Wednesday, February 13, 2013

the post i need to read myself

lately i've been more aware of what my children need from me:

the me that is~
checking email
disguising errands as mommy-daughter time
pretending that i'm listening
being efficient and productive

but the me that is ~
on the floor playing
reading stories
pushing them on the swings
listening to them
dance partying
letting them "help" me make dinner or fold laundry
paying attention just to them
wasting time
allowing the mess, the to do list, the tasks to just sit

don't get me wrong, 
i am all about integrating my kids into my routine. 
there is plenty to do in each day, and i'm not suggesting that i play all the day long while mountains of laundry pile up burying us in an avalanche of dirty kids' clothes.
and i have three deadlines right now,
a studio full of half finished paintings,
a website that needs to be made,
a house that could use some major loving,
and on and on and on.

but i've begun to notice how much my children have to compete with to get their own mom's attention:
my phone
my work
my computer
my self-expectations for how much i should accomplish in a day
my to do list
my blog

my, my, my.

and so,
 i've been trying to take a break from what is either often an ego issue 
(as in, "i've gotten everything on my to do list done, plus kept two kids alive today so i feel pretty great about myself")
or a connection issue
(as in, "if i don't check my email or texts or instagram or facebook then i'll be so out of the loop")

will the world end if i'm a little less on task and a little more intentional as a mom?
then i teach my kids that i value relationship with them more than their (or my) accomplishments and achievements.

here is to my house being messy,
my inbox being full (who am i kidding, it's already full),
my to do list less crossed off

and my kids feeling loved, nurtured, and celebrated as we play, learn, and laugh together.


  1. amen and thank you.

    i needed to read these words today.

    i have learned so much from your dynamic mama-ing in the past years. you are the real deal, susannah. xo

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  3. thank you. I just had this convo with a girlfriend the other day and she said, "sorry I haven't been responding to your texts as quickly as usual, I decided that when Lily's home (age 5), that my phone stays in my room because it was taking away from QUALITY of time with her - quantity is the same - but the quality of it has taken a turn since I've let the phone go." I haven't blogged for ages and this is the first post I've read in ages. But I've been packing to move and painting and cleaning and blah blah blah. and when I'm not doing that, I'm on my computer checking emails,fb, etc. The same msg w/in a week. and it's a GREAT one. Now off to pack more before the kiddies get up for school!

  4. my children are grown but i don't regret one time of putting myself aside for them. they are worth it, they are worth it, they are worth it. AND, when they're older the relationship is still there. i love hanging with my girls now. i met jair in london last week, we went for mexican, saw schwitters at tate britain, walked along the thames and then had good coffee and amazing chocolate cookie, while talking all day long. xx it's worth it sooz. you're AMAZING!!! xx

  5. Needed to read this. Really needed to read this. When there are so many competing demands on my time, and exemplary coworkers with four kids who by all reports are great teachers and actually find time to do meaningful research plus keep up with their hobbies and social life, I tend to get really down on myself, to the point of actually feeling a little guilty when I devote my time exclusively to Ben and let other things slide. But screw all that. Cuddling with him and reading a book makes both of us feel fantastic, even if it means I don't log in and respond to that burning e-mail for a few more hours.

  6. As a follow-up: Absolutely nothing whatsoever, no matter how fantastic or healthy or beautiful, can even begin to ameliorate the horror that was the Newtown massacre. But I gotta say, that was a wake-up call if there ever was one. Pretty much right then and there I made a vow never to pass up a good opportunity to hug my child. I hug him when I'm happy, sad, angry, whatever. I hug him when he's being difficult, or even an outright PITA. And maybe it's just a coincidence, maybe he was naturally moving into this phase anyway, but a change has come over him -- he's more secure, confident, reasonable, and cooperative. Maybe it's the hugs, maybe it's where he was going anyway, but I'm going to play it safe and keep up Operation Hug All The Time.

  7. You are SO wise--I think you already do a good job of being with the girls(and Matt), but it is always good to look carefully at what is going on because its easy to get sidetracked!!! XXOO

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