The clock in my home seems to be different every day. Teetering between not enough hours in the day for accomplish everything I would like, to the minutes ticking by so slowly that I am truly looking forward to tucking my little ones into bed at night.
Is it enough to read a book to our children, teach them their math and spelling, prepare dinner, run the laundry (folding can wait for tomorrow,) and taxi here and there? Those are just tasks, minutes of doing and moving and keeping our home functioning.
As moms, we have the most priceless opportunities to make the most of our minutes, and what a blessing this can be.
I have discovered this truly beautiful habit of not keeping track of the time. I use to wear a watch and keep track of the minutes while nursing my babies. I always had a clock in every room, able to stay on schedule and keep my home moving in sync with the day. Now, I keep track of appointments and bed times, but only one clock exists in my home, and it is not where I am able to see it throughout the day. There is no argument that our children DO have to have a learning time, and dinner DOES have to be prepared and the children DO need their naps – but the beauty on the other side of the time-keeper, is this beautiful secret I want to share with you.
Capture your minutes as moments in time – as if you were taking a picture in your mind and heart of those times with your children. You will begin to lose track of time, and your eyes will catch certain details that you missed before.
Rather than rushing out the door for your appointments, bend down and zip your child’s coat – face to face. When the zipper is almost to the top – stop, with your hand still in place and look into your child’s eyes. When they realized you have stopped and peer into your face – Smile. Rub their cheek. Say, “I love you sweetie.” Older children walking in the door from jobs, sports events, etc, are an open opportunity for a hug and a special time to tell them you love them. When a mom pauses from her time with her younger children to love her older children – it speaks volumes to them.
While preparing dinner for the big rush hour of hungry stomachs, forget the dinner hour deadline, and pull up stools and chairs and give your children time to be with you in the kitchen. When it is time to read to your children, pause at special places in the story and turn to them and ask questions, talk, look at each picture. Where is the value in reading to satisfy a parent’s guilt of not spending enough time with their child? Make this a special-sacred time.
Naps are wonderful opportunities for moms to get a much needed breather. But, think of the surprise your children would have if you decided to rub their head, sing them a song, lay your own head down next to theirs and find the twinkle in their sleepy eyes. I LOVE nap time in my home, but a little surprise of time with them makes the world of difference in their spirit and yours.
Errands with ten children were never my favorite thing to do, but after years of exploring many options to survive this task, I found that the most enjoyable errand trips were the ones where I just relaxed a little. Just today, we were all out together at our favorite store, and three of the little children had a little bag of Valentines they had made. I encouraged them to approach someone that they thought looked sad, lonely, or perhaps God might want them to receive a little gift. My son was so concerned about not giving the right person the Valentine and so I told him that if he allowed, God would guide him to give just the right person a little smile. Right off the bat, my introverted little boy told me he was going to give one of his Valentine’s to an older gentleman who was all alone. He approached him within my vicinity and a miracle happened. Not only did my little boy come out of his own shell, the older man lit up like a light, and time was all forgotten. We left that store with 25 valentines handed out, three children understanding the concept of ministry, and my schedule wasn’t any worse for wear. Errands = Beautiful moments vs. Stressful fast-paced tasks.
Capture the beauty in the moments. What a treasure cove of pictures I have in my heart and mind from just this week alone.
Our minutes are what we make them. Mom minutes matter, and creating an environment of learning, singing, joy and memory making can be the most beautiful gift you can give yourself and your children.
“Mommy, you are funny today.” Or, “Mommy, I like it when you smile.” Or, “I can’t wait for reading time, or, when can we learn our math facts like that again mom? That was so much fun!”
Perhaps it is time to make a few changes. School, Meal time, Naps, errands and most of our minutes can be creative and enjoyable.
Mom Minutes Matter. Join me in this today?