Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Do You REALLY spend that much time paying attention to your Children?

It's the middle of the summer and easy to allow the days to pass by without much thought. Being a stay-at-home mother who happens to enjoy writing and working on websites offers me flexibility with my time. The goal being that my family gets my time first and my writing and websites fall down the list someplace after cooking dinner and putting band-aids on boo-boo's.

I have never had too much difficulty keeping my priorities in order and getting the things done that need to be done. Some people work well punching a time-clock and others work better meeting a dead-line. I am a dead-line meeter and would rather swim through polluted waters then punch a clock to prove I can get my work finished.

Staying at home bringing up children has always been a joy in my life, that might be why I decided to adopt two more for another round just as the older children left for college. But, I learned with the older children that sometimes a busy mother forgets how much time passes between breakfast and bedtime.

That's why along with the things on the grocery list, the chores I need to finish and the work deadlines I also make sure to keep a little reminder that children need more than a warm body mopping floors or punching keys on the computer. Children need interaction from that warm body they call Mom!

I think the most difficult time of the year for me to keep everything in perspective is the summer. The children are busy playing in the sprinklers and running around and it's easy to just let them play while I get one or two more things done.

It's been a real eye-opener for me to occasionally take time and keep a little record of just how much REAL attention I give to my children. Not including the daily reminders to put away toys, take baths and finish their supper--but actual time--engaging with them for no reason other then being with them. It's just too valuable to interact about Nothing important except learning about who they are.

I generally find that about this time in the summer my actual face-time with my children has dwindled to less then what I would expect from the mother I claim myself to be. The summer routine has set in and everyone is doing something but, am I really doing the job I say I like the most?

The great news is that it isn't very hard to adjust and correct when a mother finds she has been a little neglectful of just sitting with her children for no particular reason. The best news is that it doesn't cost a dime or require a drive to someplace to give a child some quality mom time. It is as simple as eating lunch together at the same table or having a child help make a Peanut butter and Jelly Butterfly Sandwich! A few cookie cutters and the ordinary ingredients makes it a little time engaging with my children in a real way, directly feeding their hearts with a Memory.

My blog is called New Memories because each and everyday I have been blessed with the chance to help my family Make a New Memory... memories don't always need to be big trips to Disneyland or anything that requires great effort. My best memories of my childhood include mostly those special moments when my mother was giving me some Face-Time or holding my hand while we talked. Yes, those Christmas mornings and trips to Disneyland are memories I look back and recall as special--but, not the same as feeling my mother's thumb pet a spot tender on my hand, as she has the habit of doing.

I just spent a few weeks visiting my mother and on the last night we fell asleep holding hands... If I have no other memory of my mother made for the rest of my life this one will live with me forever. It was not just the flash-back to childhood her hand in mine caused, but the fact that it was her hand holding mine for those moments before we both drifted to sleep. It is sometimes the smallest things that can make a child FEEL the love most... even a child who is 45 years old!

My goal and my hope as a mother is to be remembered for the little moments I spend with each of my children between all the work that parenting is. My goal in the morning is to make sure and give my children a small memory of tomorrow they may not even realize I have given. It's simple to hold a kids hand or look into their eyes and be interested in the little thoughts of their minds.

What memories will you make of yourself for your child to realize they have about you when they are 45 years old?

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