Monday, March 3, 2014

Being A Mom Means Constant Interruption


(deep breathing) Ok, I'm better.  As a mom at home with kids - whether it's all-day-long or in the hours after work and school - our time is not our own.

Feel like you're sacrificing a lot for your kids? You probably are, and this is a big one.

The other day I had sick kiddos (that's plural). We tend to be pretty healthy, so don't worry about us. But this is a great example of how my time certainly did not belong to me. My husband was out pushing snow, so it was just me and three darlings. 

Oh, I could have start on a project if I'd wanted to. I could have sat down to read or do some writing - if I dared. But I had to be ready - physically and mentally - for constant interruption

Didn't get enough sleep since you were up with the three-year-old most of the night?  Don’t get excited about catching up, because now he's calling every five minutes with desperate requests like 

  • "Put my cup on the table, Mommy!"
  • "Can you get me a cracker?!"
  • "FIX MY SOCK!"  
There was crying and sadness and gnashing of teeth. No nap-taking by anyone over the age of 10.

Of course that was a sick-day and not all days are quite that painful.  But even on regular days, moms (and dads) are asked to sacrifice all waking hours for the good of the children. 

Uniforms clean?  Lunches made?  Mom, I need help with this homework assignment.  Mom, I don’t like my teacher.  Mom, I think I should start a blog. 

Some requests take lots of time.  Others take more.  

Trying to keep it all straight in my head - the little things, the big things, the things I wanted to do - it’s no wonder I often walk into a room and forget why I am there...

Know that this is the case for ALL moms.  You might argue that you know some moms-of-small-children who really have it together.  She doesn’t seem at all forgetful.  She appears to be disgustingly productive.  She clearly has all her ducks in a row.

I would argue, any day of the week, that if you took a magnifying glass to this woman’s life, you would find some messes that you didn’t expect.  You would discover the gives and takes that she implements.  You would realize, there is more than first meets the eye.  

Know that comparisons are so dangerous.  It’s much better to engage and inquire.  There ARE some tricks and tips of the trade (see below).  But there are also families with different needs, different priorities, and different expectations than you and your family.  The bottom line is that those of us with small kiddos ALL struggle with time issues, some days more than others.  

No comparisons.  No beating yourself up.  Recognize the ministry of interruptions for what it is.  Embrace reality.

Know that we CAN learn from each other.  Here are a few recent offerings from other moms in the trenches, fighting the same battle you and I face daily.  

  • Toddlers and Productivity is an interesting post.  I like the way she approaches this, and her suggestion that sometimes we need outside help with our kiddos for a few hours per day (or week), is relevant.  Even if we want to pretend it’s not. 
Know that you WILL have lucky days when you too are productive.

But above all know that the job of being a mom - the ministry of interruptions - is the most productive of any project you will ever tackle.

How do you get anything done?  Or have you given up until your children move out?  I can use all the tips I can get. Please share!

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