It’s almost June 1st. Do you remember your New Years Resolution?
I only made one, and it wasn’t really even a resolution, per se. I chose a word, a word to help focus my mothering and my relationships with my children. Particularly, my relationships with my 5 year old twins.
My word is “Delight.”
Around New Years, I was feeling pretty discouraged about my mothering abilities. Ok, not just discouraged: guilty. And it was the worst type of guilt–MOM guilt.
When we rang in the new year, Silas was around 2 months old and he was a precious bundle of pure goodness–sweet, soft, good smelling (most of the time), and snuggly.
Having one baby was pure joy. Delightful.
I finally realized why everyone asked me, “How do you do it?” when my twins were babies.
The answer, of course, was “I just do! I don’t have a choice.” And I didn’t. I just did the best I could. I just put one foot in front of the other every day and just did it.
And I made it! Through twin babyhood and toddlerhood, and into preschool. I did it.
But having one baby made me realize something sobering. Having infant twins was really hard. So hard that there was only room for survival and not much room for joy or delight on most days.
The thing is, things got easier as my twins got older. However, my outlook and attitude remained the same–this is hard.
I didn’t let myself take delight in them because I was so caught up in the petty annoyances and frustrations that come from having twins boys–and in reality, kids in general–demanding attention, crying and yelling, wrestling, overwhelming emotions, huge messes, 100 spilled drinks a day, wrestling, crashing toys and lamps, oh, and did I mention, wrestling?
Sadly and shamefully, I realized that my primary emotion I felt toward my twins each day was annoyance. And I wanted to change.
I thought: I’ll plan dates with them. We’ll do fun things. I won’t yell so much. I will be more patient. I will do better. Be…better.
But deep down I knew that forcing myself change my behavior toward them wasn’t the issue. ‘
I needed to change my heart. I needed to see them with new eyes.
So I prayed and asked God to help me choose a word for 2013, a word that would help refocus my mothering.
Ultimately, I chose the word “Delight.”
The definition of “Delight” encompasses so many of the ways I want to view my sons:
I want to enjoy them
I want to find satisfaction in them
I want to notice the tiny things that make them tick and genuinely smile
I want to love them for who they are, not for who I want them to be.
So since January, I have been choosing delight.
Sometimes in moments of frustration, where a still small whisper reminds me, “Delight! Delight! Delight in your small, strong, rough and tumble boys.”
Sometimes in moments of creativity:
Mommy, can I help you cook?
Mommy, listen to my joke!
Mommy, look what I can do!
And instead of
Not right now.
At the beginning of the year I shared my word with a few close friends and last week, one of my dear friends told me, “I can see a change in you, in the way you talk about them. In the way you view mothering. You have more joy.”
It was easy for me to find joy in Silas. It came more naturally because I wasn’t inexperienced this time around, because I felt confident and peaceful instead of unsure and stressed out, because he was only one baby and not two.
But I needed to stop using “twins” as a synonym for “hard.” I needed to renew my thinking.
Because sometimes motherhood isn’t about moving forward–it is about going back to the beginning and starting over again.
So I started over again on January first.
I still remember my resolution. It has changed me for the better.
And I hope, for good.
Because sweet, silly, wild, loud, funny, strong, unique Micah and Benjamin, I delight in you.