Blue skies, cotton candy clouds, sun beams catching the brightest green shades of grass with the dew dripping down their blades, a peaceful farm lay in wait. Eighty pounding little preschool shoes blasted across the dew soaked blades crushing them in frantic race to find the hidden pumpkins. Screams of delight shouted across the open fields of the little pumpkin farm each time a 4 year old found a tiny orange treasure. Jake's first field trip ever to a pumpkin farm was unforgettable. Here he stands behind the fence showing off his newly discovered pumpkin. He can be partially seen but not completely noticed. He stands in the shadow of the fence with a look of concern upon his innocent face.
How often do we as moms know that our children are in the room with us we hear them but don't listen? How often are we asked a hundred questions while we are fixing dinner, doing laundry or scrubbing the bathroom floor but by the 5th question we just zone out? How many of we moms try to answer the questions in the car but are distracted and just want to hear the lyrics of our favorite song for once? How often do we look directly at our children and see Jake in the picture, we see just part of our child because the rest is in the shadows hidden by our busy lives? Do we even see the concern in our children's eyes? We have so many other tasks, jobs and priorities that take us far from our children even when we are standing right by their side.
As moms do not consider it neglect. Consider it living a life that is too busy for one person to live but we know no other way. As moms we multi task which means something is going to miss out. I personally do it way too much and I stay at home with my children. You would think a stay at home mom would have much more time to concentrate on their children. In some ways we do, quantity the amount of time we spend with our children is enormous because we are physically with them but not always mentally.
Looking at this picture pulled at my heart and made me consider next year I will not have the quantity of the time any more, he will be in kindergarten. Every time I come to this realization I drop things and swoop him up into my arms and hold him so tightly. The other day I dropped all I had to do and snuggled and read stories with him for 40 minutes. It was heaven on earth to leave the laundry in the washing machine, the emails unchecked, the phone unanswered, the floor not swept because I was snuggling my little Jake!
Our lives are so full, so busy, so fast paced that most of the time we don't have time to pause long enough to really listen. To listen to the 18th question from our children instead we just give a brief explanation and move on, but that could have been a moment. So how do we slow down?
We can always carve out some time from our day and promise ourselves we will give to our children without interruption. My time is bedtime, lunchtime and dinnertime. We schedule all our appointments in advance Doctor visits, meetings, conferences. We schedule dates with our spouses. We schedule our entire weekend with fun events and sports etc. Why can't we schedule time with our children? Our children no doubt are more important than it all.
Today look at your schedule and see where you can fit them in. Then when all the noise from the day has faded away and you are in a place with them without interruption take the time to snuggle, listen, answer questions and just be with your entire child. Give your child time to show you who is in the shadow behind the fence. Our children just want to be seen completely, loved entirely and as moms that is truly what we want to do.
So stop feeling guilty and schedule time with your children daily to let them just be with you, don't go out on the town with distractions. Just be home with each other, just be together. Hold your child's hand, lead him out from behind the fence and let yourself have the time he deserves to be loved by his favorite person in the world to him YOU his MOM.
Copyright 2009 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp
About the Author
Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp - mom of 4 teens/wife for 20+ years. Lori has been writing at her own website Faith Filled Mom. She writes about the journey of faith we live daily and the ability to recognize God. She is a retreat director at Sacred Heart Academy HS. She just earned her MA in Pastoral Ministry as well as a certification in spiritual direction.