Fair warning, this post may be offensive to a few of you. That isn’t my intent.
We live in a busy world. Careers, training, hobbies, sports, workouts, cleaning, laundry, and all the house things that don’t take care of themselves. My head is currently spinning because I don’t have the knowledge or know how to pull off what I have described. I have many friends who do this and I admire them. Natural supplements or not, I have not figured out how to stretch myself in so many directions without feeling like a less than human.
I will warn again, these thoughts are my thoughts. These are my convictions and my story. I do want to encourage you to see my heart in these words I will share. I want us to consider the ones we are entrusted to care for, the ones we have prayed for and carried.
I had a terrible day with my youngest the other day. He is so busy and I feel like I can’t finish things because I am constantly running after him. That night, I was so grateful to go to bed. And then I had a dream where there was an accident and in an instant, in the dream I saw his lifeless body. I do not know how that feels. I know there are parents who do. I cannot speak to that pain, that heartbreak, the trauma. I cannot and I will not even try. I woke up, in a panic, and ran to my husband who was getting ready for work. He kindly tucked me back in and assured me it was simply a bad dream. In the two years we have had C, I have NEVER prayed for him to wake up and interrupt my sleep time. But in the early morning hours, I did. He stayed asleep and that was a good thing.
That dream has set me to thinking, to hugging extra and kissing more this week. I considered the truly amazing opportunity I have to stay home with my boys. I know that not everyone has that opportunity. I know that not every home looks like mine.
What do I choose to occupy my days? We all have 24 hours per day. Obviously some of those are meant for sleeping. Some for eating. But the time that is not claimed by making a living, nourishing our bodies, keeping our homes off the condemned list- how do we spend that time?
My husband has memories of tinkering in his dad’s shop as a boy, reading books, playing with his (MANY) brothers, hiking, fishing, ice hockey in the winter, and his mom even made her boys help to quilt and learn how to cross stitch. (No he does not do either of those things today!)
I have memories of reading books, playing games, listening to music, and always in the garage “helping” my brothers.
My husband and I have two very different life experiences as we grew up. He was the oldest, I am the youngest. His family a lenient family in a strict Old Order Mennonite church, my parents strict in their Mid Atlantic church. (It’s made raising children together a growing and learning experience!)
We both had moms who stayed home to raise their children. Supper on the table and home cooked every night, dessert always made, and dishes cleaned up immediately after. They grew their own vegetables and canned fruits and meats every year. Dresses were homemade and socks and jeans were never “holey” for long.
I do not choose to can all my winter’s food, but I go home frequently over summer to help do corn and beans, and of course apples for applesauce. I help her and as payment I get a freezer full of applesauce and corn and a cellar full of canned green beans.
I do choose to stop and hold my children, to read books, and choose to make moments teachable. I am far from perfect, I do love my drama tv shows while I fold laundry and match socks.
A, my oldest, goes to school and eventually he will take an instrument lesson. Sports, he could care less about. He is content to use his imagination and live in his world. He can build amazing things with his Legos and his desire to learn is constant. (Except to learn to read, he is determined he doesn’t need to do it. We are trying to tell him otherwise.)
I wonder if in the busyness that we can fill our days with, if we aren’t forgetting these little ones we are raising. I wonder how it impacts them, changes them, to see us constantly going from one thing to another, to another, to another. Do they feel important to us? Do they feel safe and able to come to us? I read a quote once that said if we don’t care about the little things our children come to us to hear and be concerned with, then we do not build the trust they need to be able to come to us with the older and bigger and more real problems.
I know this. I lost my son’s trust for a time because I was so involved in my own pain and couldn’t invest in him. He is trusting me again and it’s a beautiful thing to see his trust in me, written clearly in his eyes when he comes to me. It makes my heart ache to know I could not be the mom he needed for awhile. It makes my soul giddy to know the restoration, the dirty ashes to beauty that God has worked in my life.
What do you invest those extra hours in? As moms, we have a constant and large to do list.
This next one might sting.
Are we protecting our kids to the best of our ability if we are constantly busy, never available physically, always absent emotionally?
It stings me a little and this is a subject dear to my heart. It is something I try to be aware of, and careful to keep my weeks from being too busy.
We are raising the next generation. Tomorrow’s leaders, tomorrow’s teachers, and business men and women. The people who will impact the next generation, just like we are making an impact today. Right here. Right now.
“but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.'” Matthew 19:14
“But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.'” Mark 10:14
“But Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.'” Luke 18:16
Let His words sink in. Read the stories in each Gospel. He was indignant. He says in each verse, “for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Powerful words that we, as mamas should apply today.
This is one of several reasons my blog has weighed heavy on my heart, from God I believe. We are called to our callings, but I will never stop believing that my children and the investment I am making in them today is for God. He is the one who entrusted these small humans to my husband and I. And I am grateful and do not want to squander this privilege that it is to be a parent. Will you join me in pledging to not waste the moments with our little loves?