  That’s the example I want to be for my child.

Of course she’s 3 now, but if she gets up early and sees me reading my Bible and praying, that’s OK.  I can’t really have quiet time while she’s awake because there’s no part of my chatty child that is quiet, but I think that’s OK sometimes, too.  I want her to have that example.  I want her to see that quiet strength that comes from God that I’ve seen in my own mom throughout my life.  I can’t have that if I don’t spent time with Him and in His Word.  More than anything, I want her to know Him to the fullest.  She needs a mama who is a living, breathing example of His love daily.  I can’t be that on my own without His help.

I’ve always known and taken seriously the responsibility my husband and I have to be her spiritual guides and role models.  But, this past weekend, I realized that I also want her to know and be comforted to have a praying mama as I have been comforted by that.  I feel like the torch is passing on to me now that she’s old enough to be aware.  And, in saying that, I know that mamas are praying for their children and grandchildren as long as they’re alive, so the torch doesn’t pass completely.  I also know, though, that my mom is no longer praying daily for strength and wisdom in raising little ones because she’s past that stage in life.  Her prayers have change as mine will, too.

These were my thoughts on motherhood this past weekend.  They went from silly to spiritual.  I’d say it summarizes how my mind works, but I think it summarizes how most moms’ minds work.  We’re all always on.  We’re always thinking about things and wondering things and analyzing things to give our children the best life we can.  Sometimes it’s small, silly things.  Sometimes it’s big, important things.  And usually it’s a mix of both at the same time.

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