Thursday, June 13, 2013

Being a "Yes mom"

Yesterday, I got home from work I was pretty busy for about an hour. It wasn't a huge deal because Justin was busy pretending with Inara. Then she asked if I could come pretend with them.  As soon as I walked in the room, I was all like "woah, what happened here". All I could see was princesses, playhouses, squinkies, more princesses, multiple modes of transportation, pretend food...the list goes on.  I took a deep breath and found a spot shoved all the toys out of my way, so I could sit down.  We pretended for a few minutes. But I was really too busy cleaning up all the little pieces of her newest favorite Princess Leia toy. I had warned her about 20x since Monday to keep all the pieces together or "you'll loose them all and then be sad". She said "Mommy, be the girl" again. I snapped out of it briefly to pretend for a few moments, only to then begin putting all her dollhouse pieces away.  "Momma, pretend!", she asked again.  Now dinosaurs were joining the party as she dumped out a pouch of dinosaurs on the bed for Luke and Leia to play with.  "Oh no!" I thought...just more crap for me to clean up!

As I heard my self say these things I realized kind of for the first time what I was missing.  I couldn't look past the "mess" of the room to see so many other things going on.  For a rare moment in the day, Shepherd was asleep and the rest of us were home at the same time and could play together.  I was too busy picking up tiny Leia pieces to see how sweetly she plays with her toys and how they all take care of each other.  I was too focused on making MY life easier by keeping all the pieces together, I missed out on actually teaching about how to play responsibly with toys instead of just nagging her.  The dollhouse toys were "crowding" the floor too. I didn't see how creative she plays with them all out at the same time.  It was the same with the squinkies...I saw a mess...she saw pets for Luke and Leia.  I seriously almost lost it when she dumped out the dinosaurs.  I saw more junk instead of being so proud how she correctly named every dinosaur with its proper name.  I saw toy crap everywhere and because I did, I really missed out.  I don't get a lot of time to just sit and play with her. And instead of being present, I was too busy worrying about the "mess".

Source: OttCreatives on Etsy
Before bed I asked Inara if she thought I yelled at her all the time.  She said "No mom. You don't yell". Then I asked her if I say no all the time.  "Not all the time, but you say it sometimes".  I don't think the key to being a good parent is to say "Yes".  Ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Yes! Wanna run with scissors in your hands? Yes!  But I do think that I do need to say yes more. Even if its the "yes" of being present.  Let's be real. Since I work outside of the home I lose 24hours a week to be present with Inara. I want those other hours to count.  To jump at chances to teach, to play, to love, to marvel at the genius kiddo God has loaned to us.

So I am going to try.  Try to not be busy "doing" all day, but to say yes.  Say yes to finger painting even though its so messy and stresses me out.  Say yes to letting her "help" me cook even though its easier to do it myself.  Say yes to taking the time to teach her about chores and responsibility instead of just doing them myself because then I know they are done the way I like them to be.  Say just being with her.

Am I alone out there?  Do you think its hard to say "yes"?

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