We’ve all been there. When life gets hard, how do we still manage to be and do it all. The fact is we don’t. Some things will and must fall short. What’s important to remember is that’s okay. For me, 2017 literally went out with a bang. A loud one. I couldn’t write it all here if I tried! So I found myself seriously wondering, how am I going to do this? How am I going to make life work? How am I going be the rockstar mom I want to see myself as? Oh, what’s that? I’m married and my husband needs me too! Dark hole, where art thou, so I may crawl in.
We are none free of issues or tough times in our marriages, and the many other roles we have with our extended families and careers. Not exempt from the pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect mothers. And certainly not going to be overlooked by life when it’s curveball season. What I have learned is key, through all of this, is being intentional matters most. Not being perfect. Not doing it ALL. Some things may require more than others, but you can’t go wrong when you are intentional about the things you must do to drive your own ship! First things first, if your intentional moments require, personal, individual, face to face time, disconnect while doing so! Nothing kills the best of intentions like phones, computers, work, etc. Make time for the times that will matter most! Lose the distractions.
How can I be an intentional wife?
If you haven’t heard of love languages, do yourself a favor and read the book or listen to the audio version. ( The 5 Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman). Learn and know your husband’s love language. It’s life changing. We all need to be loved and filled in different ways. Figuring out what way that is is going to make your life so much easier. Because I know my husbands love language, when life gets crazy and I need to make the most of the moments, I can be intentional in the ways he needs most. This way he feels love and receives the love he needs from me. I no longer have to spend time wondering what will make an impact on him. I know what he needs and I go straight to that.
How can I be an intentional mom?
Yes, the children NEED you. Mommas, let me be the first to say, I have many times confused their need for me with my desire to be doing for them. Let’s be real, they can survive without us being at their beck and call every five seconds and of course, this will look differently depending the ages of your children. So when you are pressed and feel stretched to your limits, you still have to be mom. So how? My sons are ages 11, 10, and 4. All three require something different from me.
So here are a few things that are simple that I do to be intentional with them with life is hard for me.
- My 4 year old: Bath time is fun time for him. He is truly a child who just loves to have fun. So, we sing, we dance, we fill the tub with water, bubbles, and toys! His fun time with mom is met and his pure joy for something so simple actually clears the clouds in my mess for a while. Win, win.
- My 10 year old: You have to know him, lol. He needs individual time. So, whether it’s at bedtime, right after school, or whenever, I simply indulge him with whatever he wants to talk about or do. Sometimes we play a board game, just us. He loves football, so believe it or not, I’ve tossed a football in the Louisiana cold for this kid! We do a quick round of one on one basketball, or even just listen to him tell me about the million and one things he knows about football, basketball, or even shoes, which he loves. Win, win.
- My 11 year old: Easy peasy, the kid who needs nothing if you don’t ask him. Sure that can be a blessing, especially when you have multiple children, but don’t let that allow you to miss what he still needs. He won’t ask, but he still needs. So what to do with a child like this? Anything, literally, anything. Usually it boils down to something silly because he just likes to be goofy and really, so do I, so again, win, win. What’s most important with this type of child is that you were present.
What about me?
Whether it’s early in the morning, mid day, or late at night, make time for yourself. Take yourself for coffee at your favorite spot. Pop in your earbuds and listen to your favorite playlist for a while. Get your nails done; take a longer than normal bath. Make the time to be intentional for yourself! It doesn’t need to be hours, just whatever you can manage to carve out. As you become centered on living your life on purpose in each area, it will begin to flow naturally. So much so that when you lose your footing, you will know right away. I’m the worst at this. Mom guilt is real! I had to start being real with myself. My 10 and 11 year old can fix their own breakfast and their younger brothers’ breakfast as well. If that’s where I can intentionally find a few minutes of me time, I need to take it. Bedtime, bedtime, bedtime. We have had bedtimes (earlier than most people I know) from the time our kids were infants. I used to use this time for cleaning or catching up on work, now I use it for me. What do I need? Extra sleep, to read a book, take a long bath, prayer time, watch some tv. Whatever it may be, it’s me pouring into myself.
Rest assured. Life happens to all of us!
If we allow it, life will beat us up. Circumstances will rule us and our families will pay for it. Juggling all that comes with just being can be big and difficult to deal with through different seasons of life. Where your intent lies can make a world of difference. Cut yourself some slack. Not everything needs you right now. And the things that do, can be done even when you feel like you can’t possibly stretch anymore. Find the one thing that you can give to your spouse, your children, and yourself, and the rest will follow!