Faith · Family · Life · Meaningful Mom

February 15: Time for who?

Over half-way through February and I’ve actually stuck to my goal for two weeks! Woohoo! And I chose to give up cussing for Lent. So good-bye bad language…hopefully I will have many pleasant things to say to everyone (and yes, I’m writing this in my favorite lounge outfit, my bathrobe).

Of course yesterday was Valentine’s Day and Henry realized he had forgotten late on Tuesday night. So he tried to cover his forgetfulness with this statement, “You know that Valentine’s is the holiday made up to sell out of season flowers and cars, right?” Lucky for him, I don’t care that much. I’m not really a gift person. I prefer experiences and quality time, but time in our little world is a highly prized commodity. We have very few hours in the day where it’s just us two and often we each selfishly want that time to ourselves. Really all I usually want is a cup of coffee and an hour or two with anyone just to talk and build the relationship.

And as well as Valentine’s, it was also Ash Wednesday and church was at 7pm which was already a tough time for us since they youngest goes to bed by 7pm. But I was willing to give it a go (Henry was at work the whole day) and get every one ready and head in to church. Until I ran out of time. No one wanted to listen and everyone needed something so dinner took an exceptionally long time to finish and as it were, I finished it and got it on the table at 6:30pm. We weren’t going to make it to church. I was furious and felt like a failure and everyone was noisy (either crying or scream-singing…do yours do that? Scream-sing?). So I yelled. I just screamed. I didn’t scream-sing. I just wanted everyone to be quite. And after Mom yelled in everyone’s face (which I know you’re not supposed to do…I’ve read this post) there was instead shocked silence and then crying. Just what I wanted. 

Little ones create so much chaos. Sometimes it is the best, most fun chaos and sometimes it’s terrible, loud, brain-altering bad chaos. It’s at those times I wonder why I wanted three (or four or more) kids. They take so much time and effort and let’s face it, given my short temper, I’m not very good at it. I just so often feel like I am that mom who is annoyed with her kids and everyone knows it. I am annoyed that it takes 15-30 minutes to get out the door (Do I have waters? Do I have snacks? Where’s my coffee? My purse? My wallet? Keys? Diaper bag? Are there diapers in the bag? Coats or jackets? Why is there only one shoe? Now where is that other sock?). I’m annoyed that they don’t eat meals or I should say the baby eats everything, the toddler eats only carbs, and thankfully the oldest is beginning to eat more vegetables. And there is no logical discussion that will help this situation. But I spend the time repeating the same thing I said the day before. And most of the time they escape the table before they put their dishes in the sink and there’s no getting them back without chasing, screaming, “NO! NO!”, and crying and eventual dismissal with me cleaning up everything for the third time that day.

There’s no time for mom. No time to shower, no time to eat, no time to drink a hot cup of coffee and have a conversation even with my 5-year-old (who could have a conversation with me), no time for exercise, and no time for healthy cooking. Just left over kid food and cold coffee. And what’s terrible is the small amount of time that I could put to better use I spend on my phone or redoing our budget for the third time that week or (like I did yesterday) spending time on Zillow looking at houses during their nap-time. Time wasters. No, I didn’t give those up for Lent, but maybe next year…or over the summer. Because sooner rather than later, the time that I I wanted to myself, I’ll have again, but my kids will be gone and I’ll want time with them back.

Make me Intentional!

I spend about 2.33 hours a day listening to Dave Ramsey talk about money, budgeting, getting out of debt, retirement, etc. I can budget like very few can (or are willing to). And a key phrase he uses is that adults devise a plan while children do what feels good. I am still acting like a child when it comes to how I budget my time. I do what feels good with my time because of how my body feels or my brain feels. Instead I need to discern the best use of my time. Budgeting my time is the same as budgeting my money. Just because I want to buy a brand new car, doesn’t mean it’s in the budget. Same with my time. I need to meet my needs so I can meet my boys’ needs. They need a mom who eats salads and runs and reads and prays because those things are part of my core. And I’ve been neglecting them all the while telling myself there’s some benefit to my time spent on social media. I’m spinning my wheels. I’m angry that I haven’t been an example of being true to who God made them to be by allowing outside influences rule my time and therefore my priorities. I am a limited being despite my fight to prove other wise so I need to tell my limited time how it needs to be spent.

This post has been incredibly long but hopefully there will be some value to you.

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