Tuesday, July 19

our kind of perfect

i met her.

you know her, too. i'm sure of it.

the "perfect" mom.

the one who has it all together.

the one who's kids speak fluent english, spanish and french at age 3 and have been in some sort of school since 6 months old. she is all made up and i am in a baggy t-shirt and threw a headband on to cover up the hair situation. her kids shirts are button up style, with khaki shorts all clean and crisp. you know these kids too. baby gap models.

they say yes, ma'am to everything she says. they are the star tap dancer and soccer tot. she has play dates scheduled with all the other hipster mamas every single day. and i'm sure she runs 12 miles a day and has never eaten a whole bag of starburst in one sitting either. not like i did last night or anything.

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so, as i was wiping my sweaty forehead at the park and she wasn't sweating at all (perfect moms don't sweat either), she listed off all of her kids' outstanding qualities while i i looked over at my boys. brody, in his mismatched outfit, was shouting "KEEIS was a wee little man a wee little man was he, he climbed up in a sycamore tree for the LORD he wanted to see!" and then proceeded to tell the her son, "my name is steve and i eat my pasketti with NO sauce", while foster ate dirt and quite possibly hit a small child upside the head with a plastic shovel.

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i smiled really big.

not about the shovel.

but about everything else.

my boys are really enjoying their childhood. they might not be the most educated and the best dressed but they love the life they were given and are learning to love the God that created them.

they are happy.

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this blog post may be partially formed off the conversation that keeps happening when i say that i am not sending brody to preschool in the fall.

a lot people i come across have signed their child up for every thing they possibly can. sports and dance and music and pre school 6 days a week and play dates every.single.day. there was a time when brody was littler that i asked myself, am i doing something wrong? when i didn't join in on a daily trips to the museum, park, pool, library, etc.

but, it wasn't long before i realized that it wasn't for me. it wasn't for us.

i think it's fabulous if you are the mama who is busy and your kids thrive off of that busyness.
i think it's fabulous if you are the mama who is sending your three year old to preschool.

it's just not for us at this time in our life.

don't get me wrong, we love our friends, and play dates, and trips. but we love our home, backyard and just being with each other a bit more. (and by home, i am including my parents house which is approximately 7 minutes away driving. their house has the POOL. need i say more?) if we are invited to go along somewhere that i can already envision the insane chaos that will take place, i am going to say no. we like trying new things and going new places but remember…my kids are only 3 and 1. three and one. we have a lot of years ahead of us for all those places.

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i am constantly reminded of how quickly this time goes and how they are only little for a little while. so for now? i'm letting them run around with their shirts off. i'm letting them splash in the kiddie pool every morning. i'm letting them color, and paint, and play, and love our little home.

when i look back on my childhood my favorite things were with my family. they were in my home. in my backyard. playing dollhouse with my sisters, catching frogs in the ditch, kickball in the backyard.

more and more i have been feeling the urge to slow down. to love it being the three of us all day. and love it even more when it's the four of us at night.

it's home. it's right for us. and it's our kind of perfect.

47 comments:

  1. Our boys are 13, 10 and 9 and we still stick close to home because that's what suits us best. My kids are not sports guys or activity gurus. We are homebodies and my boys are thriving in school, so don't worry about not doing all the activities. Just letting them be kids has worked pretty amazingly so far, so I think you are on the right track too!

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  2. I love this. And I love your heart.
    I can completely relate.
    I know that perfect mum too...she's present in many (most) of the ladies I do life with.
    They're gorgeous but a little too perfect for me.
    I homeschool my three as of this year because I love having them at home, and truth me told no teacher in this world could love them like I do.
    People don't understand that, they ask "don't you get sick of having them around you all the time?" or "I couldn't do it, I need my space too much". And I don't understand that.
    But i respect it.
    And I love that my babies love for God is being to be deepened and strengthened.
    We're honest with them about finances and the rest and we pray with them about it so that when God answers our prayer they see His greatness!
    I love my God and i love my life!
    xx Stacey

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  3. oh wow...this post is about as perfect as perfect gets! SO beautiful!!!! your heart is so raw. bless you sweet mama ...those boys are the luckiest ever! can't wait to give you a big hug @ blog sugar (i'm going solo and would love to say hello)!

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  4. This is almost exactly where I am at - see my post from this morning: http://jfrogster.blogspot.com/2011/07/super.html We have purposefully not put any of the kids into sports or gymnastics or anything like that. In fact, this year I am homeschooling the daughter, a fact which gets a lot of negative attention from others. You are exactly right - what's right for your family is most important!
    and really - I'll bet those "perfect moms" go home and after their kids go to bed, take a Valium and go to bed early to prepare for another insane schedule the next day. :)

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  5. I'm the process of becoming a momma through adoption and I already fight this battle in my head. I think I am leaning more toward your style :) and I happen to like headbands and baggy shirts and playful kiddish kids and starburst (which are too good NOT to eat in one sitting)!

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  6. Oh you said it all! I. Love. Being. Home.

