Have you taken your first trip away from your kids all by yourself since they’ve been born yet? If yes, man I am so proud of you. If no, that’s okay because you’ll get there one day. My answer is officially yes, just this last week. One of my now lifelong friends celebrated her 30th birthday and decided to plan a last minute girls trip to Miami. As most of you know, I am coming up on being 33 weeks pregnant and let’s just say, big mama rolling in hot everywhere I go. It was an easy decision to say yes to going but then thinking about leaving my babies at home without me.. the anxiety kicked into high gear.
I actually had to convince myself that it wasn’t even for me but that it was for her and she would appreciate the long term effects of my presence at her birthday trip more than I would miss my girls and husband at home. (Um, hello enneagram 2 majorly kicking in) Once I actually paid for the flights and hotel, I was locked in and not going just was no longer an option. So, I made it happen.
Boarding that first flight, I did pretty well. I felt confident in my decision to leave and almost had reached a point that it was needed for me. That this was truly going to be so good for me and a nice reset for me to come home and be a better mom and wife. You know, all the things we tell ourselves, or I guess that society really tells us that we “need” as mothers. Though, to some extent I think it’s true. But really I learned a lot more about what I directly desire in my own heart during this trip.
I chose to stay open to all of the activities and keeping busy really did help my mind not focus so much on missing the littles and husband. I had fun with the girls and even reminisced on days that my life was more free and not so tied down the the lives I care for every day. I had moments of getting in the rental car stressed about car seats but obviously didn’t have car seats with me or everyone wanting to go out to lunch around 1:00 PM in the afternoon in my head thinking the day might end up rough because that is right in the middle of nap time so it wouldn’t go the best but realizing the kids weren’t with me so nap time didn’t matter. Little things that my brain instinctually remembered or has been trained to think about everyday as a mother that I was so tripped up by.
Motherhood can feel all consuming. Being a stay at home mom, most days I feel like I basically do the same set of things everyday just at different capacities or paces. Some days I display patience and others I lose my shiz-nit because I am human and have unregulated emotions at times. I truly can’t do it all even if I wanted to. I *thought* I desired a girls trip or extended time away to give me a different perspective or just a change of scenery but….
Here is what this trip did for me:
I don’t envy not having a life where I am free to be at all times and to do whatever I want at the drop of a hat. I love being desired and wanted and needed within my home. It showed me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be doing exactly what God has called me to do in this season of my life. These child bearing years are truly the prime of my life so far and the deepest I feel to learning and growing of who Christ is and who he has made me to be. I don’t want a life without my kids. I don’t want to stay away from them for long periods of time and I most definitely don’t want to not be home with them. I feel like a lot of my motherhood has also been chasing this “me” thing or “something outside of motherhood” and though that is a good thing for some moms and even for myself, like this here blog for example. I realize I don’t “need” it in order to pour into my motherhood or being a good mom. God has already instilled that truth within me when he called me, mother.
I want to know more about Jesus and how he loved. I want to know how to control my emotions and extend grace or mercy when someone doesn’t deserve it. I want to instill truth in my children and raise them up to be ready for the real world with tools in their tool belt. I want to laugh uncontrollably because my toddlers say words wrong and it sounds like a cuss word. I want to pick boogers that aren’t mine and get slobbery kisses from a mouth full of cheez-its. I want to change diapers and put on sleep sacs for bed. I want to rock my kids to sleep and hold their limp bodies in my arms for as long as they will let me. I want to watch them grow and develop into strong women. I want to pour bottles of milk at 2:00 AM when they can’t sleep and think that watching Moana is more important than sleep. I want to watch them make up silly dances and play with the same set of blocks yet again after dinner. I want to chase them at the park and watch their arms sway back and forth as they learn how to run. I want to hear them bicker and figure out conflict resolution and naming their emotions. I want to be there for my kids at every chance I can in these early years. I just want to be a mom. I just want to pour into the motherhood God has so graciously given me to steward. Man, I want to steward it so well and not wish it to pass another day. I want to live in these moments forever, memorizing every smile, tear, fall, laugh, hard cry, fart and never ever forget the good ole days.
Trips away from our kids is needed. It teaches us and shows us a unique value in our lives. It opens up different desires or even shows us that where we are right now is exactly where God has us for a reason. Those realizations can be life changing in different seasons. As I am almost 7 weeks away (or more or less) from meeting our third daughter, I am filled with such a gratitude for the grace I have been given. I am so thankful for my life and my children. I want to travel the world and see new places but right now, I want to soak up every bit of chaotic baby/toddler motherhood that I can. Because truly, these are the best days of my life.