Can I be honest here for a minute? There are a few things about being a mom that are downright hard. A lot of the other parts would just be considered challenging. Momhood is filled with those challenges. And, I would say, it seems that the hard stuff of being a mom is what matters most.
That hard stuff? Easier said than done. You see, I’m not really a talkative person. I usually meet my word quota by dinnertime. Two of my kids are on the loquacious side. They have lots to say about lots of things. And most of the time it’s about a topic that is not high on my list of interests. (We’re being honest here, right?) And…it’s not easy to stay focused and come up with an intelligent comment every few moments when you’re not educated about the topic. As they get older, the topics get more intelligent. It keeps me on my toes.
There are times when I’m sure the talker notices that my eyes have left the conversation. Sometimes it’s not even that I’m looking at something else. That staring off without really focusing on anything. You know what I mean? Zoning out. Earth, to Mom!
Or, how about when we don’t even give them our attention in the first place? Now, in hindsight, I can say I wish I had taken the time to look deep into those sweet eyes and memorized her face a little more. But in the moment? It’s more like, Just a minute…I’m almost done here…I’m in the middle of something. Sure, there are times when those kids will need to practice some waiting, but really, how often are we doing something so important that we can’t put our agenda on hold?
I’ve made a rule for myself that I try really hard to follow. When I talk to one of my daughters, I look into her beautiful eyes. I try to remember to not talk to her with my back turned. Eye contact. It speaks volumes.
All this may make me tired and I may have already used up my words for the day, but this is one of those mom jobs that no matter how tough, it is a must. I can say that when you look back, all those long days of challenges will finally seem like the fleeting moments they are. And, flying through those moments, not being IN them, will only pile on the regret and mom-guilt later on. I know that for a fact. I go there sometimes.
Your most meaningful work in the Kingdom of God may not be the big things that you do — but the one little person you love. (Ann Voskamp)
So, let’s strive to be intentional. Yes, we’ll blow it. Stop and take a moment to pray. Get back up. Ask forgiveness. Brush it off. And move on. Each moment will count whether or not we’re trying. Today, make eye contact with those precious little people and really listen. Are you up for the challenge?