Photos by Briana Lindsey Photography
The juggle of stay-at-home mom, work-from-home mom and full time mom to Ava isn’t easy. Heck, being a mom without all of the added on top of it isn’t easy and there are days when I just don’t think I can do it. Seriously. There are some days when I have so much to do that I give up. Give up on work, that is.
And then there are days like today where I’m on a roll. (Not to toot my own horn or anything but today is a great day.)
I haven’t worked since Thursday the 21st (and I’m very proud I was able to put work away for that long) but that means that I have so much to catch up on -- hundreds of emails, blog posts to prep on both of my blogs, a to-do list that’s a mile long, laundry to put away, and the list goes on…
But today, I’m on a roll.
I’ll be honest, Ava has watched a whole lot of YouTube today, far more than I’d like her to watch but in this case, I don’t think that one day with YouTube is going to do much harm. In fact, it’s been super helpful in getting myself a little while to get things done, without interruption. Well, without as much interruption as usual, that is.
There was one point today where I was in the middle of typing a sentence (the last sentence of a blog post) and Ava grabbed my hand to lead me away from my computer. I knew where this was going -- She was going to lead me into her room to play with her and then I’d lose my thought on what I was typing, I’d get back to my computer an hour later and have to start from scratch...blah blah blah. I just wanted to get the sentence done so I could click “save” on the blog post draft and be done with that one item on my list of things to do today.
Okay, I’m totally making excuses. I just like to get things checked off of my to-do list and finishing up that one sentence would mean that the blog post was ready to go live. But in my mind, leaving my work was not something I could do. It would mess up my entire flow.
So I said to Ava, “Please give me a minute.”
That’s one phrase that comes out of my mouth far too often.
Give me a minute, please.
To me, it’s not the end of the world. All she has to do is be patient for maybe a minute, and patience is a great virtue for kids to learn. So really, I’m helping herself AND I’m helping myself. So it’s a win-win for everyone, right?
Well...not so much, when you think about it.
Patience IS great to teach her and it’s something I work on daily but inside that tiny little brain that’s soaking everything in, here’s what she's thinking:
“I just asked my mommy to come play with me but instead of coming with me, she wants to sit in front of that magical, shiny screen for what seems like hours longer.” I know, it’s only a minute but to her, I know it seems like an eternity. She’s thinking, “My mommy is putting that shiny screen before me. That bright and shiny screen is more important than me.”
Okay, I’m sure she isn’t thinking all of that but you get my drift. She doesn’t know that what I am doing is putting a roof over her head. She doesn't know that what I am doing bought her Christmas gifts and the food she ate for lunch and heck, that iPad she's watching YouTube on currently. She doesn’t know that if I don’t finish typing this sentence, I may lose my train of thought and the blog post will take me longer to complete later on, because I’ll have to re-group all of my thoughts.
She doesn’t know any of that.
Patience is great, but putting ourselves in our children’s shoes and understanding that every action we take and every single word we speak to them is going to impact them long term, whether positive or negative. It’s making some impact on their little brains, it’s teaching them something about us and it’s teaching them about the world around them.
And I don’t know about you, but I want Ava to know that I would drop everything and anything for her. Years down the line when she’s in high school and needs a shoulder to cry on because some silly boy broke her heart, I want her to know that her mommy will drop everything to be there for her. When she’s off to college and living on her own, I want her to know that her mommy will drop everything to pick up her phone call when she just wants to chat (hopefully just because she misses me). Everything we do now can and will make an impact on our children and their future as adults.
And something as simple as dropping my work to go play with her without throwing in a, “Give me a minute” will teach her that she comes first. It’ll teach her that the man she chooses to marry one day should put her first in his life. Because she is worthy of that and she is important. Something that sounds so silly and simple could and will shape the way she views herself for the rest of her life.
She deserves my attention and she comes first and foremost in my life. I’ll never get back that minute of her grabbing my hand and leading me to her room to play with her. But that minute of work, I can get back another time.
We make hundreds of choices every single day, without thinking twice about the impact they'll have on our future. But our kids are the future and it is our job and our duty to shape them and raise them to know that they are important. They're far more important than this shiny piece of silver and black metal that I sit here typing on hours and hours every single day. They're far more important than that and for the rest of her life, I never want Ava to forget that.