Maybe I shouldn’t feel guilty

So as Mattie’s first grade year is well into the first semester, I find myself sad that she’s getting so much less of the fun stuff that Jacob got.  When Jacob was little, there were several of us that got together to do the fun things (that aren’t my strength). We don’t have that now for her, and it makes me sad, because honestly, she’d probably enjoy it much more than he even did!  There were cousins his age – lots of them, and we don’t have that with her, so it’s all just different. But as I was lamenting tonight and feeling sad that I’m just not doing well enough in that area for her, I realized that Jacob’s early years were very special… only him, activities geared toward only him, interests chosen for him, time with only him, books chosen for only him, etc.  But then I realized that her high school years will be the special time with only her as Jacob will have likely gone to college… activities geared toward only her, interests chosen for her, time with only her, books chosen for only her, and I guess it will all balance out. I still get frustrated that I’m not so good at the fun stuff, but this did balance it out a bit!

I had a random thought last night

I have no idea where this came from, but I realized last night that I don’t have very many conversations with my kids.  I mean conversations of any value.

When Robert comes home from work, he tells Jacob about his day.  (He tells me too, but not in a way nearly as animated as when he tells Jacob!  He makes a busted sewer pipe sound exciting and cool.)  He and Mattie talk about dancing and princesses and fun things like that.

What I realized last night is that (I guess) because I’m with the kids all the time (with the exception of less than 8 hours a week at various classes, church and Grandmama’s house), our relationship is very mundane.  I’m clearly thinking about them all the time while I fix their food, do the laundry, do school, train behavior and hearts, clean bodies, reading books before bed, etc. but our time together is not very exciting.  Maybe we’re just tired of each other!  I know Jacob and I tend to get on each others nerves rather than enjoy our time and laugh together.  We don’t have this break where we get back together and are excited to see each other again.  (I know that sounds horrible for a mother to say!)

It makes me sad, because I know that I am not promised even this day, much less any more, with my kids.  But I want to have good, fun, relationship building days with the kids.  I want them to want to be around their mama.  I want them to have good memories of their childhood, and fun memories of their mommy, not just their daddy!

I asked the Lord last night to show me how I can change this.  And today I had an opportunity where I only had Jacob so I took him out to Taco Bell just the two of us.  We actually had a conversation about a topic other than food, a chore or school assignment.  It was nice!  We made some plans for his birthday and talked about other things.  He seemed to enjoy it.

I’d love to hear your ideas on this.  I know I’m not the first mom to feel this way.