7 Ways to be Intentional Before They Leave the Nest

7 ways to be intentional

Lately we have had several family members and friends who have had new babies.  I have to admit I have LOVED holding the new little ones, getting a whiff of them, touching their skin and soft fuzzy hair.  It takes me right back to holding each of my little ones when they were born.  It feels like we were just there and it blows my mind how fast it has gone by.

I know everyone warns you about how fast it will go, but sometimes there are moments that just knock you over with how fast it has gone, and it is really gone.  I think my sense has been heightened knowing that we are done having babies so every phase my youngest one goes through is the last time I will go through that phase.

I am a BOY MOM!  I have four little guys that call me mommy.  I had the first three in three years and took a three year break before having the baby.  Keeping up with four boys ages 7 and under can be exhausting at times.  Add to that the fact that my husband has a crazy schedule that leaves me by myself with the boys over half of every week, and it can leave me feeling very alone and exhausted.  I am an introvert through and through and often tend to see things differently than most other young moms so finding mommy groups is difficult for me.  That doesn’t help my feeling of being alone and exhausted at times.

One of my favorite sayings that I remind myself of when I am having a tough day and my husband isn’t there to lean on it, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

Can I get an Amen!!!

On the longest days were I am hanging on and watching the clock to make sure it is not TOO early to put the kids to bed early,  I remind myself that it will all be over in a blink of an eye and they will not need their mama any more.

On the eve of our oldest turning 6, I looked at my husband and said, “Those 6 years flew by and we only have two more of those before he is 18 and flying the coop.”  We discussed how we wanted to be intentional about how we use that time.  That was almost two years ago next month.  WOW!

Sometimes I fail at being intentional, and even worse sometimes I fail and lose my cool blowing up on my precious boys.  It wrecks me with guilt and I have to go and apologize to them asking them for their forgiveness.

Through the few years of experience I do have though I have learned to relax more and realize that spills will happen.

I am learning not to rush as much but just sit and hold my babies when they are asking me to.  They won’t always ask.

I understand that the house work and laundry will pile up again.  I remind myself that they will remember me on the trampoline with them more than they will remember how clean the house was or how early they arrive.

I am no where near perfect and have a long way to go, but I have found a few things that help me through this adventure of parenting.  I have compiled them in a list so that maybe they can help you too. 

Here are some things you can try:

  1. Have a routine – I do not have a rigid routine, but I have a basic outline of how each day will typically go with a cleaning schedule, laundry schedule, and chore system.  With homeschooling this routine helps us out tremendously.  The kids find security in the routine, and I must admit I do too.
  2. Form your own mom group – Given that it has been hard for me to find a mommy group, I have come to the conclusion that I may just need to start my own.  I know that other like minded mommies can offer great comfort and support.  This is probably a big part of why I am even blogging – to connect with other moms.
  3. Recharge yourself – Although sometimes I struggle to do so without feeling guilty, I know that I have to make time for myself to recharge.  Nobody wants a mommy running on empty!  Recharging myself sometimes means letting my husband put the kids to bed while I just go stroll through Target.  Who doesn’t love Target?! Sometimes it is making myself a cup of hot tea while the boys have quiet time.  Recharging can be a date night (my personal favorite!), going to lunch with a friend, investing in hobbies, taking a nap (rare, but oh so good!), sitting with a good book or anything that relaxes you.
  4. Don’t over schedule and PROTECT FAMILY TIME – Especially with my husband’s work schedule, when we are able to be together as a family, I guard that time like a hawk.  I struggle when things get over scheduled.  Family time is  a HUGE priority to me.
  5. Be thankful at all times – My amazing husband has started his own blog on being thankful over at Gratitude Strong.  I strongly recommend you give it a look.  As he has taken his own journey toward thankfulness and we have studied God’s word together, gratitude has been at that forefront of my mind.  Last night we were reading Hebrews 11 which is the faith chapter and afterward we discussed how faith and gratitude go hand in hand.  It is my interpretation that gratitude is praise to God for the things you have and experience.  Giving praise in even the worst of circumstances is faith that God is in control.  He loves you, and is working all things for your good.  Don’t wish for something else, but be thankful for where God has you.
  6. Stay in God’s word – A couple of months ago my husband and I made it a priority to read the Bible together.  We have just chosen books of the Bible and read through them a chapter a night.  We discuss them together without any commentaries or studies, but just the two of us and the Holy Spirit.  I cannot tell you the difference it has made for our home.  The tone of the home has improved and our marriage has gone to new heights.  God is good!
  7. Remember it is a process – Parenting little ones into adults takes time and training and retraining.  Try not to get frustrated if it is not perfect the first time and don’t give up.  God gave you those little ones because He knew you were the one for the job.  Cover them in prayer and train them up in the ways of the Lord and they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

These lessons have often been learned the hard way, but I am oh so grateful that God has given me these little blessings and is walking me through the process.  The more I lean on my Savior and realize that He holds my precious family, the more I enjoy the process.

I love the time on the trampoline with my boys, running through the house being a gorilla chasing my little bananas, tickle fights and being told by my four year old that I can go in the “manly cave” because I am tough when I wrestle.  I can see my almost 8 year beginning to flap his wings a little and know the others are right behind him.  I know graduations will be here before I know it.  I don’t want to miss it, but rather soak up every second.

I would love to hear from you if any of these tips are a help to you or if you have any to add, and pray for you and your journey as a mom.

Here is to being intentional and living it to its fullest!

Sarah

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