    I grew up on a farm and when I look back at the memories I treasure the most, it's playing with my family at home & going to church stuff! I seriously do not remember one playdate!

    I personally couldn't imagine sending my kids to any type of school til they were at least 4. But I am a big wuss. :)

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  7. you make me a better mom, friend. my tears are spilling over, my heart is full and I wish like anything i could be in on the body slam action come september. love you.

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  8. love this danielle! i have been slowing down alot in the day time too and the kids are more well behaved because of it!

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  9. i love this.
    pretty sure every time i read something that you post, i thank the LORD for allowing our paths to cross.
    xo,
    a

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  10. LOVE this post!!!!!!!!!! Refreshing:) so glad I'm not the only one who feels this way!! I absolutely love staying home with my littles. So funny because I've had to start defending myself too for not sending my 3 year old to prescho this fall along with everyone else. Absolutely love this post!!!!!!! :)

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  11. We tried preschool for my then 4 yr old last fall, it just wasn't for us...I'm not even considering preschool for my now 3 yr old, this time is just way too precious!xoxo

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  12. Oh I hear you - I'm the mum that hasn't really focussed on sports and ever other extra curricular activity - family time is way too important than living in the car rushing from here to there. You rock!

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  13. I really love this post!! So many times I sit there and compare to other moms what I'm probably doing wrong or how I need to do more things with my baby. (especially through blogs. So many perfect moms!) But I love how you said to just slow down and enjoy our own life to the fullest and do things our own way how we know best. Love love love this!

    Megan
    megancamille.blogspot.com

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  14. lovely post.
    oh and there is no such thing as the perfect mom because right now that perfect mom is writing a blog post about how she met you "the perfect mom".
    amen to not putting your kids in everything.

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  15. Lovely photos :)

    What a happy family, I hope to have my own happy family just like this one day!

    Niki @ LQM&M
    xo

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  16. Well said. LOVE this post so much.

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  17. that's our kind of perfect too.

    we decided not to sign the kids up for anything they didn't come directly to us and ask for. in my mind, if they can't grasp the concept of what it is beforehand, and form the desire to want to participate--then they don't really want to do it.

    our time has come, and now my older sons play baseball, and do art classes, and are testing the waters of many other activities. and. it. rocks.

    it rocks my socks off!!

    there is a time and a season for everything.

    we homeschool now, and we are still kind of homebodies, but i see it as a great gift that we are able to give our children. the gift of a carefree childhood!

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  18. Yes.
    :)
    Fynn starts preschool in the fall, he'll be five in November. I got a lot of flack last year for not signing him up... but I wanted him home. Like you said, they're only little for a short time, and there's no need to push them out the door if it's not whats on your heart.

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  19. I love this post! And I got the wreath you sent me and it's the most beautiful thing I have ever seen! Ever. I love it so much that I joked to my husband I was gonna wear it around my neck haha!

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  20. I'm right there with ya, sister! Couldn't agree more!

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  21. Sigh. I love this post. I'm a soon-to-be mama for the first time (!) and this really resonates with me. I hope to have this similar perspective as you. I love your heart for God and for letting your boys be...boys. :) Rock on, sista!

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  22. if it's possible, i think i like you even more after this post-- and i always thought YOU were one of those perfect moms... but for the reasons you say you're not. go, sweating with your kids. yay, playing at home. woo hoo, building strong relationships with God.

    also, i loved the starburst story.

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  23. My favorite memories as a kid were PLAYING at my own HOUSE! Sure all that other stuff is good, but kids need the freedom to just be kids!

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  24. i totally get it, we are pretty much the same way and my kids are 4 and 6! charlotte will start preschool this fall, one month before she turns five, wyatt was the same, they both have October birthdays. everyone thought i was crazy for only sending them to one year of preschool, too--whatever, i do what makes us happy which means we rarely "follow the crowd" which is fine by me ; ) i think you are a great mama danielle!

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  25. I am with you, girl! We love keeping things simple and being at home. And only you know what is best for your family!

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  26. Couldn't agree more! My favorite days are the ones when were home all day. I think it's so easy to become overwhelmed with activities and play dates - and you have to intentionally make a choice to slow down. :) Enjoy your day with the boys!

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  27. This is one of the most touching posts I have ever read. Thank you for being so honest and so raw. Sometimes it is hard when we see that "perfect" woman. I am not even a mom yet, but I have a few of those people in my life that look like they have it all together. Sometimes I get a bit intimidated for a moment, but then like you said...I stop and realize that I'm thankful for MY life. I am thankful to be a new wife even though I suck at doing laundry and keeping house sometimes. Everyone is different, and God's plan is different for everyone. Thank you for sharing this! Great lift-me-up post this morning!

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  28. You are right on! I have three boys - 9, 6 & 3. The older two didn't go to preschool and the youngest won't either. Their time at home is so fleeting! We actually made the decision this past spring to join the ranks of weird, homeschooling families this fall. I'm excited to have my boys home even more!
    Our time with our kids at home is precious. We need to guard it and use it wisely! It'll be gone before we know it.

