Tiny Tweak #2 To Be A Better Mommy

I love the LORD, because He hears My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.  Psalm 116:1-3

I am a card-carrying multi-tasker.

Even as I type this, a pot of chicken stock is boiling on the stove.  Yes, I know it is 5:56am.  But I’d saved the rotisserie bones in the fridge last night…so why not blog and boil chicken bones, right? Makes perfect sense to me!

Quiet time. Coffee.  And chicken stock.  What a combo!

Women, we do this multi-task thing well, don’t we?

Have you ever….

Cleaned the bathroom while catching up with an old friend on the phone…

Exercised and listened to a sermon…

Folded laundry and helped with homework…

Mopped the floor while calling for a dentist appointment…

Cooked dinner while running loads of laundry…

As moms, we pride ourselves on our multi-tasking skills.  We are bonified-multi-funtioning-machines.  And we must be! How else would we accomplish all we must do in our waking hours?

But I have found that multi-tasking is a detriment when it comes to spending time with my boys.  My chronic state of partial attention has spilled into the wrong pond.

I have caught myself, too many times, playing Uno with Luke and private messaging on Facebook.

Or reading emails while listening to an after-school story.

Or surfing Pinterest during family movie night.

As I prayed yesterday morning, I was heavy with conviction as the Lord brought this to mind.  And in that moment of prayer, I thought of the Lord’s focus and attention that was 100% on me.

Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

When we bring ourselves before the Lord, never once does He hold up his finger, signaling us to “wait just a minute.”  Nor does He cover His mouth with a shushing finger, encouraging us to “hold our horses” or “wait our turn.”  He is never distracted.

His focus is ever on us.  Listening with full attention every time we approach Him.  And even still when we don’t.

The Huffington Post recently did a study which claims that our culture, with all of its technology advances – texting, email and social media – drives our lives into a “perpetual state of partial attention.”

Wouldn’t you agree?  Do you feel that tension, too?

If you are anything like me, your phone is always near by.  Pandora might be playing in the back ground. Emails are chiming brightly from the laptop.

We are always on, open and available to the world.

This “easy accessibility” has made me less accessible to my children.  The ones who matter most. Being so “on and open” has caused me turn the “closed” sign over on the door to my living-breathing-in-the-room-with-me-family.

A friend recently shared with me a story about a husband quite addicted to Facebook.  At meals. At rest. At play — social media was open and his thumbs were always busy staying connected to his virtual friendships — but disconnecting him from his flesh and blood.

One night the wife put her hand over his phone, drawing his attention away from the screen in his palm and graciously, but sternly said,  “I know you love Facebook.  But what about my face?”

Ouch.

After those stinging words, the two of them wrote a Family Media Contract that drew much-needed lines, allowing their family to fully engage during dinner and the hours before bedtime.

Partial-attention is different that multi-tasking, and I have sorely confused the two.

My boys desire my full-attention, and they deserve it. They need my eyes looking into theirs.  They need me to look at their face when recapping a recess story. I need to watch their expressions.

When Luke brings me a picture, he wants me to study it.  Observe his choice of color and skill of staying in the lines. Ethan needs to hear me brag on the rainbow loom bracelet he made and the glow-in-the-dark-white bands. And Grant needs me to ask detailed questions about his research paper, Latin assignment or most recent Legends of Zelda drawing.

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I need to stop half-@$$ listening to my children and give them ALL of my focus.

There I said it!

Dinner won’t burn.  That text can wait. The laundry will still be in the basket… (Oh will it ever.)

But my kids… and these moments… FINITE.

Tiny Tweak #2 To Be A Better Mommy is to follow after the model set before us in Psalm 116….

I love the LORD, because He hears My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1-3

Lean in and listen.

I resolve to look with intention when they talk to me or show me their school work.  Ask questions. Be excited.  No more nodding and or courtesy laughs.  No more Pinterest or emails.

When they are with me…. I am with them.  Not in a perpetual state of partial attention.  But like the Father demonstrates to us… Leaning. Listening. Inclining an ear to hear.  Waiting with expectancy and excitement everyday when their feet hit my floor.

And in the wise words of Aerosmith …. I don’t want to miss a thing! {grin}

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So mommy, no condemnation, K?  It is still ok to boil chicken bones and blog {what!?}.  But let us laser focus when our kiddos burst through the door.  Hold me accountable to putting my phone away and shutting the computer screen – promise?

I catch up on emails when they graduate.  And sadly, that will happen before any of us are ready.

Grace to you, sweet multi-taskers.  And join me, if you need, as I tweak my partial-attention problem and incline my ear to be a better mommy.

 

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One thought on “Tiny Tweak #2 To Be A Better Mommy

  1. Well said! Have you ever seen the Ted talk “together alone”? Good stuff in this day and age- and I would say the same holds true for our kids and their friends in this age of electronics!

    grace

    >

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