Having toddlers is HARD. It’s one of the most overwhelming and time-consuming things I’ve ever experienced. There are some days I’m literally with kids from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. I have no break because they literally follow me to the bathroom.
Throw a 4-year-old and 6-year-old into the mix plus homeschooling plus running a business from home, and I go from skilled to just losing my ever-loving mind. Sure, I chose to do this and most of the time I LOVE it, but YIKES, its hard stuff y ‘all.
Multitasking becomes something we as moms become extremely good at. In fact, as I’m typing this right now, I’m also stopping to grab my 1.5-year-old from walking out my front door, then stopping to get him water, and then going to wipe a bottom. All in the last 5 minutes. How I ever complete a thought, I’ll never know.
But, I can learn a thing or two from my youngest. He’s in awe of the world around him. He sits, completely engrossed in his thoughts studying how the wheels spin on his truck. Or noticing a dog walking by outside, or watching the trees blowing. And he gets so excited about these little things. Watching him learn mundane things makes me realize they’re not so mundane. My child sees things through the eyes of a child… with wonder, with innocence. With awe in our God’s creation.
When did we become too busy to stop and notice these things too? We jump from thing to thing. Checking off the never-ending to-do list. Making ourselves feel like everything needs to be done before we can actually sit down and enjoy our kids.
I’ve spent way too many times in the last 6 years of being a parent saying the words, “I’ll play legos with you in a minute,” or “I’ll read to you and rock you tomorrow night, I have too much to do tonight.” Eventually, they just stop asking.
Sometimes, I think that I’ll be present and just focus on them as soon as my to-do list is done. That will be my “reward” for finishing everything I need to do for the day. I’ll just relax and be present with them. But the truth is, I never seem to finish and things keep piling on. It’s just one more message to respond to and then I’ll play with you. My heart breaks with how many times my older two have heard this.
Being present is a tough skill to master because it means everything has to pause and you have to think about what is happening at the moment. Not the text you just read or the news story that you just saw a friend post. It means I have to put my phone down. It also means I listen to what my kids are saying when they talk to me. I need to stop thinking about what’s for dinner or the next thing I need to do and just be in the moment with them.
I need to know when its time to shut the laptop and put up the phone. I’ve actually heard of moms that have to put their phones in their garage or closet to completely stay away from the distraction. I say, if that’s what it takes, then do it. We can’t let this precious time slip by. Soak up the joy and wonder that’s in our kids’ faces. Take mental “photos” of sweet things that happen throughout the day for memories that you’ll keep in your head for a lifetime. Go now, sweet momma, hug your babies and be with them. This time is short!