“Just a minute, honey, I’m almost done.”
“That’s what you said last time, mom.”
“I know, but really, just give me one more minute. I’ll be right there.
Five, ten, fifteen minutes passed as I worked on my latest project.
My heart sank as I glanced at the clock. My daughter still waited. She stopped calling for me.
Time had gotten away from me while I browsed on the internet, and what I was doing wasn’t even urgent.
UGH! I do not want to be one of those moms where her child remembers her in front of a screen all day.
I rushed to her room.
She looked up, “Never mind, mom. I don’t need you anymore.”
Those words pierced.
She asked for me and I missed it, again.
Soon enough, she’ll stop asking for me.
Soon enough, she’ll seek answers from others when she has a question.
Soon enough, others will fill that void, others who might not have her best interest at heart, so for these years when she earnestly asks for me, for these years when her heart is turned towards her momma’s, I can’t afford to keep missing those moments.
Those moments that I run to her. Those moments that I can make her feel like she is the most important person in the universe. Those moments when she knows her momma will be there for her no matter what she does, and that no choice she makes will ever change my love for her.
She’s not a demanding or needy child. She doesn’t expect me to be at her side 24/7, which is good because that’s not healthy for any child, so when she does really need me, I must respond and prioritize.
Now here’s the tricky dilemma many of us face.
How do we have a healthy balance on the computer without our children feeling neglected?
Since I work from home, there will always be “Just a minute, honey,” moments.
Many times they can’t be avoided, but they need to be addressed. Whether it’s work or a personal project, take the time to explain those needs to your child on their terms.
In practical terms, I get down on my knees. I look her directly in the eyes, so she knows she has my full attention and I make sure she understands, “Sweetheart, there’s nothing more than I would love to do right now than come see the Duct Tape purse you are making (for the 20th time). I want you to know that my computer is not more important than you, but right now, Mommy has got to finish “this because I have a deadline” and I’ve promised someone this will be done. You know how important promise keeping is, don’t you? (Or for something personal try,’ I started working on this before you asked for me, and I need to find a stopping place. I need you to show patience.’) Take this timer with you. I’ve set it for thirty minutes and as soon as it rings, you bring it right to mommy. Even if I am not finished, I will stop what I am doing. Does that sound like a plan?”
They need to feel heard, and too often, we answer half heartedly, with our eyes still on the computer screen, and typing to boot. They fully understand that we are not present in the conversation. (Am I the only one? Maybe I am just speaking for myself then.)
Let me be heart honest.
I have chosen time on the computer over time with my kids too many times and it’s NEVER worth it. We know deep down when our online choices overshadow the needs in our home. When I first started blogging, there were months when it consumed me. I justified it because my husband had lost his job and we were going through a period of unemployment. I was trying to help our family. Yes, all true, but I also wasted time online as an escape.
I had too many unnecessary “Just a minute, honey” moments, and I can guarantee that many of the bloggers you see that seem as if they are doing it all? It’s a facade. Something is slipping or they have a ton of help behind the scenes. It’s impossible to do it all well,and often, it’s the family that is suffering.
My missed moments are fewer and far between now.
I’ve learned the hard way. It’s just not worth it, and it’s one of the reasons you’ve seen less of me over the last few months (up until 31 Days). With that decision to pull back, comes the fact that as a “professional blogger,” pulling back is the kiss of death to growth, but I am one woman, who can’t keep up with it all, and again, my family comes first. My “in real life” comes first. My faith comes first.
It really bothers my daughter when my attention is turned toward the screen (whether that be computer, phone, ipad etc) and she desperately wants to be heard.
She needs me now. She won’t need more much longer and when she’s gone on her own, I sure will wish I could turn back the clock and beg for a few more “Just a minute, honey” moments that I could do over.
So right now, when Pinterest, facebook or “xyz” calls, scream back, “Just a minute, I have a child that needs me. You can wait a minute.”
I’m logging off for the day. Unplugging for a Sabbath rest.
Why don’t you join me?