It’s officially spring break in Texas, which means mamas everywhere are doing all the things. They run the gamut of family trips, mission trips, staycations, squeezed in experiences, to simple strategies for keeping kids safe and alive while mama continues to fulfill her grown-up adult responsibilities. I’m somewhere in the middle all of it. Since we snuck in an early long weekend trip, the boys are finding fun ways to entertain themselves at home, while I’m trying to find times to be fully present and engaged, while also catching up on all the things I got behind on during our trip.
It’s the ever-shifting of the “mama priorities”.
A fun new activity for us this spring break is playing Texas Hold’em. Our new neighbors (who are not from Texas) taught the boys how to play one night, a month or so ago, and they’ve loved it ever since. So much so that they were really hoping I would learn a thing or two during our “You’re in Luck” casino night GNO. But sadly, I did not. I mostly just learned how to ring a bell and pass out chips, while all the attendees learned to play Blackjack. And we made up a few rules of our own that night, like the “Queen of Hearts” being instantly worth an extra $100, because . . . HeartStories. Those don’t seem to apply with the boys, but nevertheless, they are slowly teaching me the rules and we’ve been sneaking in little games of Blackjack here and there.
We’re constantly cackling about our ridiculous luck and the differences in our propensities for risk.
After Noah dealt this particular hand, I got a great kick out of picking up my cards. For starters, because it looked like I might actually do well with this one. But mostly, because I had the queens. Especially, the Queen of Hearts. I didn’t get my extra $100, but the irony wasn’t lost on me.
Mamas are the Queens of Hearts.
We love so big. We love so well. We feel it all; the love, the stress, the worry, the responsibility of making sure the kids turn out alright. In my mastermind group of women business owners, there’s a constant theme of working through the balance between doing work we love, and are so passionate about, while also being fully engaged and present in the lives of our “babies”. Not because it’s our responsibility, but because it’s what our hearts long for. It’s simply how we’re wired.
But the lie we constantly fight is that we have to give up one, for the other.
It’s that you’re either a good mom, fully engaged, or you’re not. It’s tempting to feel like, if you’re not present for every moment, you must be falling short in some way. But in your heart, you know better. The kids are doing fine. They are resilient. They are strong. They need some free time and space.
They need you, no doubt, but they don’t need ALL of you.
They need your love, your guidance, your care, your encouragement, and your interest in their lives. But they also need you to let them figure some things out on their own. They need to learn how to make their own fun, without an electronic device in their hands. Mostly, they need you to believe that they can.
You can hold them both.
Both the longing to be constantly by their sides with love, AND the knowing that independence and struggle is good for them. You can be their rock, strong and constant, while they swim out a little over their heads.
None of us are doing it perfectly.
But acknowledging the tension, and holding it close to your heart this spring break, is what makes you The Queen.
The Queen of Hearts.
You’re doing the best you can, and eventually, they will understand.
to more love,