In today’s modern world of technology…..I find things are missing. I look back on my childhood and see books, playgrounds, pots and pans (not used for cooking), sticks, paper, glue, material dollies, sock monkeys… and so much more that our kids today are missing out on! The majority of children today know more about computers, lap tops, cell phones and game systems than the average intelligent adult. Where are the imaginations of children? I often think of a precious friend that has a very energetic son. He can turn anything into a warrior’s sword or use one wood plank and imagine it’s a building block for an enormous castle with a dragon guarding the draw bridge. I love it. I could sit for hours listening and watching him. His mind is full of wonderful and exciting things that he brings to life in a moments notice! My daughter is somewhat the same…but maybe not to such scale as my friend’s son. She loves to role play with her dollies, read, color, do crafts and dance. She brightens my day at every morning wake. However, I find myself involved with housework and creating school sheets on the computer and keeping up with business on Facebook….that I hear myself saying “just one moment, please!” – although I tell her at every moment I get that I love her and I kiss her as much as I can …..do my actions of being self indulged in the computer or these awful phones with Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and etc….APPS that pull us away from precious time with those that we love REALLY tell her that she is more important than what I am doing….or that SHE IS WORTH MY TIME?!
Life with these precious babies isn’t long. First, we are not guaranteed tomorrow…so today should be precious. Second, we can blink and they are grown. Where has the time gone? Where are those moments that we sit and plan but never follow through with. How often do we really get outside and just sit in the grass with them or run through the rain? I find myself saying….no, shhhhh, stop that…and whats all this excitement???? SHHHH!!!! When I should be saying HEY! LETS GET THIS PARTY STARTED!!!! She is little….and I should let her be! What is a house without the laughter and giggles of the silliest girls and boys? DULL I tell you! DULL! I learned a while ago…don’t over estimate that…I had to slap myself in the face to wake up just a few weeks ago….that I don’t have forever with her being young. Every moment is special and every moment is the most important moment. Don’t get me wrong…I teach manners and for her NOT to interrupt me when I am talking to another person unless it is an emergency. I am talking about all the other stuff. What stuff? Well, what about these:
1. Stop and Listen to your child when they want to ask a question. Questions are the building blocks of learning right?! Their inquisitive minds are running 90 to nothing and they are looking to us, as parents, to answer every mind blowing idea or thought they may have. They trust us. They are believing that if anyone is going to teach them the truth…it would be mom and dad right?! How will they know that if we don’t listen to them. More times than naught, it’s not that they have a ton of questions…they really and truly just want to share a moment. A moment with you! Don’t give that moment a second of wait time…because it is never a second…nor a minute and moments are often time never a moment but more than less ….a forgot memory of what could have been. AND with that being said…..
2. Your walk talks louder than your talk talks. Ever said, “You know I love you right?!” Why would you have to say such a thing if you walk in your words? Its not for them…its for us, right?! We feel guilty for spending more time in work, computer, friends or “mommy time” that we need reassurance they know we actually love them! OH MY! Put the computer down. Step back away from Facebook. Are your friends worth your family?! Will those items you put down miss you? NO! But your children will! and you will miss out on some great time and rewards of being a parent! Re-evaluate your life and your priorities. I am talking to myself here. I have a precious daughter that I love with all my heart but I find myself writing a blog or doing Plexus work and saying, “just a moment, honey – I will be right there.” Yes, she needs to learn patience and that some things and time she WILL have to wait – but do I not think that the computer will wait for me to stop what I am doing and run see the most magnificent color page ever colored by a 5 year old?! Will Facebook forget me because I stop to wrap a dollies arm because she fell from the bed after the doctor told her not to do such a thing AND because the Monkeys closed their eyes (they didn’t want to have to tell on her for jumping on the bed)! The words that come out of my mouth are important, but the become less of an impact if my feet/walk over shadow them. I have a splendid job of being a mother and with that I have great responsibility to raise my child in the admonition of the Lord. If my words are not in tune with my step….I know that my daughter will struggle with major things in her life – one being her relationship with the Lord. I don’t want to be the cause of that. Remember, Parents, more is caught than is taught!
3. Take time to read to them. That is a precious time together. Reading, it is a door to an imaginational world that brightens some dull moments in this one. Rainy days are great for building a tent and turning the lights out….and using a flash light to open a book into a amazing world of adventure! It creates a world where everyone listening can become involved! Our choice of books begins with the Bible. We love reading how God has proved Himself over and over again.
