My friend Jana finally put a label on something for me.
Us mamas, we all know we should just be more with our kids. Listen to them, speak their love language, take the time to figure out what their love language is. Stop being so busy.
Jana and my mother-in-law were talking about how it’s easy to be a Martha mom, when what the kids want is a Mary mom.
You know, like Martha and Mary in the Bible? Martha was busy. Always busy. Doing things that were important, yes, that were valid, yes.
But Mary did the needful thing. She sat at the feet of Jesus. She chose it. It was a conscious decision. The calming down, the stepping away from the frantic pace of cleaning and cooking for guests. She knew it was more important to just be with her Jesus. The Bible never says Mary wasn’t aware of the needs — just that she chose the sitting.
Mamas have to cook and clean. We know that. The kids know that. I mean really, skip one hour of food, and kids start begging for mama to whip up a meal quick! Starvation is at hand!
But too much happens easy.
Caring for our home is good, but being consumed and worried about it is not good.
“You are worried and upset about many things…”
Dirt doesn’t always have to be swept away. Besides the fact that science has proved that some dirt is healthy for our immune systems, may I suggest that it might also be crucial to our children’s hearts?
I could literally spend all. Day. Cleaning.
I’ve done it before. The kids are starving for attention by the end of the day. For some slow down mama time. They love it when I sit on the floor and help stuff Barbie in a dress. They want me to walk down the dirt road and watch them fly down the hill on their bike, and see the bunk bed addition they’ve put in the fort. They want me to pick peas and blueberries with them, and talk about the birds and the bugs.
Will the piles of dishes kill us? In some bizarre, freak accident, it’s possible. Probable? No.
This past Sunday I stayed home from church because my husband wanted me to rest. He left my oldest son with me, to help take care of the baby. I never really got the “me time” I was anticipating! Cory took Mercy out to the sandbox. She got sand in her eyes, so I carried her into the tub. Sand trailed behind us. I got out the broom, and realized the entire house needed to be swept. The dirty laundry needed to be off the floor in order for me to sweep, so I started a load.
I got the baby to sleep.
Meanwhile, Cory was waiting for the baby to sleep so he could have some special mama time. He wanted me to come sit on the dirt pile to watch him make a fire and cook hot dogs.
I kept telling him, “Give me 5 more minutes!”
He kept coming back, and I kept telling him,”Wait.”
A four-letter word for kids.
He’s a patient, sweet child, and I’ve taken advantage of it. When Cory was little-little, he always wanted me to come outside and push him on the swing. I always told him “wait.” Now he’s eight, and he doesn’t need me to push him on the swing. I missed it. It still tears me up inside; but at least that lesson burned into my heart, and I try to drop what I’m doing if a kid asks me to push them on the swing.
So on Sunday, I knew better. I knew that day was important, a future memory. I wanted Cory to remember “The day Mommy stayed home from church and sat on the dirt pile with me.” It’s the moments that make memories. How we live our moments is how we live our days, and how we live our days is how we live our lives.
No, that quote isn’t mine — but I love it! Time with my children will be gone before I know it. I want my kids to remember a present, intentional, involved-in-their-lives mama. Not a mama who was always too busy.
The house wasn’t perfect when Derek and the kids got home from church. but I did get the one, needful thing done. I sat in the dirt and swapped stories with my son. We made fire.
Thank you, Jana, for putting the chant in my head. I don’t even try. It’s just there — “Be a Mary mom!”