“We may be busier or less busy in each season, but each is only a season. We must remember to be kind to ourselves as well. One season may have more time for holding and cuddling, another season has more time for teaching, and yet another season may be just for enjoying, but each season should be treasured for the season that it is.” (Cheri Swalwell, Mom Guilt)
Now that our kids are older, I love that they find fun activities to help keep the family connected. Our oldest saw a card game at the store, saved his money, and brought it home as a surprise. It’s fast enough to play when time is short, fun enough to have tournaments with, and simple enough for our almost five-year-old to understand. In fact, our youngest loves it so much, he asks me on a regular basis, “Mom, how about a rousing game of Andale, Andale?” How can I resist those big brown eyes and that charming smile? Soon, our whole family is taking turns stealing and trading, and making sure the four-year-old gets his favorites, “Spike” and “Cowboy puppy.”
Yesterday tried my patience. Deadlines in both jobs. Writing related assignments. Important phone calls. Six plus loads of laundry that didn’t even reach the clothesline until noon. And dinner that couldn’t be made ahead of time. The icing on the cake? Attempted multitasking gone wrong – I made too many mistakes in every area. When my head finally hit the pillow, I felt sad. Even though I stepped away from work in order to connect with my family at dinner and a few other times throughout the night, the majority of my day yesterday was spent working in one capacity or another. I missed out on quantity time with the four reasons of why I work.
I realize life is just like that sometimes. Deadlines aren’t every day. Some days are busier and other days are more relaxing. Finding the right balance will constantly change as schedules, work positions, and life constantly changes. There are many things I can choose to lessen the guilt that arises, and I want to talk about just two of them today.
First, start my day with a date – with my Heavenly Father. Thankfully, yesterday morning God had woken me up extra early. (He knew what I’d be facing.) I had the privilege of spending one hour, uninterrupted with Him, before the deadlines and the craziness began. That helped set the right tone for me so that when I started to let circumstances dictate my emotions, God was able to bring me back to reality. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I praised Him for the income, the experiences, and the reasons why I had six loads of laundry. This morning, even though God allowed me to sleep in so I could get six hours of sleep, our littlest slept in to and I was able to have that date with God, still uninterrupted, a little later in the morning.
Second, remember each day is just 24 hours. I have another chance tomorrow. (And I thanked God for that this morning too). Take moments, even ten minutes during the really busy days, and actively choose to connect with each person that matters. Then, when life is a little slower the following day or week, intentionally choose to create longer, meaningful memories.
Therefore, this morning when our littlest woke up slightly later than usual, I was the one who turned away from my work and asked him if he was ready to play a rousing game of Andale, Andale. His smile spoke volumes. As he suggested, when everyone else is home and settled in for the night, we’re going to invite his sister and brother to play a few games too.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014