Wednesday, July 15, 2015

From an Introverted Mama's Soul

My kids are having lazy summer days.  You know the kind:  swinging and maneuvering monkey bars for hours, licking messy Popsicles on the porch, jumping in the pond all afternoon, camping out in each other's bedrooms late at night.  This summer we said no to extra activities in our schedule more than we said yes.  Sure, we've enjoyed church camp, sat through many baseball games, seen fireworks displays, and had friends come play.  But we've had more quiet days than loud ones.

Has this been healthy for my family?  I hope so.  I think so.  I'd gander a guess that it has been, because it's been healthy for their mama.  This mama needs a slower pace!

As cliché as it sounds:  the older I get, the wiser I become.  Well, maybe not the kind of wisdom that rules a nation--or even a successful business...or five children, come to think of it--but wisdom about who I am and what I need.  I started off my summer by reading an insightful book called Nourished, and what I gained was a deeper recognition of my need for slower moments in my life as well as times to further foster deep and meaningful relationships.  These areas are crucial for my most nourished self.  And we all know, if mama ain't happy, nobody is happy!

I could guilt myself an awful lot if I succumbed to comparison.  I am not the mama who has well-rounded and educational field trips planned for every other summer day.  On days when we can't swim in our pond, I don't always have a backup plan.  I have determined that my attempt at reading and relaxing in my hammock for a short time while my kids play is often better than my attempt to organize an activity for them.  I am a happier, more nourished person when I make time to nourish the needs of my soul.  I am a better, more peaceful mama when my tank is full.  I am learning this, albeit slowly.  Thankfully, I have a husband and a few good friends that remind me of this regularly.

Admittedly, I have to daily remind myself that this need to nourish myself is not selfish.  Quite the opposite!  I could easily begrudge my precious children for being just that, if I didn't learn to first take care of myself.  I love being a mama; I cherish these five little lives God has blessed me with.  They deserve a mama who is fully nourished rather than drained.  Certainly, it is no surprise to God that I am an introverted mama who needs times of refreshing and recharging to be the best I can be for my family.  So if slow is where it's at for you too, then go with slow.

I guarantee that your kids' fondest memories will be about the peaceful and happy times, rather than a Pinterest-perfect summer, filled to the brim with daily play-dates and field trips.  If, however, you're a mama who needs more stimulation, then go for it!  Learn about yourself and what you need to do to recharge.  Everyone in your life will benefit from that commitment to nourish your soul.  Be okay with who you are and how you best operate.  And when you finally take those monkeys to the zoo, you will all enjoy the day!

I'm having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth today.