I’m a mom of four kids, ages 5, 6, 8, 9. It isn’t as crazy as some moms I know, but still, it’s a lot of work and planning. For sure planning. I think...Mostly, I plan 3 things.
1. I plan for my daily scripture/meditation time. This is a must for my sanity, and even with it, I probably still appear insane. Sometimes I wonder what my temperament, spirituality, attitude and overall mental health would be like if I did not have this time for myself. But then I scare myself thinking of all the failures I have WITH this alone time, and the frightening thought occurs,“ummm could I really be worse than this?!” Frankly, I’d rather not find out!
2. I plan my nap time. Ok, so my kids are too old for naps. But you bet I am napping once a day to compensate for all that lost sleep in the baby days. My phone goes on silent and I cuddle up with my dogs and my youngest daughter (who watches TV while I nap....and I gave up feeling guilty about this quite a while ago so only come to me if you want to feel better about using screens to babysit!)
3. I plan for bedtime. Or maybe I just look forward to bedtime, I don’t know which it is! But I love bedtime. Not because it is the time of day where all chaos winds down. Well, yes that’s technically it. But I love when my kids take their baths, put on fresh pjs, and come to the couch for some family time. I love the way they smell, the great outdoor smell washed away with soap and shampoo. I (usually) love the way they all want to sit by me on the one corner of the couch, leaving the rest of the huge sectional empty. I love the way they all have their favorite blanket with them. I love reading to them. I love showing them Piano Guys or One Voice Children’s Choir music on YouTube. I love when my youngest says our family prayer and includes the funniest things. I love how my 6 year old is always the first asleep, on the couch or floor. I love how my daughter has so much to say about her world as we sit together. I love how my oldest is visibly relieved from the day’s stress, (way too much for a 9 year old!) and how he absorbs the peace of the evening. And yes, I’ll admit that I love when everyone is tucked in bed, the lights turned out, and I can sneak my treats without having to share or watch whatever I want on TV, read without interruption, or mindlessly scroll through Facebook.
Look, I’m not the type of mom who is very productive, always on time, or always put together. But I am that mom who adores my kids and loves this phase in my life. These three things that I plan for are the three things that allow me to be filled with more love for them. So if you’re in need of advice on how to plan more effectively to be productive and check off everything on your to do list, while sewing your own clothes and preparing 3 course dinners every night, I am not your girl. If you need advice on enjoying your kids and just getting through with some sort of joy and tranquility in your heart, truly enjoying everything motherhood is, and need to learn to let things slide a bit here and there, I am your girl ☺️
So plan away but don’t plan your happiness away. Believe those older empty nesters who see you with your entourage and tell you “enjoy them, they grow up so fast!” Because they do. And you’ll miss out on one of the greatest love stories in the world: the love between a mother and her child.