This world leaves very little space for “me” time, which is another reminder of how intentional I need to be in my daily pursuits. If I am going to truly make every moment count, then I need to organize my priorities appropriately. This really got me thinking to what kind of example am I setting for my children. Am I listening and paying attention to them while they are talking? Do I have a phone in one hand, a spoon in the other, and just nod my head in agreement? When in all actuality, I have absolutely no idea what my little boy just said to me. I can drive myself crazy with to-do lists, but if I am being intentional, life can take on a different rhythm. It is not saying add another appointment – it is simply stating, “when you are there, be ALL there.”
Do I let the buzz of the phone or the ding of a tweet take precedence over my family? Am I really living in the moment, or am I waiting for the next best thing? I don’t want my children to feel they are in competition with the outside world for my attention. I tell everyone else they are my priorities, but I am showing them personally?
I thought of all the times I turned my back on conversations because I had to finish a text or email. My child might have had something burning on the inside that happened at school, and I just dismissed him. Replaying this back in my head more times than I care to admit, I thought of a few things I could do better. First of all, when my rambunctious boy comes barreling into the room where I am responding to emails or texts, I need to take a deep breath and remind myself that I prayed to be a mommy. Interruptions are not typically my friends, but I need to embrace these with a different attitude. Instead of being annoyed and curt with my words, I need to soften my response and have a “teachable moment.” Perhaps a little dialogue, “Honey, Mommy has to finish this one email, please give me two minutes to respond to this, and I will be all yours.” I am acknowledging their presence, but also coaching them about demands of “real life.” Will this work every time? Oh goodness, I could only hope!
Kids need to learn that waiting is a part of life, especially when full attention is needed. Home is the perfect place to teach them this valuable lesson. It is an ongoing battle to balance the priority versus the important. However, teaching them “why” I do what I do opens the door for being understood. In the meantime, I am going to try to exercise more patience, and realize being ALL there is more important than being almost there.
Children are seeking meaningful interactions with their parents. I would have to say most of the time they do not act like it. However, after reading several articles about this subject, I am convinced that kids feel very lonely in today’s culture. Hence the reason they look in all the wrong places to belong as they get older. Am I as a parent possibly igniting these feelings by not giving my children full attention in those moments when they are asking for it? I want my boys to grow up knowing that I did my very best; that I am not perfect, but I did what I believed was best for them at that exact moment. The Message Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6, “Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost.” This gives me hope that the seed I am planting into my kids’ lives each day is taking root. I need to be intentional; I need to be ALL there; I need to water that seed with God’s Word, so these precious souls who God has entrusted to me will not grow weary in doing good…and neither will this Real Life Mom (Galatians 6:9).
BE REAL – BE YOU!