I was working my way through the backlog of blog posts in my reader and finally made it to a new favourite blog, Steady Mom. As part of the catch up I read Do this today and change everything and the follow-up post, What Choosing Peace Does NOT Mean.
This is the key line from the first post that struck a chord with me.
What will our children remember when they leave our homes–how busy Mom was or how joyful she made them feel?
And how true do I find that in my own life. What will my kids remember of their childhood? Me constantly telling them I have “this job” or “that job” to do, “be patient, I will do that with you once I have done XYZ job”?
That’s not what I want them to take away from this time in their life, but I have a suspicion that if I don’t take more care it will be the case.
The second post is a reply to the comments received on the first. I particularly liked the what isn’t and what is lists for choices that will lead you away from or towards peace in your life. This comment from the choosing peace list struck a chord too.
– That you try to stop what you’re doing to look your children in the eye when they interrupt you
How often do I give more attention to the task at hand than to the small child wanting to tell me the most mundane, eye-wateringly precise details of their life. You know the sorts of thing I mean. The problem is, of course, that to the precious wee soul it is not the least bit mundane or repetitive even if they have said the same thing five different ways already. It is important to them. It is them practising their communication skills and their relationship building skills. This is definitely one area that I would like to work on, paying full attention and putting them first and not the task at hand. But it is not a patch on the main culprit detracting from choosing peace.
The most embarrassing item on the list*, and main time-wasting culprit if I am to be truly honest, is the amount of time I spend on the computer on any given day. I have been interested in unplugging for a while now, but that trend is to take a whole day once a week to be free of the electronic world. These posts remind me that my time is precious and should not be frittered away on those areas that do not enhance our life together. They also tell me that I should not be waiting for a once-a-week unplugging to “fix” things.
I know I rationalise the computer time by saying to myself that I am information gathering to create activities for the kids, or to learn some new skill that I could put to use around the home. But really. Who do you think you’re kidding? Only part of the time generates something usable.
This is the biggest area that requires a good, long and hard look. Making better choices here will pay dividends for us all. But I think it will be the hardest habit to break.
In the meantime, any suggestions for an easily derailed Mum who wants to keep her focus on the positive use of her time would be more than welcome.
* Steady Mom’s list specifically mentions blog reading, but I include all other areas of time spent sitting at the computer, for my purposes.
Further reading: Understanding Your Personality: Balancing Tasks and People
Today in history: 1854 – John Philip Sousa was born. (American composer)
I have always believed that 98% of a student’s progress is due to his own efforts, and 2% to his teacher.
– John Philip Sousa