As if you didn't already know...
I'm a type A lady. I like projects and accomplishing projects. Give me a task and consider it done. I'm organized, punctual, and reliable.
But, this doesn't always serve me well in life, particularly when it comes to the enjoyment of parenting.
Recently, I helped co-host a baby shower for one of my friends. At the shower, each guest wrote a bit of advice and some well-wishes on a card for the expectant mother; we took turns reading the advice aloud. As each woman, almost all of them mothers and some also grandmothers, shared their advice, there was clearly a common thread being formed.
Enjoy your baby. Stare at your baby. Kiss your baby. Rock your baby. Sleep with your baby.
It is so easy for the mother of a growing family to forget what really matters. To get caught up in an ever-present and ever-growing to-do list that seems to get exponentially longer during the month of December. There's baking and gift-buying and gift-wrapping and traveling (which means laundry and packing) and, and, and. It's all to easy to ignore the kids or try to occupy them with a movie than to just sit and talk to them.
A few days after the baby shower, I was rushing to get some dishes done while my girls had breakfast at the table when I heard Miss E say, "Mommy? Come sit by me." At first, I said, "Mommy is busy doing dishes." Then I thought, Are these dishes really that important that I can't take five minutes to sit, look at my daughters, allow them to be comforted by my presence and attention, and talk about what matters to them in this moment?
I am looking forward to this month because as I write this, I'm preparing for a four week break from work. I'm hoping that without papers to grade and e-mails to answer, I will give myself permission to use my free time in a way that honors my little blessings.
I know I will always battle my personality. On one hand, God made me who I am for a reason---and being type A hasn't always been a bad thing (particularly when it comes to managing my diabetes and teaching), but it's also the devil on my shoulder.
I'm not going to let type A win this holiday season. I hope you don't either.