Over the last few weeks, I've talked about being the mom who get's in the floor to play with your kids, being the mom who plans a fun day, and being the mom who gets in the pool. But maybe you've been thinking, "That's just not me. I'm not 'the fun mom.'" Believe me, I know how difficult those things can be. For most of us, they don't come naturally. It's been a long time since we were kids and we've almost forgotten how to act like one. And while I do think it's important to stretch outside our comfort zones and do things for our kids, I want to encourage you today. Because whether you are "the fun mom" or not, the most important thing you can do for your kids is just BE THERE.
I do not want to sound boastful at all, but I know that (like many of you) I am a constant presence in my children's lives. Every morning when they wake up, I greet them with a hug and a "good morning." And every night, I tuck them in bed. Most days, I'm there for all three meals in between too. I am their mama, and I am a constant. (Their daddy works 24 and 48-hour shifts at a time, but on his days off, he spends lots of quality time with them too :) )
In generations past, it was a given that a mom would spend every day with her children, but today there are many, many things that attempt to steal our time together. Whether it's work, church activities, dance classes, piano lessons, ballgames, ball practices, spending the night with friends, spending the night with grandparents, or a hundred other things, there is plenty competing for our hallowed family time.
I do not want AT ALL to condemn any mothers that have to work. I understand that times have changed, and many families have no choice but to have a mom who works and brings in another income. But I do want to challenge you to evaluate how much time you are spending away from your children and whether it is worth it. If you are away from your kids all day and make it home just in time to practically tuck them into bed.... how much of an influence are you really able to have on their lives? Again, my intention is not to condemn here. I used to be in this boat myself.
My firstborn was three months old when I went back to work full-time, driving about 45-minutes each way. I literally felt like I got home, fed her, and put her to bed. It was so hard. However, I will say that during that time, I fiercely guarded my time with my daughter! I came straight home after work (no dinners with work friends, no going to the gym) and I made sure I spent every moment on the weekends with her. Because my time with her was rare, it was especially precious, and I revered it as so. During that time, I also PRAYED that God would open a door that would allow me more time with my daughter. And after just a couple of months, he created a dry path through the sea -- I got a new, part-time, work-from-home position, and all my prayers were answered.
I have worked part-time ever since and I love the balance it provides. But I still feel for working mamas! It's hard, I know. But the truth is there are challenges to your time together no matter what kind of mama you are. Whether you work, are in school, or stay at home, I want to encourage you to guard time with your children like a mama bear. How will we shape them, intimately know them, and influence them if, at the end of the day, we've actually spent little time with them?
Whether you're being crazy and fun together, folding laundry together, or sitting side by side watching YouTube videos, time spent with your kids is so important. Or hey, if you have to be away, Facetime! Technology is wonderful! But the bottom line is to protect your time together. If you don't, something (and maybe even something "good") will steal it away.
This is my last post of the "Be The Mom" series I'm doing with Amanda Farris. Thanks for reading! Remember to leave a comment to be entered to win "Be The Mom" the book by Tracey Eyster. And hop over to Amanda's blog to read her post today: "Be The Mom Who Plans a Game Night." And in case you missed any of the other posts in our series, here they are --
Be The Mom Who Gets In The Floor And Plays With Your Kids (mine)
Be The Mom Who Makes Root Beer Floats (Amanda's)
Be The Mom Who Plans a Fun Day (mine)
Be The Mom Who Is Their #1 Fan (Amanda's)
Be The Mom Who Gets In The Pool (mine)