Top 10 things I never should have said

I wish I had known how much I would regret saying these 10 phrases. They were a regular part of my daily repertoire before cancer taught me that each moment is a gift. Slowly, slowly, I eliminated them. They creep back in, I am neglectful. I forget so easily. This, today, is my reminder, and maybe, just maybe there is a young mom out there who can lock her lips easier than I, and because of reading this, make a pact not to say these things?

1. Not tonight, honey.
Solution: Open your eyes and roll over.

2. No more kisses, it's time for nap.
Solution: Keep letting that little one kiss you over and over and over again. He'll fall asleep eventually.

3. No, I can't rock you to sleep. I need time alone.
Solution: Plan plenty of cuddling time throughout the day, especially at bedtime.

4. I'm not kissing that dirty face!
Solution: Kiss the chocolate off!

5. Go to your father, for heaven's sake.
Solution: Praise God these kids still love battered old Mama.

6. No, you can't be naked.
Solution: How about when we get home?

7. {teeth gritted} How can I be expected to keep this place clean when you keep messing it up??
Solution: Pray while you're in the grossness of clean-up,
then realize that they'll eventually all poop in the pot,
take their shoes off at the door, and put their clothes in the hamper.

8. I'm busy, can you ask me later?
Solution: Turn away from your computer, your recipe, your mop, and answer the question.
Teach your children to answer their own questions while you're at it.

Caleb's very last nursing session in 2008
9. No nursing now, Mama's busy.
Solution: Nurse. Every chance you get. They'll grow up.
Way too fast. And you never know when something that felt totally natural
might just become way more complicated than you ever imagined.

10. Wipe that look off your face right now.
Solution: Show compassion. "Can you tell me why you're crying?"

It took me way too long to realize it, but I love being the mom the kids won't climb off of, the mid-day story reader, the anytime comforter, the kisser of bruises and bandager of scrapes. The aunt whose niece runs to her for a kiss the very first thing when she arrives. The mom at the campground who hands out organic apples and glow sticks. Who lets her kids throw Black Cat Pops anywhere they would like. The sparklers-before-bed mom. The who-cares-if-the-toilets-have-a-ring-in-them mom.

Be that mom. Don't be the mom I started out as. Be the mom that I have learned to be.

Thought Provoking Thursday link-up

*an edited repost from the 2011 archives as we drive home from northern MN on icy roads today!