I have three active daughters under the age of 6. They are literally always together unless one of them is sleeping or at school. Since it has been summer, they have had an extra dose of togetherness. I have learned from them that unity trumps loneliness any day, even on the days where it seems you can’t get away from each other.
Jane and Maurie especially love each other’s company. We went to a kite festival a few days ago and Maurie had fallen asleep by the time we arrive. We were parked at a nearby high school that had busses taking people to and from the beach front (location of festival). Maurie woke up suddenly and saw the bus and started to cry immediately. She cried out, “Jane! Jane! I want my Jane!” She thought that Jane was on the bus, and she had missed saying goodbye. I believe Maurie understands that life is going to change soon with school starting and Jane will not be home as much to pal around with. I was moved by her love for her sister. Jane smiled, and I think it made her feel good to know that Maurie is so attached.
Cody also mentioned that they were all wrestling one evening and Maurie and Jane were kissing Brooklyn on the head over and over. Truly, they love each other more often than they drive each other crazy, which is a huge relief as a mother. Their sisterly bonds are so special and definitely worth cultivating.
Some Tips for Deeper Unity
Now, the girls seem to tolerate each other well, but I like my space. My little brood near or on me 24/7 is difficult sometimes. I honestly feel like there is something wrong with me because there are some moms that never want their children to leave their side and I plot schemes for getting away more often than I want to admit. Despite feeling different, I have thought about ways that I can foster more unity with my family. Maybe there is another mother out there who could use some ideas too.
Look for lessons to learn from family.
Thank that person for being an example to you. I have been spending time observing and learning from my family, but I have not been letting them know I am thankful for their example.
Focus on getting to know a particular person in your family.
Ask them questions and listen more than you talk.
Find a way to serve someone in your family.
Choose something specific like making their bed or doing their laundry.
Ask a family member what they would like to do and do it with them, whether you want to or not.
I find that when someone takes an interest in something I love, I feel closer to them.
Get rid of all distractions and encourage a family member to smile, laugh and play.
When you can be silly and have fun together, you can bond.
Imagine life without them and list all the things you would miss.
Now I do not suggest you linger on the thought of them being gone, but sometimes we take others for granted and this exercise can help us realize how that person impacts our life.
Spend a few minutes telling them what you love about them.
Recently, one night after the girls had gone to bed, Cody and I had a real heart-to-heart. It was one of those heavy conversations that involved tears, laughter and an emotional load lifted. I am surprised at how much I need to share my heart with my husband. I think we should be far more open with each other…more often. Can it really hurt to let someone know that we love and appreciate them?
Sincerely ask for help.
I notice that when we are vulnerable, we allow others to get close to each other. When I humbly ask for help from my family, they step up and we are all lifted together.