I’m so excited to have my first-ever guest blog post by the author of From Me to We, Lucille Williams. She is a delightfully honest and funny writer who is passionate about God, marriage, and parenting. Her children are all grown, and in fact she is now a young grandmother! Lucille shares some wisdom with us today about how to keep the spark alive during those hectic years when our kids are young.
I hope you enjoy!
When my children were young and funds were low and craziness was high and hubby and I needed some adult time, I started a family favorite called, “Hot Dog Night.” If you’re a mom and you’ve found yourself saying, “Mine, mine, mine,” or, “Are we there yet?” and you’re humming Twinkle Twinkle Little Star all day, you may be in need of some adult time with hubby.
Let’s face it, life can get pretty crazy when you’re raising little ones.
[Photo by Jessica Lucia on Flickr.]
I’m reminded of a recent visit to my daughter’s house to coddle my new grand baby. As I held the perfect little gem in my arms, “Oh, I love this. My life is great!”
My daughter was opening the blinds and quickly stopped. She gave me the death stare. You know the one, the one that says I will punch you in your face if you say another word. Yeah, that one.
After a long stare, Monica started talking, “I haven’t showered in two days and I haven’t eaten or brushed my teeth today, but yes, Mom, YOU do have a great life.” Then, we both broke into hysterical laughter.
She made a good point—life gets more hectic, different crazy spinning after children arrive. And sometimes we need to find ways to slow it down.
Our marriage is worth it.
Your marriage is worth it.
Well, Hot Dog Night was instituted during that season of my marriage. Amidst the screams of “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy” and interrupted bathroom breaks due to pounding on the door—oftentimes, I didn’t even close the door, because I feared one would be missing or dead if I did—and a dog that had been “painted” with cream cheese, I cried out to God.
“I need a break!”
Am I even still a woman? Is there any passion left in me after all the glue is scraped off of my coffee table? Can I even do something different with my hair? Did I even wash my hair today?
Maybe if I can get everyone to take a nap I can think and ponder my life? If I don’t fall asleep.
I’ve got to do something!
“It’s Hot Dog Night!” I announced it to the kids. Then, called hubby to let him know the good news.
Here’s what Hot Dog Night looked like:
I’d somehow make the kids believe that it was later than it actually was throughout the day. A visit to the park or a running game was in order, to tire them out as much as possible. As the schedule got moved forward dinner came early. They got all of their favorites: Hot dogs, which they rarely got, because I had seen a news report that said hot dogs can cause cancer (yes, I wasn’t just paranoid, I was a bit neurotic, too), a side finger food, an “elegant” kid drink, and dessert.
Then, the kids got to watch a movie (another treat I didn’t allow too often). I made the room as dark as possible. After the movie they were in bed. Early. So early, that it gave me enough time to make myself look like a woman again, and get as dressed up and fancy as whacked-out Mom could get.
I’d fix a candlelight dinner, pulled rose petals from our backyard, and greeted hubby with a kiss when he got home. The rest of the evening was adults only. The kids were threatened with “no Sponge Bob for months” if they even dare peek out of their rooms.
How are you doing, Mom?
Are you in need of some adult time?
Can I tell you something? What you do as a mom, raising your little ones, matters more than you can even imagine now.
Listen to an old mom who waits for the phone to ring and misses her “little ones” more than the human language can describe, your rewards await you. And they are better than you can possibly imagine.
Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:28-30
There was a point along my parenting journey where the realization hit me that my children will probably be married for longer than they will be in our home.
What example did I want to set?
Sending your child off into the world with an example of a healthy marriage, and one which honors God, is one of the best gifts you can give.
It’s never too late to work on your marriage and make it a priority. Love your kids by loving your spouse.
Lucille Williams is the author of From Me to We: A Premarital Guide for the Bride- and Groom-to-Be. She has an intense passion for ministering to families and young people, serving in ministry for over 25 years. Happily married for 34 years to Mike Williams, the children’s pastor at Shepherd Church in Porter Ranch, California. While Lucille enjoys writing, and speaking at retreats, and conferences, she will tell you she is most proud of raising their daughter and two sons. Lucille is a new grandma and loves spending time with her family—which one could call a “ministry family,” her son is a pastor, her daughter married a pastor, and her youngest son currently attends Ozark Christian College. Lucille is zealous about God, her family, and also is a big fan of peanut butter. You can find more resources by visiting her blog at LuSays.com.