One of my biggest fears in motherhood and life is that my children will outgrow me and our family (that's why we have so many kids HAHA.... kidding!!). I know it's sort of irrational and that many people have the opposite fear (Dads): that their kids will never leave home. But in these long days of motherhood when I feel all the #momguilt for the occasional misstep or disappointment I feel this unbearable feeling that my kiddos are going to grow up and not want to be here anymore - not want to be with us.
Perhaps, the disappointments have grown too big. Perhaps, the distance between us has grown too wide. Perhaps my parenting missteps have created a chasm that is simply too deep to cross.
I've realized that calming this anxiety is paramount because I am not a perfect parent and will make mistakes in dealing with my precious little people. I can't let this fear paralyze me because that certainly won't help the situation.
But there are some things that do help. First of all, I've realized that apologizing is necessary. When I've made a mistake, when I've yelled at my kids, or when I've let frustration escape my lips I try and always get down on their level and sincerely express how sorry I am. I am sorry in those moments, and I want nothing more than to keep my people close.
The second thing that helps me overcome the guilt I feel for my parenting imperfections and the fear that my children will become lost to my family is that I strive daily to create a culture of traditions in our family.
When I first got married, we lived in Orem Utah. My husband's family lived close by in Lehi. My family, of course lived on Vancouver Island. That first year in our marriage, we spent Christmas with my in-laws. And, we haven't since.
Now, we live in Canada so it's not feasible to drive in the dead of winter through the Rockies to spend Christmas in Utah (that's what Zach says), but we both know we don't go because I don't want to. Nothing against my in-laws and how they choose to celebrate the season - but it's not the way I was raised, it's not the way I celebrate Christmas.
Christmas is my favourite holiday and my rotten parents spoiled me by providing me with solid family traditions that consist of a glorious Christmas feast, and days of game playing and family time. My sister and I, still at 35 and 33 years old peep in all the Christmas crackers as we set the table for Christmas dinner and my dad tells us off every single year for doing it.
It's a tradition.
And, I think that while fallible parents and imperfect homes can be easy to leave behind as children grow up, traditions are not. They take root in our hearts and really become part of who we are.
So, to combat my fears, I take every opportunity I can to create lasting memories of family fun in the form of traditions in my home. Some of these traditions are simple like mealtime prayers, and some are more elaborate like filling up the kids' rooms with balloons on their birthdays. Regardless of the effort inputted, they all have the same effect: they help us to stay close, safe, and knit together in love.
And that's what I want for my family. How about you?
With Easter around the corner, I was so excited to discover a new tradition the other day. In Germany, there is a tradition known as the Ostereierbaum, or the Easter Egg Tree where either trees outdoors or branches indoors are decorated in eggs for Easter. I'm not German at all, but who cares? An Easter Tree really steps Easter up in my opinion and gets it that much closer to Christmas (have I told you that I have 5 Christmas Trees?!?). So we've happily adopted the Osterierbaum in the FLP household. Yesterday, we decoupaged 10 or 11 plastic eggs with tissue paper to start on our new tradition and each year, we will decorate some new eggs for our Easter Tree. When the kids get a bit older (and more gentle), we might even give blowing eggs are try.
We are so excited to incorporate a new tradition into our celebrations and to create just one more way to keep our family safe and close and claimed.
Fawn Lily Photography is a Victoria BC based Newborn, Family, and Maternity Photographer. Fawn Lily Photography offers in studio or outdoor sessions in Greater Victoria BC. For inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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