I often forget to think about what my children see when they look up.
My oldest children are four years old and almost four feet tall and two years old and almost three feet tall. Then there’s my six-month-old who is rolling and playing on the floor.
It got me thinking about how much they don’t see and how much they actually do see.
How many times have you been yelling at one kid to then notice out of the corner of your eye the other just watching? Me too.
Lately, I’ve been really intentional about taking a step back and looking at myself and the world the way my children would.
We went for a family walk recently to a small grassy area and I got down to their level on the grass while they were looking up at the sky. We began pointing out all of the clouds and the shapes they were forming. I realized I haven’t been spending as much time down at their level with them. I haven’t been playing on the floor, creating sheet tents, rolling around on pillows, or even making puzzles.
They spend so much of their time down below my point of view. I need to meet them there.
How tiring to always be looking up, being told where to go and what to do. I think this as I guide my daughter to the bathroom through the massive walls and tall ceilings. I’m always trying to move my children from one big place to the next.
I forgot that they see things differently than I do, as an adult would. Everything is so much bigger to them and smaller to us.
Their willingness to forgive and forget the ugliest things they see is such an inspiration. One of the things that I love most about children is that their hearts and minds are still so pure and untainted.
I want to see myself as a mother the way my children see me. We are incredibly hard on ourselves and question our mothering on the daily. But our children look at us and see us as their whole world.
My kids see me as their protection, love, and home.
I want to be a mother that remembers to practice the pause. Pause in the moment, get on the floor, play, talk, and laugh. Answer the small questions about clouds in the sky and the colors of cars that drive by.
Not to mention the unthinkable: the way our children love our bodies because they were created from them. My children never mention the extra weight I carry because I was pregnant with them. Or the way my bathing suit fits me or doesn’t fit me. I have never once had my child ask my why I don’t have make-up on or why I haven’t washed my hair in three days because my newborn wasn’t sleeping.
Be kind to yourselves, mama. Love yourselves the way your children do.
See yourselves through your children’s eyes. I challenge you to spend a whole day at their level. Sit on the floor, play, lay outside, and look up at the clouds. You won’t regret the pause and grace you will find for yourself as a mother.