As I drifted off to sleep, my thoughts jumped from today’s events as I reviewed what had been accomplished. And then it hit me, one thought–like a ton of bricks.
How much time had I spent with my son that day?
Elijah had just started school. His new schedule has him gone from 8 to noon. Then there is nap time, running to get Chy and then on to supper. By 7:00 p.m. I couldn’t wait to get him into bed fast enough and this included his sisters. Jolted awake by the feelings of guilt, I felt as if God was impressing on me the importance of time spent with my son.
I wasn’t doing my job as a mom; instead I was too busy being busy. Are you one of those moms? You don’t bother to take time out for yourself, and your sense of accomplishment is checking off that to-do list? Being productive defines who you are?
Or maybe you’re in a different set of shoes. Maybe you are so burned out of being a mom that you’re retreating from your kids emotionally. You rely on the TV as your babysitter so you can get a few moments of peace and quiet. (Guilty as charged.)
There are SO many great things to enjoy in life, sometimes a bit too much. Our world is spinning out of control between work, community, church, and family. It’s up to us to protect the time we have with our children. While it may sound impossible, together you and I can take the time out we need and be fully present for our children.
1. Take a time out
Start each and every day with prayer time alone with God. Not just the quick, “Hey God, I’m all yours today.” Become intentional on focusing in on his presence. Invite him into your life today, surrender your day to him. This includes that to-do list that is already running through your waking thoughts. God says that if we commit our ways to him, he will make our paths known. We will know what is on our list for the day and we will have peace about it.
I can’t stress taking a time out with God enough. He alone can provide just what we need when we need it. I recommend my book, Mama Needs A Time Out. (Shameless plug I know!)
I used to think I was the type of person who flew by the seat of her pants. No–NO, I am definitely not her unless everything is in its place, THEN I can be spontaneous. Visual Chaos stresses me out. Having a chore list six miles long makes any wife and mother groan. So organize. Create a schedule, make it visible. Have your children help with the chores. But most importantly, pencil in time with God, time with your children and with your husband.
You’ll find that making them the priority actually clears up your schedule and makes your heart feel like its accomplished one of the biggest things in the world. For more ideas and tips to organize your time and home, visit Christian Homemaking. It’s great for career moms and at-home moms.
3. Be Present
I’ve noticed my youngest daughter has melt downs, blow ups and tantrums galore when I’m preoccupied. When we are preoccupied, we tend to be a little clippy, if not short fused. Just like we get annoyed when our hubby is SO involved in that ball game on TV when we want/need his attention; our children are aware when we are not focusing fully on them.
Make time just for them. Be fully present, no undivided attention. I know–it’s easier said than done, but remember to them, being able to tell Mama why their favorite color is blue or that they want to be dragons when they grow up is big stuff. They want to share their hearts with us. In turn, as we grow and develop that relationship with our kiddos, they learn just how much God wants to spend time with them too.
Learn more about the author Heather Riggleman
Want more of Heather? Check out Just Be Loved