Squeak, squeak

5:44 PMHeather

I was a really good mom. WAS. Back in the day when I just had one child. Chris and I often laugh when we look back at those easy days when we could double team him. Of course, during the day, I could practice man-to-man defense. Or rather mom-to-man defense.

Somewhere after the second child, I began to feel as though I was falling short with the multitasking aspect of motherhood. I laughed at my naive rookie mom self who used to have anxiety about meeting the needs of ONE child. I scoffed at her...as I tried to juggle the needs of TWO children. When I look back at photos from those early days, I remember how we thought Collin was such a big boy when he became a brother. He wasn't. I really had two babies. And, zone defense wasn't going as well as I'd hoped.

Of course, three years later...child number three entered the mix. I told myself, as I rocked in fetal position sucking my thumb in a corner, that it wasn't that bad. Child #1 was at kindergarten for MOST of the day. So, REALLY, I only had three children to one parent for a few hours a day.

The old saying "the squeaky wheel gets the oil" took on new meaning. Or, in "mommy-ese," the child who cries loudest wins mommy's attention. God must have whispered the requirements of a third child to Caris in utero because she seemed to know that Mommy couldn't always run to meet a need when she cried. Bless her heart--she had to wait for Mom's attention. Of course, I'd learned by then that if she was hungry, it wouldn't kill her to wait a few moments while Mommy wrangled the toddler and kindergartner.

The funny thing is that 5 years later, I can see those times as the good ole days. (And, I hope my kids will see it the same way and not end up in therapy). But, I am able to look back and think of the sweet baby coos and the adorable toddler expressions of love, like giving me rocks to put in vases. Or the darling love notes written phonetically as only a five-year-old can compose. (Who needs those pesky vowels, anyway?)

The truth of it is that while my children squeaked, and I juggled....my husband was quiet. He offered great support and understanding, and seemed able to embrace how very far down the list he had fallen.

Which brings me back to this great Love Dare challenge that I've been blogging about. I am enjoying trying to think of how to meet his needs, or smile while doing those little things, or finding a way to build in margins. But, mostly--I am reminded (and convicted) of how important it is to be intentional to care for the needs of my husband. Long after my "babies" fly the nest, he and I will grow old together. I better spend time investing in HIM so we aren't strangers rocking on the front porch watching our grandchildren. Right now, on Day 13, this is the biggest impression I am left with--making HIM more of a priority.

Thank goodness my kids are big enough now that they can clean themselves after they go potty, read books to themselves, and even throw together a little snack on their own--because my husband just might need me. And, he's WAY to humble to squeak.

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