Not going to lie, mama. This blog is hard for me to write. I have a strong personality that loves to do, do, and do more. If the laundry is done and the floors are freshly cleaned, I feel this sense of accomplishment. The last five years, I have called my home my place of work, among other things. I have felt the need during seasons of my motherhood to get things done and get everyone taken care of to my best ability. But, what have I missed? I have been asking myself this question a lot lately as my oldest child is nearing age 5 and school days are coming for her this fall. I am going to miss her like crazy every day at home with me and my other children. So how do I stop and smell the roses? How do I make my little ones my priority when the busyness of life is all around me? I don’t have the answer, but I have some ideas.
It sounds simple, but it is not easy. Unplug. That’s right. Turn the cell phone volume down or on vibrate. Take one of those breaks from social media. Decide to not check your email or favorite web sites for a while. Turn the television off. Whatever steals your attention from your children, get rid of it. I’m not sure how long you should do this. For me, it is Facebook. I can’t seem to keep from scrolling through my newsfeed while nursing my youngest daughter. It seems like a good time to do this, but I fail to remember my other two toddlers who could use this time for snuggling and reading with mommy. Facebook will be there tomorrow, momma.
If you’re like me, you tend to do more chores around your house when you’re well, home. If I know we don’t’ have much planned for the day, I tend to do needless laundry and scramble around doing the cleaning I fear I won’t have time to do tomorrow. My solution? Get out! Go outside and play! Get some vitamin D and sunshine. Make memories with your kids. Take them on a special excursion to their favorite play land or out for an afternoon ice cream break. Remove yourself from the things that compete for your attention. My daughter always wants to play Barbies with me, and somedays we don’t get to do this. I want to choose her over stinky socks or dirty dishes--every time.
Be Present- Not Perfect.
Your kids don’t need a perfect mommy, they just need you. They need your hugs, smiles, corrections, and answers. My 4-year-old talks non-stop. Today I was thinking about how I need to be present and listen more attentively when she’s talking to me. She has some great stories. I want her to know her mommy is interested in her. When my 2-year-old son wants to play dinosaurs and I’m holding the baby, I want to be present enough so he knows I love spending time with him. Of course, duty will call. Bathroom breaks, phone calls, housework, etc., will still be there. But our homes don’t need to be perfect and our lives all in order.
So let’s make a conscious choice, mommas. Let’s make our kids our priority when we are with them. Whether you work or stay home, make the most of your time with your children. Life changes so quickly and before we know it, our homes will be empty. I would much rather my kids remember the giggles and memories over the folded bath towels and perfect suppers.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she loves to treat her little people.