Repurposing Things Around My Home, Including Myself…From "Birthing and Feeding" to "Raising and Teaching"

It seems like every Easter weekend, along with the egg decorating (I HAD to share a pic of my happy pink egg) and ham dinner, our family does home improvement projects. They don’t usually involve buying something new due to our budget :), but are more along the lines of repurposing or improving something we already have, which I think totally fits the themes of Easter and spring anyway! Last year we pulled out the old barn floor we had been using as a deck and moved our swing set there, a much safer spot than where it was before by the cement wall ( I was always nervous the kids would swing too hard and smack their head).

The old barn flooring was good to use as a deck for a little while and had served its purpose in that respect, but was good to use for firewood at this point.

This year I painted some old frames to give them more color and life, hung them and designated that spot as the place to hang my children’s best art pieces.

These frames have housed everything from wedding pictures to magnetic boards before, but are doing a great job of reminding me of the talent, life and creativity my kids share with me every day. Their art really cheers me up- how can you have the blues looking at those drawings?!

Last year, with my very garden-able in-laws over, we also planted flowers. I have a black thumb- I kill anything that began innocent and green. But it was so much fun to get our hands dirty, be outside together and make our home a little more beautiful!

After that great experience with our kids and their grandparents we specifically decided to start a tradition of planting flowers each Easter weekend. It just seemed like an appropriate time to nurture new life. This is us this year…my daughter did the second one all by herself.

Just like the deck that became firewood and the picture frames that became an art gallery, I’ve learned that as a mother I am being “repurposed” (but not as firewood…) So far my body has had to do everything that entails carrying, growing, birthing, nursing and feeding my kids. I’m officially calling it the “Birthing and Feeding” stage to keep it short though. Up till now that has been, in some cases, my primary purpose. This is me last Easter, about to pop at 5 months!

With the help of saltines and toast, my body has done the job of pregnancy, although it has been scary how difficult it’s been. We really never even thought we would be able to have a third, but we did our best to fight the extreme depression and morning sickness and now here we are with three beautiful kids. I am so lucky. I am so grateful and proud for that. I may not have a Graduate degree yet, but I am more proud to be the mother of my 3 kids. And the Graduate degree will happen someday…

This is me this Easter. Now it is time for the next phase of my mothering-life, the “Raising and Teaching” stage. I believe to do this well I still need my body, but in a different way. I need to be fit so I can chase after them, keep up with them and play with them. I’m tired of saying “I’m too tired” every time they want to play tag. I’m so glad we are exercising together more now by playing tag (I play in a sports bra and running shoes to make sure I’m sprinting), soccer, basketball, climbing all over the playground…even just dancing in our kitchen!

I’m glad that I’m educating them about healthy snacks, that even though ice cream is yummy it’s not an option for breakfast :), and that healthy foods can be delicious too. The most important values we can have, respect, love, and integrity can only exist toward others if we have them for ourselves first. Being healthy is not just about calories and push-ups, or about fitting in that little black dress. When I overeat and indulge, I am not treating myself with respect. I am being unhealthy and mentally in a sad place where I can’t be the best teacher and nurturer for my kids. I know as I treat myself with more love and respect, I will be teaching my children how to have love and respect for themselves and others.

So, I’m gardening this spring. I’ve planted seeds in my mind and my heart. I’m eating healthier. I’m exercising again. I’m excited to see the fruits of my labor. I will reap a joyful harvest. My body has been repurposed and is in a new phase of life, with new needs and expectations. Are my mind and body up for the challenge? Definitely. 🙂 Luv, Eva