Saturday, January 30, 2016

There's Always Room on Mama's Lap

One of my biggest mom struggles is how to give individualized attention to all three of my little boys.  Living with three kids under three, it can be difficult, on the daily, to feel like you had special bonding time with each child in a meaningful way.  Sometimes it's all I can do to dress, diaper, and feed all of them (those things are taking FOREVER right now by the way). 

Each one of my boys is special and unique and different.  Each one has talents and struggles and experiences a variety of feelings and emotions in any given day.  It is SO important to both Josh and I that we spend one-on-one time with Nolan, Judah, and Carter.  It is SO important to both Josh and I that we can foster a sense of confidence and self-worth in each boy as well.  It is SO important we let our boys explore and practice and experience things that they are interested in.  We want also, especially for Nolan and Judah since they are twins, that each of our boys feels like they can stand proudly on their own; that they each have something awesome to offer the world as an individual human.  Those things take a lot of time and also take knowing each separate child.  

Recently, during an afternoon nap when all three boys were sleeping, I was reflecting on how hard it is for me to be all I want to be to each of my boys individually.  I will admit openly that there are days where I cannot recall that I really honed in on one boy and gave them my complete and undivided attention for a chunk of time.  Daily, I am asking myself questions like these: 

-Judah needs help on his verbal communication, did I practice words with him for a while today?
-Nolan is really into building things (and knocking them over), did I support him in this task today?
-Carter needs to spend more time reading books with me outside of a bed or naptime ritual, did I do that today? 
-I want Nolan and Judah to keep practicing their letter recognition.  Did we do that?
-Did I have moments where just Carter got to spend time with me without his brothers?

When I can't answer yes to ANY questions like that, I feel guilty.  Guilt comes SO so easily to me. 

This particular day when I was reflecting, however, I was reminded of a book we read to the boys.  It's called On Mother's Lap.  I bought it initially because it's one of those books that helps older siblings understand the birth of a new baby in the family.  It's about a boy who is being rocked to bed by his mom.  He keeps wanting to get his favorite toy, blanket, puppy and bring it on mama's lap with him.  The new baby cries and the mom says that maybe the baby would like to rock too. 

The boy, Michael, says, "there isn't room."  The mom says, "Let's see" and goes to get the younger baby sister. 

In the end, all of Michael's favorite things AND the baby sister all fit on mother's lap to rock to sleep.  The last lines are the mom saying, "You know it's a funny thing... but there's always room on mother's lap."

Yes! I do have so much room on my lap! I do have so much love to give!  You are spot on, picture book. 

I may not get to spend all the quality one-on-one time that I'd like to with Nolan, Judah, and Carter, but when those moments come, I try to seize them, cherish them, and be present in them. 

Reminding myself of how much room I have on my lap gives me a lot of hope. 

I am not a perfect mom... none of us are!  But, I am confident my heart is always in the right place.  I am confident I am doing the best I can every single moment of the day.  And I am confident that all three of my boys know they are SO SO SOOOOOOO loved as individuals. 

I will always strive to do better and be a better mom for my kids, but I will take comfort today knowing that even though my lap is pretty full right now, I can always make more room for loving on my babies. 

 Pictures with each of my boys, one-on-one: Nolan, Judah, and Carter

My favorite thing in the world to do
with all three of my boys, separately or together: read :)

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