(I wrote this as a guest post for a sweet friend over here, but wanted it here as well. She asked if I would write about having three small children that are close in age and being intentional with each of them. Raising them where each feel valued and special :) )
Loving each of my babies well as individuals is really important to me. They are all different. And they have different needs and wants and it's my job to know them well enough to meet those. When I chose to be a mama, I chose to be selfless. I chose to care and love someone else before myself. That means sleepless nights and messy rooms...but it means more than that. It means truly knowing my children. Knowing their little hearts, their dreams, their fears... their needs. I desire to be intentional with my kids. Loving them as individuals and creating moments with them as individuals, not just as a group is so important to this heart of mine. And to Chris too.
Chris and I take each kiddo for 10-15 minutes each day and do something just us. It can be a simple walk down to the end of the block and back. Rocking a child and reading a story one on one. Taking one outside to feed the pets and swing on the hammock. A moment one on one to say "I see you, I care about you, tell me about your day.... just you" Something sweet and simple just the two of you to fill up their little tank. You can also do longer activities. I always take one of the three with me if I am running somewhere real quick and then we might stop for a quick ice cream together before we get back!
We all want to be seen, and special. We want to know that people are proud of us and that we are well loved and truly known. understood.
Knowing my babies and understanding who they are, what makes them tick...that's what it's all about.
It's in the little moments.
It's knowing that one of your kids will walk into church and never look back and the other will fight back tears the whole way down the hall. It's knowing one will need a few extra minutes at bedtime while the other one wants a little extra time in the middle of the day playing outside with you.
One of my kiddos never looks back. From the moment this one was born this child was super independent. It was just in this one. It had absolutely nothing to do with me. We have raised them all the same yet they are all so different. Honestly, at first my heart ached a bit. It would make my heart wince a bit when this one never shed a tear, never would turn around. But I celebrate this in this child. There is a fierce independence and it will lead this one well. I see this one as brave. The truth is, this one is just about everything that I have always wished that I could be: confident, brave, adventurous. I want this one to have that forever. I don't want the broken hearts and bullies at school and the peer pressure of life to rob this child. I want to help this one fight for it. To feel valued and worthy and everything that this one absolutely is. This child deserves better than that. I don't want to mess with the qualities that God placed in this one for a purpose.
One of my other kiddos is so much like me. This one always looks back. My mini-me. I feel like I can parent this one in a really special, beautiful way because I understand this one in a really unique way. I understand why certain things are done or said. I understand the fears and hesitation. The sensitive heart. I fear for this one in a mighty way too, I want to protect that sensitive heart- wrap steel bars around it. That tender spirit is worth fighting to protect.
Our job after all is to guide them and help them become who they are meant to be. And that means loving them and knowing them well.