4. Make Memories! Then Celebrate them! My daughter has a play camera…and she is always making a memory. I smile and say cheese more than I ever have….but that’s okay. She teaches me and reminds me every day through her own actions that I need to break the camera out once again and get a shot of this! Its a memory!!!! Then we celebrate it on…..hold on….CHINA! Yes, we even break out the good plates and use them! Matter of fact, no plate or cup is put up for special occasions. We use them on a daily basis. Every day is a special occasion!!! I have a blessed life with my loved ones and I want to make sure I celebrate as much as I can with them.
5. Slow down! Slow down mommies! We get so busy trying to do so much for our little ones and keep them involved with every little activity so they don’t miss anything that we fail to realize they ARE MISSING SOMETHING……YOU! Your child does not have to be in every activity that comes across their path. Baseball, soccer, basketball, swimming, dance, voice, piano, girl scouts, boy scouts, clubs….they don’t have to do it all! You will find yourself so busy that you don’t have time to spend with them. SLOW DOWN! Enjoy a sport but in moderation. Just try one at a time and be involved with it! I remember growing up, my sister and I were a part of many different softball teams. I made some amazing friends through those teams and I still have them today. One in particular that means the most to me…here we are 31 years later…and she is just as dear to my heart as in the beginning! But the one that meant more than them all…even from my softball years….was my mother! She was right there involved in every game and most of the time coaching them! She stood firm on her beliefs of not missing church for games and her testimony was the same in church as it was on the ball field. I can’t look back in my life and NOT see my parents right there supporting me through all that I did, but most important, I can’t look back and NOT see my parents involved with me in what I did! I am thankful for that! What memories we have. I want that for my little one as well. Nothing is more deserving of my time (outside of the Lord) than my little one. I have a duty to raise her and I must be 100% involved to do that! 6. Get used to I AM SORRY! Plain and simple…your children need this. We are not perfect, yet we want them to be at times. Sit perfectly in church and QUIET! Their room must be clean and everything in a place where I PUT IT (she is only 5 – I am thankful everything is off the floor!) I will over react – I will lose my cool – I will forget something they were excited about – and I will be human. I am sorry is not a stranger at the door of my mouth…..I know I need to practice it and I know she needs to hear it. I pray daily to remember, she is watching me and sometimes she just needs to feel a hug and those words to help her understand that God is still working on both of us! 🙂
Friend: “Do you know what your kids want?
Me: “Besides cell phones?”
Friend: “Your kids want you.”
“When they say ‘Mom, watch me,’ they just want you. When they pull you away from whatever you are doing, it’s because they want you.”
I sat there, both convicted and freed by her words. They jolted my heart awake. My kids don’t need me to fix their problems, they don’t need me to provide more stuff or help them try and keep up with everyone else. I thought back to the times when I was asked to “Take a look at this,” and I was too busy to stop what I was doing. I vowed from that day forward to be present in the moment as much as I possibly could.
“God, I realize they need me, but even more, they need You. I need You because this mothering thing is awesome and hard. When I look back, I won’t remember the days. I will remember the moments. And I’m thankful for that because, believe me, there are days I don’t want to remember!”
I do want to remember the drive on the way to school this morning. The way my daughter laughed. The moment she opened up and shared her heart. The way our hearts connected. Those treasured moments make up for the rest of the day with the exaggerated eye rolls and exasperated sighs. It’s all part of this job.
Instead of asking myself “Is her room clean? Did he ace that test?” I’m asking “Did I connect with them in a way that I will remember twenty years from now? Did I listen when she called my name four times? Did our hearts meet for a brief moment? Did he know that even when I couldn’t fix the problem, I was there for him?”
At my house, rooms are still messy, floors are still sticky, and laundry still piles up. After all these years as a mother, I’ve accepted the fact that there will be good and bad days. I lose my cool, pick my battles, and say a lot of I’m sorrys. But in a few years, when my house is quiet and my children are gone, I will be able to recall the precious minutes when I stopped everything and just loved them because that’s what God wants me to do.
7. Last but not least…………………… LOVE. Love them with all your might. They are precious and they are a blessing from God. He chose you to parent them. He Chose you to LOVE them. He chose you to raise them the best way you know how – of course with guidance from His Word. Whether from birth or adoption, you were hand picked by the grace of God and chosen for the most important job in the world…..to be a parent. Be that. Be that person they look to for guidance, love, friendship, discipline, fun, teaching, and anything else you can give them. You only have for a short time and in that time teach them to through action what they should be to their own one day. God bless and be thankful for those precious little ones.