A few days ago we were at dinner. I was reading the menu and Lia was trying to get my attention. As she said my name for the 5th time, I sighed, looked up and said: “What?”
Chastened, she said never mind and went back to her game. Instantly, I knew I had messed up. Again. My expression had been critical and impatient. As a result, Lia felt like she was a bother and not my greatest joy. I knew better.
Does Your Face Light Up?
A few months before Levi was born, I was watching Oprah. (Back when Oprah was on every day; I miss those days.) She and Toni Morrison were discussing The Bluest Eye. Toni Morrison happens to be one of my favorite authors and so I was sitting rapt as they discussed the book.
Toni Morrison said something about children: “Does your face light up when your children come into the room?” That made me pause. How would I react to my children? With joy? With impatience? When Toni Morrison said that I remembered my Grandma Janice. Her face lit up when I was around. I knew I was truly a joy to her. I always felt loved and wanted.
This question really made me think. Would I be the mom whose face lit up when her children were around? I vowed that this would be my goal. I wanted my children to know how much I loved them.
You can watch Toni Morrison say this here and Oprah’s reaction. I guess it was an Aha moment for Oprah too. It was a good question.
My Face has Dimmed
Fast forward many years. I have tried over the years to have my face light up when I see my children, but sometimes housework, whining, and the incessant cry for mom has worn me out. Like the night at the restaurant, I have let my impatience show more than I would like.
Motherhood is tough, but that is no excuse. Our children need to feel the greatest love from us. I strongly believe that connection is critical in order to teach our children. Do you want them to carry on your values? You must connect with them. Do you want them to listen to you? Connect. Do you want them to have self-esteem and self-worth? I believe both stem from connection. Our life is built on connection and belonging. It is a basic human need. So our children’s strongest connections must be with us, their parents.
So this New Year’s I’m going to do something simple but powerful. I am renewing my goal to have my face light up when my children walk into the room. And I’m going to do this with a few simple reminders.
- My home screen has been changed to a picture of Ellie’s eyes and Christmas lights. I’m sure she didn’t have my goal in mind when she and her friends took this picture. But it works perfectly for me.
- I’ve set a reminder on my phone for 2:20 and 3:00 when my children are released from school that asks: “Does your face light up when your children walk into the room?”
- I’ve added a new declaration to my morning routine that reminds me to show my joy when seeing my children.
I want my children to find their validation at home with me. I want them to remember that they are my greatest gifts. If I am constantly finding fault, or showing my impatience and exhaustion, they will not find acceptance with me.
Does your face light up when your children enter the room?
My New Year’s Resolutions blog tour kicks off today. These bloggers have some great and simple ideas to help 2018 be even better. Be sure to check out the rest of the bloggers on the tour. The links will go live as blogger’s post during the tour. Happy New Year!
Surviving the Bubble
The Sweet Me Project
BJ from Gracefull-Parenting
Purpose Driven Motherhood
Go show these bloggers some love. They are amazing.