I truly believe that being a mother is one of the greatest and most important things I will do with my life. I also believe that most other mothers feel that way as well, regardless of how we go about it. I've talked with lots of friends, both with children older than mine and younger. We all have common struggles, joys, heartaches, and victories. Sometimes it is hard to see the greater value in our daily tasks. If our focus is slightly off, we tend to miss out on the many rewards we are given each day. I don't want to miss them.
As you know, I like schedules, tasks, and goals. Sometimes my focus is less on the purpose behind the task than it is on the task... but the purpose is what is valuable. The purpose is where I can find enjoyment, encouragement, and even FUN. I don't want to waste my days accomplishing a bunch of tasks and missing all the "moments" with my kids. Every day that I look at Ephraim and realize how much bigger and older he has gotten, my heart breaks just a bit. It makes me feel that much more resolve to capture and enjoy the next day with him even more.
Personally, I have this little pep talk with myself several times a day. "Self (because that's what I call myself), you better enjoy these moments with your kids. They are never going to be fun in quite this same way again. You're not going to get this day back, but you can make a worthwhile memory. You and your kids can look back and both know that you truly enjoyed being together. You don't need other people to make your life fun. You don't need to go somewhere to make your life fun. You don't even need money to make your life fun. You can have fun making breakfast. You can have fun playing with toys. You can have fun doing crafts, playing at the park, having camp outs in the living room. There is nothing stopping you from having a fun life with your kids. So have FUN." I am not the kind of mom who shirks away from glitter because it's messy. Honestly, I love the stuff and appreciate a bit of glitz in my carpet. :) I think I may actually enjoy Sunday night living room camp outs with the kids more than the kids themselves! ;) I really do want my kids to have lots of enjoyable memories with me. Sure, there is discipline and hard work, but I genuinely want them to look back and realize that I chose to be with them, that I enjoyed them, and that I valued them, even when they were very little. I think that the ability to think (and play!) like a child is a really important parenting skill.
So, what do you do? How do you keep yourself motivated? How do you have fun with your kids?