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Embracing Motherhood: Learning to Swim with My Kids

cute kids at swimming pool

I took my kids swimming the other day and actually swam with them.

I didn’t sit on the edge and count heads like I normally do. I didn’t sit in my chair reading a book even though that would’ve been really nice.

I got in the water and played alongside them, and guess what? I had fun.

Maybe it’s because the years are flying by, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my own thoughts and perceptions of motherhood. I don’t want to simply survive motherhood or see this as a season when I “pay my dues” until my kids are older and we can have some real fun.

I’m learning to embrace motherhood—every season of it.

In order to do that though, I’m learning the importance of making an effort to do things that I enjoy and to take breaks.

I’m learning to continue to do things that I enjoy.

I love reading a good book. I can stay up late into the night if a book grabs my attention. My favorite past-time is beach vacations spent lying on a blanket in the sand reading. That’s not something mothers get to do very often.

Since becoming a mom, I don't have the luxury to stay up late or lie on a beach. Reading became something I tossed aside when graduate school and motherhood collided eight years ago.

This year I've made it a priority to do more of what I enjoy... reading.

I didn’t make a lofty goal to read a specific number of books this year, because I didn’t want another checklist. I don't need more pressure. I need to do simple things that I enjoy that allow me to get refreshed and renewed. The priority is to get lost in a book every now and then because I enjoy it.

Plus, good writers are good readers.

I’m learning how essential breaks are to me.

A few months ago, I told Scott that I needed a motherhood break. I didn’t need a night out or a trip to the store by myself. I needed a ‘get on an airplane and fly far away’ break. I was feeling exhausted.

I can’t rest at home. Even if the kids are occupied, there are always a million tasks that I want or need to handle. Plus, I don’t really know what to do with downtime. Is there such a thing?

Scott heard my plea for a break and sent me on a weekend getaway to a friend’s house in Texas. He gave me the gift of sleeping in, eating hot food, lying by a pool, reading a book, chatting with a great friend, and being just me for three days.