I am sitting here thinking about intention and motherhood. I think that most women when they become mothers start thinking about this. What values do I want to instill in my child? What work ethic? How do I want my child to view academics? And so many more questions. So MANY more.
I run through a mental check list daily. Okay in my case it is not always mental sometimes there is an actual list made with a pen on paper! Not a day goes by that I don’t think okay have I been focusing on manners, housekeeping, school, religious studies, and values. (The actual list, like yours is much longer and exhausting) I can say that most weeks I can lay my head down at night and sigh thinking I did an okay-ish job. Far from perfect but not awful.
My daughter made a comment a few weeks ago that stopped me in my tracks and made me seriously reevaluate. I still feel that being intentional about how we raise our children is VERY important. I also feel that the things I am intentional about are good things and will add positive things to my daughter’s life. My daughter relaxing on the couch, looked up at me with nervous energy and asked me to sit with her.
Now that does not seem like a big thing. In and of itself it was not. However I must mention that my daughter was doing nothing. Not watching television, not reading, not even petting the pets. I assumed she needed to talk so I sat. I waited a few minutes in silence and she said nothing. So I started fidgeting. I gently asked her if there was anything she needed to talk about. She smiled and took my hand. She said “nope it just looked like you needed a break, you never take a break”
Wow I am not going to lie that felt like a gut punch. I don’t want you to think that I don’t spend time with my daughter. I assure you that is not the case. We are always on adventures where I am present. We play board games, read together and there is no telling where our imaginations will lead us to. She simply meant that she does not see me relax.
I could not stop thinking about this simple comment made by my 8 year old. My daughter is really watching, I mean REALLY watching. She sees me read my bible and pray. She sees me study and help others. She sees me do my chores and eat my veggies. What my 8 year old does not see and realized I needed was self-care.
My intentions are good. My intentions are moving our family in a positive direction. I have added something to my list of intentions though. Self-care is important. So moving forward she will also see the dishes sit in the sink so I can finish that book. She will see the bed get made late because I took the time to paint my nails or do my hair. She will hear me say no to a commitment I truly don’t have the energy to make, so I can take that nap or get a massage.
I know us moms wear capes. I am exhausted like I know all of you are! What are we teaching our children, daughters especially? I am going to let her see that I matter, that my time matters. I want her to see that it is okay for me to have needs and for me to take time to fill those needs. Through that I am showing her that she matters and her needs matter. Now that is something worth being intentional about.