Don’t you love it when you stumble upon something that you know was just meant for you to read at that particular moment? Today, I was randomly reading blogs during my lunch break (I forgot to bring a book to work) and I read something that really hit home for me today.
You see, my four year old has been asking me pretty much every night lately if I’ll be able to stay home from work the next day. She’s been pretty emotional and I can tell she’s frustrated about something. She’s been crying more than usual and has been leaving her room at bedtime to come see me more and more. Being a four year, she doesn’t really have the right words to say what she needs or wants, but I am pretty sure she is trying to tell me something important by the way she is acting.
It bothers me to see her upset as she is usually very easy going, happy child. And she always loves spending the days with grandma while I work, so I could tell something was up when she started asking me to stay home from work. Then I read this: Are you're children acting crazy? Maybe they need more of you. It was just what I needed to read today!
To tell you the truth, this has been on my mind lately, but I’ve sort of been ignoring it. I still haven’t figured out how to create 40 more hours in my week so that I can take care of my job and my home and then have quality time for my family. So I spend 9 hours a day away from home and when I come home, I cook, help with homework, sort through mail, load the dishwasher, unload the dishwasher, plan grocery lists, pay bills, vacuum, do laundry (sometimes), clean up messes, give baths, say bedtime prayers with the girls, run errands and stress about the million other things that I’m not getting done. The weekends aren’t much better with church, soccer, occasional dance or girl scout programs, visiting relatives, grocery shopping and playing catch up from the week. I’m busy, busy, busy, but I’m not focusing my energies in the right places. The problem is, I am neglecting my most important responsibility – being there for my daughters.
As a mom, I’ve been working outside of the home full-time for almost 8 years now, since my oldest was 4 months old. You’d think with my experience I’d know a thing or two about balancing it all but I don’t. I cannot figure it out no matter how hard I try. But try I must, as time keeps moving faster. Only 4 and 8 years old now, soon these girls will be teenagers.
The challenges they face will keep getting harder. And if I cannot give them the time they need now, will they learn to not come to me? Will they find other, possibly dangerous, places to seek comfort and help? What a terrifying thought. Starting today, I will seek out opportunities to laugh and play with them. I will stop what I’m doing to enjoy Dancing with the Stars with my budding ballerinas. I will stop saying it is too late for a bedtime story and will enjoy every moment of even the longest of stories. I will say yes to pedicures and Barbies and baking cookies. I will pray daily that God gives me the wisdom to use my time wisely and invest it in what matters most. The dirty dishes will always be there but these beautiful girls will soon be grown. And what I do today may affect who they turn out to be as young women.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. – Ephesians 5:15 - 17