When you’re raising kids, so many things matter.
So many things.
In fact, it’s really easy for me- as an Enneagram Type 1- to fall into the trap of feeling like every thing is a life-or-death situation, and that very likely I’m doing it all wrong.
Thankfully, I’ve been able to step back, at least a little, from my perfectionism; I can honestly say that there are some things that just aren’t a big deal to me as a mom.
I wrote about those things on the blog earlier this year; you can catch that post here, if you missed it or want to revisit it.
(I encourage all moms to make a list of things that just don’t matter; if you’re a perfectionist like I am, this is so important to do.)
But lots of things do matter.
—-> Today, I want to look at ten things that are in fact a big deal to me as a Christian mom.
I asked my kids for their input on this post.
Some of the items that made this list- like brushing your teeth and always having a book to read- are things that one of my five kids suggested.
Other things– like my kids knowing that they are unconditionally loved- are my “things.”
—-> I hope you enjoy this list, but don’t make the mistake of trying to internalize my family’s list.
If you find that reading this post either encourages or challenges you as a parent, then find a quiet spot with a pen and fresh sheet of paper in hand, and prayerfully ask God what things should make it on your list.
Parenting is such a personal journey, and there is grace for every step.
At the end of this post I’ve included some especially helpful reading for parents- because, my kids were right: reading is SO important to me.
You can also check out my Ultimate Reading List For Christian Women, and reference the section on “Motherhood and Kids.”
10 Things That Are A Really Big Deal To Me As a Mom
—–> If you love this post, will you please hit a “share” button? xoxo, Kristy
My kids say-
#1 “Keeping our evenings open for family time is really important to both Mom and Dad.“
My sixteen-year old daughter, Amy, is spot on- evenings for family time make the “top ten” for both her Dad and I.
In this season of life, we do our best to keep the kids’ extra curriculuar activities scheduled during the afternoons and keep our evenings open.
Evenings are important to us for several reasons:
- we sit down and eat together as a family
- several nights a week we have family devotions with Jeremy
- we enjoy family movie nights
- evenings are a great time for games, working puzzles, or just relaxing
- the house needs a family clean-up session after supper
- bedtime routines are still important, and not just for the younger kids
We prioritize and protect our evenings, as much as possible. In this season, it yields high dividends in our family dynamics.
#2 “Mom cares a lot about keeping the house tidy and doing chores.”
I think all five of my kids chimed in on this one.
Like I said, I’m a born-perfectionist.
I like a clean house.
Our home is far from always company-ready, but we try to keep chore rhythms fairly consistent in order to contain the chaos.
This year, I’ve leaned pretty heavily on The Smart Kids Chore System. I highly recommend it!
#3 “Brushing our teeth is a REALLY big deal.”
Ah, oral hygiene made the list- of course.
My sweet nine-year old, Colton, stated this point quite emphatically (hence, ALL CAPS.)
Yes, brushing your teeth is a really big deal in our house. And so is doing “all the rinses” every night.
Our family practices this oral health care system, by Dr. Ellie Phillips.
We don’t have great teeth genetics, so doing something others might consider a little much has been necessary.
Dr. Ellie’s protocol and using Zellies has transformed our teeth.
You’ll thank me someday, Kids. *wink*
#4 “Being healthy is important to Mom.”
This one piggy backs on #3, but apparently deserves it’s own mention.
Yes, being healthy is a high priority to me as a mom.
I do these things for my own health, and try to teach my kids to take age-appropriate ownership for their own well-being too.
My kids don’t always appreciate my opinions and habits regarding healthy living and eating, but I know I’m giving them a good role model.
My teenage girls are starting to pick up some of my lifestyle habits, like healthy eating, hair and skin care, and exercising.
It’s catching on!
#5 “Everyone getting one-on-one time with both Mom and Dad.”
Quality time is one of my husband’s top love languages. Jeremy has definitely led the way with this over the years.
It’s important to us that we spend focused time with each of our kids (and each other) on a regular basis.
This isn’t always easy to do in a busy household of seven, but we’re proactive about it.
—–> Here are 15 Ways to Spend More Quality Time With Your Kids.
#6 “It’s important to Mom that we kids get to have our own personalities.”
This is known as having a “sense of self,” and I’m so happy that my thirteen-year old, Emily, recognized that it’s a big deal to me.
Because it really is.
Jeremy and I encourage our kids to grow in their own, unique gifts by seeking opportunities for them to learn and hone their skills: Karate classes, piano lessons, theater, and opportunities to serve in our church.
We believe that interests and gifts are from God, and point toward a child’s calling or destiny in life.
We want our children to reach adulthood knowing what gifts they bring to the world and to the Kingdom of God.
#7 “It’s important that we always have a book to read.”
Yes, it is.
Are you familiar with the 8 Intelligences? (If not, I encourage you to check it out.)
One of my top two “intelligences” is being word-smart; I love words.
I am always reading, and I make sure that my kids are surrounded by quality reading material too.
#8 “Kindness and respect are important.”
I prefer “universal rules” over an endless list of dos and don’ts.
My “universal rule” for our home is simply,
“Was it kind? Was it respectful?”
These two questions address the heart of just about everything that can be spoken or done.
Kindness and respect are a two-way street; Jeremy and I seek to model both, to each other and to our kids.
#9 “I want my kids to know they are unconditionally loved.”
I grew up feeling that love must be earned by being “good enough.”
Lots of factors reinforced this misconception of God and life; at the heart of it lies my innate belief that I must be perfect in order to be loved.
This easily translated into my views as a mother. Subconsciously, I spent many years living as if my kids had to earn my love through their good behavior.
When I began to understand God’s nature as my Heavenly Father, my entire world changed.
For the first time, I was able to accept unconditional love- from my husband, and from God Himself.
And I began to love generously.
I won’t say that I don’t still struggle in this area, but I am passionate about loving well.
If I had written this list in order of importance, this one would be at the top; it paves the way for the next very important thing-
#10 “A personal relationship with God is ultimately important.”
I want my children to know God, personally.
To love Him, personally.
To experience His love and grace and forgiveness, personally.
For this to happen, lots of other things have to happen:
—–> I have to love them well (#9).
—–> I have to model what it looks like to love and serve God.
—–> I have to disciple and teach them (this is why family devotion times are important to Jeremy and me).
Ultimately, I have to get out of the way and let my kids wrestle with God, personally.
When they are little, I listen to their questions and give answers.
As they grow up, I listen to their questions and their doubts and their challenges- and I point them to a God who loves them and understands their hearts.
And then I pray and ask God to please capture their hearts with His love, like He captured mine.
Because I know that a heart captured by the love of God will make it through this broken world, even long after their feet no longer dangle under my kitchen table.
Over the last few years, the following books have provided life-giving truth and encouragement to me as a mother.
—–> You can check out my Ultimate Reading List for Christian Women for more titles, but these are my top picks:
I’d love to know-
What would make this list for you?
What’s a really big deal to you as a mom?
Drop me a comment, connect with me on FB and Instagram, and subscribe to this blog by email- and let’s chat!
Here’s to living & loving well-
—-> If you enjoyed this post, will you hit a “share” button and spread the mom encouragement? Thanks a million!