Brian has been away for 2 full weeks. (Work and starting his masters at Wheaton Grad School!) I could blog about how amazing single parents are and how without Jesus and/or wine by noon, I don’t know how they do it. Instead I’ll write about a conviction I’ve had as I cope with “single parenting.”
Last week I was trying to figure out how to pay attention to my over-tired kids, eat dinner, get my errands done and mow the lawn. I had thought about locking them into a movie in the house and mowing super fast outside. Instead, they started knocking each other around and fighting. So they “got” to be outside with me.
As I finished up in the backyard without bloodshed (mine or kids’) I was struck by this thought: sometimes I’m so busy taking care of everyone I don’t give my kids what they need.
Take any moment in the van from the past 2 weeks, (I’m sure you have lived this),
Elam is looking at a book, making a face or twisting his fingers into a really neat shape and he says, “Mom, look at this!” If I ever go deaf physically, this phrase will echo in my mine. I maybe have heard this phrase more than any other in my short life…Except maybe this phrase, “Elam I cannot look right now, I’m driving the van.”
Now, of course I cannot stop the van every time he says this, but he obviously needs, wants someone to pay attention to him. Instead, I often am too busy taking care of him by cooking, cleaning, doing laundry or whatever to look good.
I’ve talked with 2 moms in the last 12 hours who work, Mom, Wife and try to take care of themselves. Therefore, they have no time for housework and “keeping up with things.”
How do we tackle all of the jobs on our plate? Plus take care of what our kids are craving: ATTENTION.
What if we?
1. Put the phone down. I don’t have to blog about this. Too many others have. If I have a cramp in my thumb/fingers after a day of checking out stuff on your phone, that might be indicative that I have spent too much time on it!
2. Let the bathroom get gross. Let the dust pile up. Leave the dishes until morning. Read that extra chapter. Snuggle with our spouse. Paint our toenails with your extra time or paint a wall. Go to bed early.
3. Ate pancakes. Grilled cheese. PB and J for dinner. Chill out about the kids getting all food groups. Or go out for a huge burger at Grandma’s.
4. Trusted that God is truly the Creator. Sabbath is meant for us to stop creating in order to remind us that we don’t really make anything. Only God starts and finishes anything. We just enjoy it.
I cannot ever finish it all by bedtime. Even if I tried… Even if I wanted to try and tie this blog up by bedtime, I couldn’t. So instead I’ll simply say go for it: stop and smell the garbage. Then head outside and push your kids on the swing and waste some time.