Monday, January 28, 2008

MOMS Club submission

February is the month for me to write up a little something for the local MOMS Club group we're part of. While for the most part the "mommy politics" have been non-existent, there are cliques and I've made a few faux pas in my year as a member.

Those who have made the choice to wear their brand of faith a little more prominently have had some issues. There's been issues over email signatures lines in emails going to the entire group containing Scripture. Those who don't "do" Halloween and Christmas don't participate in activities with trick or treating and Santa. Those that don't drink generally won't attend the MOMS Nights Out or Couples Nights Out due to the location of the activity (like a bar) or the fact that so many bring wine and beer to gatherings. And, in a group of nearly 60, probably less than 5 are considering home schooling as a long-term solution.

I have been spending time thinking and praying about what I should write for my little get-to-know-me debut. Here's what I wrote this morning...what do you all think?

Never wake a sleeping baby. Read to your kids every day. Prunes and applesauce are a constipated kid’s best friend. Think back (and it’s not too far back for some of us) to when you were a brand new, first time mom. We were inundated with buckets full of advice from well-intentioned folks. Some of it was helpful; some of it was not. And, we are all managing to find our way as moms regardless.

However, I’ve been thinking lately about what is some of the best advice I’ve received. I was thinking of advice that outlasted a particular circumstance or age group. And, was there a golden nugget of advice that could cross the lines of parenting philosophy, political beliefs, lifestyle, and the like. And, it occurred to me that (DaHubby) and I have one that we are trying to use everyday.

“Will this really matter in 20 years?”

Have to have the newest gadget and/or its update? In 20 years, it will be obsolete. The intentional (or unintentional) slight from a friend or family? In 20 years, it could be an event at which you’ll poke fun. The brand new couch covered in White-Out? (Oh yea, that really happened here.) Twenty years from now, it’ll be some college kid’s hand-me-down and that is IF it survives my kids’ childhood.

And, this has been a regular, nearly daily, reminder to me to think about what am I really trying to accomplish as a mom. As I choose activities for them to participate in, as I allot household funds for upcoming events, and as I worry about if I’m doing the right things and making the right choices as a parent, I fall back on this phrase.

“Will this really matter in 20 years?”

(DaHubby) and I have had a couple rough years financially. We have our beliefs to buoy and strengthen us but we’ve also had to make some tough choices about where our money is going. Particularly around Christmas. Our tree only had applesauce ornaments and paper chains this year – partially due to safety, partially due to finances. Each of my babies only got one gift each. We had to scrape together some extra cash to go over to the Detroit area to see my family. And, we went to my family’s homes without store-bought gifts – only baskets with baked goods and some cans of tomatoes from our garden last summer.

Now I don’t tell you all this for sympathy. I tell you this to tell you that despite our money struggles that this really was one of the best holidays we have ever had. No crazy shopping. No breathless running around. Just time. Time to spend hanging out, making popcorn, watching movies, seeing the lights, making cookies, visiting friends, visiting family. And, some down time to just sit and play with the kids and just talk to (DaHubby) was better than any gift we could have bought.

So, as you face the rest of winter and look towards the beginning of Spring, maybe take some time to consider what you are spending your time on. As all moms everywhere know, we only get 24 hours in a day. Are we investing those hours, that sweat and those tears, into something we will be proud to look back on when our babies are off making lives of their own? Instead of wringing every minute out of our days to stick in one more errand, activity, or commitment, maybe we should be looking at some things we can let go of. Things that won’t really matter in 20 years.

1 comment:

sara said...

That's a good sampling of what's been going on in your life! And as someone who's been following your blog for awhile now, I should know. ;))