My Son Noticed This06/04/2015 - Author: Jennifer
Yesterday, I made a smile face with my blueberries on my waffle. My 4 year old said a smile like you mommy. That comment made me smile. I was elated. I never could have imagined that this would be a conversation me and my son would have.
When my son was an infant, I did not laugh a lot. I did not realize this until one day my laugh scared him. I was watching something funny and I laughed out loud. My poor son (around 6 months old) reacted by having a scared look on his face and even jumped a little. My laugh was a foreign sound to him. It made me sad. I knew that motherhood wasn’t always going to be fun and easy, and I thought that I was enjoying being a mom, but my son showed me a different view. I did not notice that I did not have joy. Something had to change.
There was a time when I was known for my smile. There was a time when laughing was easy for me. I don’t know for sure if I can tell you exactly when that stopped, but I have an idea. It started before motherhood. Moving away from friends and a place that I love is when I lost my joy if I had to guess. Coming back to the area I grew up but feeling like a foreigner probably did not help. Not feeling connected or community could have amplified the feeling of boredom and helplessness.
So what helped?
- Exercise. I don’t have an awesome body, but my mood is a whole lot better. It really does help the mind.
- Baking. I do not like winter and when you are stuck in the house, well, I had to do something. Cooking (which is a necessity) and baking is something we can do together. Now, nothing fancy, gourmet, or pretty, but somewhat yummy is what we call a success in this house.
- Work outside of the home. I know that this isn’t popular for a lot of people, but yes, I put my son in daycare at the age of 3. I also put him in pre-school in our public school system. I can honestly say that I enjoy being a radiologic technologist (x-ray tech. NOT TECHNICIANS BUT TECHNOLOGISTS). The way all of the events worked out, well, I can only point to God because not a lot of techs can work part-time. I do not take for granted this gift. Pre-school has been a HUGE benefit to my son and his needs. They have skills that I don’t that help my son learn and succeed. It has been a HUGE benefit to our family.
I am a better mom and we are a better family due to the changes we made. God makes women to do different things. Some work outside the home. Some work from home. For others, home is work. I don’t believe in the Bible anywhere it says that mothers are not allowed to work outside of the home.
What did I learn? That my son is paying attention. It can be hard to believe at times. When it seems like I have to remind him to use good manners repeatedly I wonder if he listens or when the chores seem monotonous and you doubt that your family notices the work you do.
Yeah, kids see the bad, but they also see the good. I now believe that, even if they do not verbalize the good they see.
I am not saying that these things will help you. (Actually, exercise can’t hurt) I just want to challenge you by asking yourself if you have your joy and if not, what can you do to get it back? I hope you don’t have to wait until the kids are older or grown. Yes, you may have to have time away from kiddos, and that can be ok. Maybe God is having you get out of your comfort zone (and it may make your family squirm a little too).
I am grateful that my son and I can be happy and I have joy being a mom. I have a genuine smile when I think about how my son notices my smile.
Be blessed 🙂
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