We introduced you to Sarah on Monday, and she's here today to talk about motherhood. Sarah is a mother to five kids, and she blogs about her life and thoughts on motherhood at Clover Lane.
When do you feel like you're doing your best job as a mom?
When I don’t over schedule myself or my children. When I get enough rest.
When I have a little time to myself. When I have a plan, a loose schedule, a slightly organized day. When I remember that I am the parent, and let go of the guilt of not pleasing. When I don’t react to things, but take the opportunity to teach. When I can tell my children see our house as an oasis from the world when they walk in the door after a busy, noisy school day. When I take the time to stop doing and just be with them, whether it’s reading a book, or just laying on the living room carpet while they play around me. When I am complimented on my children’s kindness, or the way they behave in church.
You knew this one was coming... when do you feel like you're doing your worst job?
When I get that exhausted, reactive, shrill sound in my voice, and no one can do anything right. (Which usually happens about the week before school starts when I am overwhelmed by the preparation for change and just downright exhausted because every semblance of order has been slowly eroded away by the fun of summer.)
Also, when my children don’t treat each other kindly. That is a stab to my heart. I don’t know why, but I fear that they won’t all love each other and be close for the rest of their life. I want that badly for them.
What surprised you the most about motherhood?
I thought it would be no different from a babysitting experience. Boredom, slowly ticking hours, little attachment. So the love of course surprised me. I had no idea, never gave a thought to the fact that it might be otherwise. When they put my first, Isaac, on top of me, after an excruciating labor that almost killed me, I felt total shock at the love I felt, and of course, the fear that goes along with that love was staggering also.
Every stage and age holds it surprises along the way though, and it is a constant learning experience. I really thought I had it down, and then surprise, surprise, a child turned into a teen and I had to relearn how to say what I needed to say, when and for how long. I am still learning that one. Children are incredible teachers I’ve found, and very forgiving.
What is your go-to activity when a meltdown is on its way?
What have your children taught you?
To grow up. That I can survive non-stop debilitating nausea for months on end, and then forget about it completely in a matter of months. Not to keep score with my husband. To trust what my mother gut tells me, whether it’s about chicken pox, my child’s new friend, or when to begin solid food. That I am in charge and sometimes it’s not always fun to be the boss, but it’s my duty as a parent, my favor to my children.
That even with all the advice and books, and professionals and status quo, I alone know my child best. That I can be woken up every 2 hours around the clock and still function the next day if I put my mind to it. To appreciate what I have because if my children are alive and healthy I am living in a dream instead of a nightmare. That my husband is an incredible father. Sometimes the small stuff should be sweated.
There is and will be nothing bigger in my life than what I am doing now. That having babies is a gift never to be taken for granted. That I can learn so much from those that have parented before me, and those that are parenting with me. To watch for my best and worst moments, and then make changes to make less worse and more best happen. To say no, quickly and without explanation.
That the pace of life created in our country today is not at all conducive to a child’s spirit, and that it takes nerve and backbone to set our own pace, but where there is a will there is way. That children learn from my example a thousand times more than your words
What will you miss the most about these years with young children?
Everything. And I truly mean that-everything from poopy diapers, to Christmas morning. I am one of those mothers who will forever mourn the growing up of my children, and could never say with confidence “I am done” after the last baby.
I can’t watch what little home video we have taped, because it sends me into a funk of epic proportions and freaks me out at how much time flies, and how inadequate my memory really is. In a way, I think I will miss each of my children as I knew them when they were totally and 100% mine, and the way of life I had before I began to have to start to let them go-which in the end, of course, is the entire premise of parenting-to prepare them for life beyond our walls.
You can follow Sarah and her family on her blog: