Last week my daughter and I travelled to Killarney, County Kerry, for her to dance at the Irish National Championships. We were making it our special ‘Mom & daughter’ time and every minute of it was special. She loved having all of my attention and being pampered by staying in a lovely hotel (thanks to deal rush!). Do you know what she was all silly-happy about? Me sleeping in the single bed and her getting the double bed! Such simple pleasures. :-)
Killarney is beautiful. We had some time to go to Muckross House & Gardens and despite it being a misty and slightly wet day, we thoroughly enjoyed it.
My daughter, who is 11 years old, took 70 pictures of the gardens! When she realised how many pictures she’d taken she exclaimed “wow! I guess I do like gardens!”… a girl after my own heart.
The reason for this post, though, was because I’ve spent quite a bit of time reflecting on how much energy my kids put into their activities. My daughter danced her absolute best at that dance competition. There simply isn’t a word to perfectly describe the immense pride you feel when your child does their best, especially after they’ve worked so hard. She herself was overwhelmed at having “recalled” in her competition. It was a great achievement which everyone was so proud of her for.
I have to say that being “Mom” is how I identify myself. Just look at my “handle” Mom in the Garden. I love being a mom to my three kids. And with as many different people that there are in the world there are as many different styles of being a mom.
I’ve always been one to push myself and strive to improve in whatever I’m involved in. That hasn’t changed in motherhood. Now I find myself helping my children to be the best that they can be. This can be challenging in striking a balance between disciplined practice of their sports and schoolwork, and allowing them to be kids with free time and free will.
Swimming and Irish dancing are the two sports our kids participate in. I’ve been involved long enough to know that behind every great athlete are supportive parents (read: promoting healthy eating, exercise, rest, keeping track of practices, driving all over creation for events, and still more practices!). It is a lot of work, and I’m not even doing the actual activities!
The really hard work is definitely done by the kids. But I’m glad that I’m able to manage their activities and encourage them to work hard and do their best. I hope that as they get older they will bring forward the discipline of working hard, making goals, and that sense of achievement once they reach their goals. And I also hope they stick with a healthy lifestyle including healthy eating and exercising.
In the days that it has taken me to finish this post, my other daughter had some really good results in one of her swimming competitions. Believe me, we don’t always get the results we want! But I’ve seen my kids continue on and work harder when that happens.
If you walked into my house unannounced on any given day you would not be impressed! You’d find laundry hanging on drying racks, dishes in the sink, papers on the kitchen hutch and a house that definitely had a “lived in” look. This is how I strike my own balance. It works for us. So please, if you’re dropping in for a visit, just give me a call beforehand so I can tidy up a bit!
It is those moments, when the kids have their feelings of accomplishments, that make all of the crazy schedules and business (and messy house!) worthwhile. Someday there will be time enough to tidy the house…
I hope that you have the balance that you need in your life, too.