Reclaiming the joy of parenting

Posted by Tamie on Sunday, February 10, 2008

Are Mothers loosing confidence? I’ve been guilty of “outsourcing” my parenting too much. I’ll take my kids to classes where they can learn from “professionals” who will do it much better than I could (so the professionals want us to think). I wouldn’t say classes aren’t valuable because we’ve loved having scheduled time together. But I think it’s worth thinking about. Our kids love us to sing with them just as much as going to Kindermusik. They prefer us to read to them even more than going to story time. They’d rather run, jump, chase and play with us than go to the Little Gym. Our kids think we are so cool—way better than a “professional.”

We live in a world so full of talent that sometimes we start to think we can’t do anything: “I can’t sing, I can’t cook, I can’t sew, I'm not pretty enough, I can’t make my own, and I’m not creative . . .” You get the idea. We’ve all done it. We're looking at the false idols Satan flashes around us (perfect homes, perfect bodies, perfect meals, and even perfect families in all the adds). How can you help but lose some confidence? All of these adds want us to buy some service or item--to give up our chance for feeling joy in creation. Why make your own wall hanging when the one at the store is so beautiful and probably even cheaper? Why teach your own child when we can do it better?

It seems as if the only thing left for Moms to do is drive our kids around to their professional lessons and buy professionally made stuff. Then we feel depressed and sneak chocolate or ice cream (or chocolate AND ice cream) while the “professionals” are having all the fun.

Moms! Let’s reclaim some of our privileges and reintroduce some of the joys of motherhood. I’ve been thinking of some ideas to get myself started:

Create

Make a decoration for your wall then hang it up no matter how ugly it might seem to others.

Sing

Do a singing class with your kids (and invite neighbors when you’re brave enough). Kids don’t notice how unprofessional your voice sounds.

Sew

Borrow sewing machine and sew two squares together, making a bean bag you can use for FHE—it’s a small start!

Cook

Dust off an old cook book and try a new recipe. If you’re feeling creative then look through your cupboard and create your own recipe.

Grow

Start with one plant to garden this spring (I’ll do tomatoes). Planting a flat of flowers is always so fun in the spring.

Teach

Get or look a t a world map. Let your child pick one place he’d like to learn about. Get information online or a book at the library and teach him about it.

Everyone will have different ideas because our talents are diverse. This is where it gets fun. We can actually help each other. Maybe for play group I'll do the singing class but my neighbor can do the art class. I love learning from the Moms around me and seeing the creative ways they use their talents in the home. Natalie invites women over to do ballet in her basement once a week. Denise uses her art to make thank you cards for her daughters party. Annie bakes desserts for a wedding in the family. Kim refinished an old dresser for her little girls room. Cyndi makes darling hair clips. Mary uses herbs to help those in the neighborhood who are sick. Mary Ann shares recipes and books and knowledge that represents hours of research. Mindy can find something good in every situation and every person. Katie makes music videos of her kids. Juliet had a superhero weekend and made a Zorro costume for Kayden. Okay, I'm getting overwhelmed realizing how blessed I am to see all these amazing mothers. My examples are getting too long. The point is that I love seeing the creative things Mom’s are doing around me because I think creation, and confidence in our creation is what really brings the joy to motherhood. I’d love to hear some things you guys do to “reclaim” the joy of mothering.

Sister Beck, along with our other leaders are all telling us about the joy of homemaking. I admit to not always feeling joyful. I think this goal to outsource less will make things a little less busy and a lot more fun. It’s just something to think about.

Comments (2)

I love that Tamie. You are so wise and always come up with such great ideas. I already shared with you this past weekend how you helped me be a better mother by your example. And hearing Ty playing the piano and hearing that you were the one to teach him totally inspired me again.

And you're right. Too many times I tell myself I can't do it well enough by comparing myself to others. I may not be the best piano player, but I was primary pianist for 1.5 years and that has to mean something right? lol. I decided after hearing Ty, that I'm going to start tinkering with Spencer on the piano. We'll see how much I can teach him or how much he can pick up. But either way it will be fun!

Thanks for the gentle shove! :) It was great seeing you this weekend. I wish we lived closer. Love you!

Posted February 15, 2008 at 10:32 PM by Blogger Marcy

You are right! I haven't really thought of it that way. I always looked at it as parents who are busy involving their kids with "professional" time because they want to build the child's resemble. You always hear that parents want to "give their kids more than they had". Somehow that has translated into material things, things that time away from the family. I think you are absolutely right...our kids want to learn from us. You have such great perspective. With all the confidence our kids have in us...we can do anything!

Posted February 21, 2008 at 1:07 PM by Blogger Cyndi