Heart Talk: Cherishing Your Kids this December
One of the things that has been on my mind this month is just how fast time passes. Sometimes I feel like I can’t get ahold of the week, I wake up, its Thursday and the end of the week is already upon me. I don’t know in these moments if I’ve done all I wanted to do or been all I wanted to be because I feel so behind.
I feel this sense of ‘behindness’ acutely, I think, because I’m a busy single mom and business owner. There is a lot on my plate, I’ll start sweating and my cheeks will get hot if I think about my responsibilities too much. This feeling of ‘behindness’ doesn’t get better in December—one of my favorite months—it gets WORSE.
And that brings me to this letter to you, written from Starbucks where I am still in my seat shivering from the deep chill in the outside air.
This December let’s make time for cherishing our children, our families and the memories that we are making. If you are a busy single mom who feels like time is slipping through her fingers, this article is especially for you.
Slowing down enough to cherish the people in our lives isn’t easy because it requires time and intention. But I think ultimately our commitment to cherishing our children and the people we love will restore our sense of wholeness and help us live more deeply into our days. And I don’t think there could be a better way to use our time than this.
Here are a few simple ideas to help you make your kids feel cherished:
- Being mindful of how I wake my children up in the morning.
When the alarm goes off, I ALWAYS want to stay in bed. I’m exhausted. I wish that I could tap my kids on the shoulder and that they would instantly awaken with smiles on their faces. I wish they would pop out of bed and hurry off to get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast. I can tell you, that in 9 years of parenting this scenario has only happened a handful of times. When I go to wake my children, they are usually sleeping deeply. They wake up wining, they mutter complains, they push me away. Usually, they just want to go back to bed. My urge in the morning is to rush them from the moment I wake them up push them to get ready as fast as possible.
As I’ve considered how to change some of my habits and tendencies at home, HOW I WAKE MY KIDS UP, is one of the areas that I can easily be more mindful of.
- I give them a hug or snuggle.
- I sometimes sing something silly (my mom used to do that)
- I make sure they are actually awake before I start giving them a laundry list of to dos.
- I say something kind to them before they leave me for the day.
Be Consistent in Your Approach to Living Fully with Your Kids
I’ve told myself so many times, that I’m going to start doing this routine or that with my children but within a week or two I’ve already forgot what I thought was so important to start.
If these ideas seem simple, its because consistent demonstrations of love, affection and making sure you have ‘special time’ with your child, is how we cherish them. The hard part is being consistent.
Switch Your Mom Autopilot to ‘Off’ this Month
Sometimes we are just reacting to pressures and a lack of time rather than thinking through how we handle the interactions with the people in our life that are a part of each day’s routine. When I’m mindful of how I wake my children up I feel better for the rest of the day. Even if our morning doesn’t go smoothly and things are rushed or off track I have confidence in how I started our day together.
Here’s What This Looks Like in Our Home This December
- Commit to a Weekly Christmas Activity.
Choosing one Christmas activity a week that is easy for me to follow through on and that will keep the Christmas spirit alive in our household. The key word here is EASY or no one enjoys it, mama gets crabby. Below is a peek at what we’ve already done together or are looking forward too!
- December usually kicks off with a week of decorating the house—this is ongoing and the kids get so excited. I put Christmas music on after school or in the evening and it sets the tone (maybe I should consider this all year lol).
- We shop our local town square and the kids got hot chocolate and a reindeer cake pop from Starbucks
- Decorating gingerbread houses (Target has cute ones that are $20 initially and they reduced them locally to $10 after the first week of December)
- We bake treats for the neighbors and the kids deliver them. This is an affordable way to love the people in your life and if you have kids that are really into projects or cooking it keeps them busy for an afternoon or evening. When I want to draw this activity out and keep them busy with it, I purchase
- Handwriting letters/cards to our family members.
I’ve always been a single mom so the tradition of sending out Christmas/holiday cards hasn’t stuck yet in our household. I’m actually curious if this is common among single moms, I think its partly a time/money issue but the other part is that I guess I’d always imagined I’d take up the tradition of Christmas cards when I got married…BUT…seeing as I AM NOT YET MARRIED (it still shocking, even to me, lol) I only actually sent out cards one year. So, our take on this tradition that costs us nothing AND helps us CHERISH our loved ones is to handwrite cards to specific family and friends. We might stick them in the mail but most of these cards are given in person that lives close to us, my parents, sister or a friend.
My Hope For You & Your Kids This Month
I hope so many things for you and your kids this month. I hope you can create special memories together. That you have time to rest and enjoy each other. And that you can slow down enough to take in all the beautiful moments that each day wraps up for you. Wake your kiddos up sweetly. Try and stay calm even when things are difficult (I’m a work in progress too). My daughter likes to let me know whenever I’m ‘overreacting.’
Consider Starting A New Tradition
Start a new tradition as a family. Love on each other. Focus on what you have together and not on what’s missing. Starting a new tradition that you and your kids will look forward together is a great way to create a sense of home and establish a hopeful path forward.
If You Are Struggling with A Sense Brokenness
In my journey as a single mom, I have often struggled with the feeling of something being ‘broken,’ or ‘missing’ in our life. I have sometimes even said that my family doesn’t feel ‘whole.’
So many women a little older than me have helped put my ideas of ‘brokenness’ or ‘incompleteness’ to rest with the kind of wisdom that is only gained through time and experience. These women have poured words of affirmation and hope into my life on a regular basis and their support has changed my heart.
One mentor and friend (also my son’s teacher), said to me this week when I was talking about the woes of dating as a single mom and she gave shared a thought that lifted my heart.
This wise woman, who is also a mom said this:
‘You know, you don’t have to worry so much about not making mistakes.
Your kids will be okay because you are with them…they have you leading them and that is what they need most anyway.
If something happens, it will be okay. You know why? Because I know YOU. And not matter what happens YOU because you will make sure everything is okay for your kids in the end.
I know this about you and everyone else does too…including your kids.’
God bless this woman. Her name is JoAnn. JoAnn’s words were exactly what I needed to take in.
And if you are a single mom, you likely need to hear the same thing right now (for different reasons):
You don’t have to worry so much about making mistakes. Be with your children and love them while you live your life. You don’t have to be perfect to be enough for them.
Wishing you the best this month mama. Enjoy December. Cherish the single mom journey you are on with your kids, even if having and raising children was never something you planned to do alone.
Take care this month and I’m hoping you find your home filled with peace, love and joy as we make our way towards Christmas!
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