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  29. That's so perfect. Less is more, right?

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  30. You know what? I'm so glad to read this. This is how we roll- doing little life things at home, and having fun, and living and loving and learning and making mistakes. Our kids are 11, 8 and 8. And I have yet to regret spending time with them and not pushing them. I do regret the time and energy I put into feeling inferior to other mothers, though... No more. Thanks for sharing!!

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  31. YOU are enough for those boys.
    Right now.
    And going forward.

    Never to compare to others.

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  32. In my nearly-quarter-century of parenting, I have *never* regretted heeding the leading of the Holy Spirit when it comes to parenting the kids HE gave to us. He gave them, specifically, to US, specifically. Our youngest is only four, so I still have a lot of years of heeding ahead of me, too. :-)

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  33. i love this. i love that you let your boys have a carefree and wonderful childhood. schedules come soon enough. :)

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  34. great post! I love my memories of being at home just playing. I've done something different with all of my kids for preschool based on what I thought would be best for them. My 3rd (he is 3) will not be going to preschool this year and I may not send him when he is 4 either. And yes, some people think that is weird, but I know better. I know how quickly the time comes when they are gone at school all day and I'm in no hurry. Enjoy it sister!
    PS, my wreath is even more beautiful in person!

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  35. I love this, and I can totally relate. It sounds perfect to me!

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  36. wow. great post! i love it. we all know moms like that and we all compare ourselves to moms liek that. no fun.
    i did put alivia in preschool 2 days a week and we both loved it. however, i am starting to think more about alternate schooling choise for kindergarten. i dont want my kids to go to school and SIT DOWN for 8 hours a day. and that really bugs me! i want my kids to learn and run and play and create. not SIT and be bored and forced to learn things they dont want to learn. i have one more year to figure that out for livi. she will go to preschool 3 days a week this fall ( from 830 to 1230) and we both love it... but i am so confused about next year!

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  37. Great post today, especially the first part. We just moved from a more rural area to a city (the city where I grew up and swore I would never move back to....doesn't the Lord have a sense of humor) and we struggle with not having our kids signed up for tons of activities and with our choice to send them to public school not private.

    The good thing is this: God created us all unique and different and the way we parent reflects that too. These are your children so do what you want, with lots of prayer and His guidance!

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  38. i think you are right on. they grow so fast enjoy them while you can. pretty soon they will be starting jr.high. *promise i'm not pouting :'( and want to hangout with their friends more than you. *still not pouting
    ok... maybe i'm full on bawling now.
    moms who seem perfect on the outside are big ugly messes on the inside and are missing out on their bebes.
    at least that has been my experience. i pray for them.
    xxO you awesomely fantastical momma!

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  39. Oh, Danielle, I think that you're the one that has it figured out! You're so right, and as you will hear until your kids have babies I'm sure, it doesn't really ever slow down! We moved 15 miles out of town, and whenever I wonder in frustration why God brought us here, I always think it is to slow down. (We have seven littles) SLOW DOWN. Enjoy every little droplet that you can...you certainly won't regret it. And, since I'm sure it totally matters since you don't even know me...mismatched and disheveled is so much more real anyway, don't you think?? :)

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  40. I loved this post. I'm so encouraged right now. My first sweet baby is 3 weeks old and I've been having some new mama anxiety about everything to come & my husband keeps reminding me to sit and enjoy every single second of this precious time. Thanks for the reminder!!

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  41. Less is definitely MORE! This was a great post and a good reminder to slow it down. Thanks girl!

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  42. i love this. very encouraging!

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  43. yes as a mom of three whose oldest is 10 yet it seems like just yesterday he was 2...time flies by so fast. i have never been in a hurry to send my kids away. i try not to get wrapped up into what "other mothers" are doing. god made me the mama to my 3 precious babes and i have to decide on my own what's best for them regardless what every other mom is doing. good for you!

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  44. Love it!

    Just found your blog and so appreciated this post.

    I am a Mama of 12, and yes, they grow up much too soon. My older 6 are now 20-27. I'm so glad that I didn't stop after 6 ... my life is now full with the younger 6 (ages 9-18).

    I, too, did NOT fill my children's lives with all of the STUFF. We stayed home ... or went to the park ... and PLAYED.

    Hope your week is BLESSED!

    Laurel :)

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  45. Love this!! It's encouraging to read posts like this and know that I'm not the only momma that feels this way. The little moments are also the most special! Thanks for sharing :)

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  46. your post made me laugh. and has also only continued to throw fuel to the fire of my hermitness.

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  47. do you even KNOW how rad you are? i hope so. even though i did send both mine at 3, and even though we have medium-busy lives, i think you and i are on the same road. we are both constantly evaluating every choice, every chance, every opportunity, and every relationship through the lens of God's BEST for our children regardless of what others say or think. and that is why we're friends. not because we end up with the SAME choices. but because we use the same prayerful, intentional methods to GET to those choices. and THAT is what matters :) love you.

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