Monday, February 11, 2013

How My Children See Me

Last night, as I was trying to find a recipe for something on my laptop, my 21-month-old daughter walked over and shut the computer not once but twice.  The first time, I told her no, and then went back to what I was trying to finish up.  The second time, I was starting to get frustrated with her, but as she lifted up her arms and said "up", a realization came over me.  My son had made a comment the day before about how I'm "always on my computer".  What do they think of me?  What kind of legacy am I leaving for them of what their mom spent her time on?  From my children's point-of-view, who already seem to show signs of my "love language", quality time, the computer probably seems like the enemy.  

While I do spend a lot of time on my computer, it's because many of my work and home management tasks have now been moved to the computer.  I pay bills on the computer and use online banking, have to keep up-to-date with the class website for the section I teach, do my daily devotionals online, respond to emails for my job, complete  my self-scheduling at the hospital, and use it to look up recipes that are safe for me to eat.   I do spend some time on Facebook catching up with friends and family or reading other blogs too.  However, from the perspective of my children, it probably really doesn't matter much what I am doing, but simply that it is taking time away from them.  Children have little capacity to understand all of the "behind the scenes" things that it takes to keep a household functioning and orderly.  And if you haven't already noticed, I like organized.  If I were super-woman, my house would be completely spotless at all times and everything would be organized just so, because that's what I am able to be most relaxed and function my best.  As it is though, I'm just a regular mom trying to do the best that she can.  

The take way lesson is this, whatever I am working on at that moment can probably wait for at least a few minutes when my children ask me to stop and pay attention to them.  Perhaps my daughter wants held, or my son wants me to play a quick game with him or catch up on an episode of his favorite tv show.  It doesn't matter what it is.  What matters it that they want to spend time with me, and I want them to really know that they are the most important things in the world to me.  Before I know it, they will be in the stage where it isn't cool to hang out with your mom anymore and then even more quickly they will be out of the house.

So far this year, I had a hard time figuring out what it was that was going to be my main goal.  Last year it was to put my family first, and I have made big strides in that.  I have gotten much better at spending one-on-one time with my children and prioritizing my work and family time.  My husband commented recently that this has been the best year of marriage yet, so I must be doing something right in that area too.  So, while I have made great improvements in planning time with my family, I am still not great at spontaneous things.  My desire for this year is to not only plan time with my family, but be actively engaged with them whenever possible.  This seems simple, but for the crazy inner organizer in me, it will prove to be quite a challenge.  So here it is... wish me luck!

My 2013 Goal:
Live in the moment!