I find myself in the throes of my day often uttering the words, ” I don’t have time for this.” Usually, these words escape from my lips when I am feeling rushed, always feeling as if I am one step behind. As I race to fill cups of milk, feed hungry bodies and pack diaper bags for outings, while finding missing socks and tying shoelaces, I find myself glancing at the clock, watching as minutes tick by in a countdown against me. As I help my children search for their missing shoes, or re-zip their coats, I can hear myself saying yet again, ” I don’t have time for this.” I don’t mean to judge myself, or even my children, so harshly, and yet, by allowing these words to become formulated thoughts, I am doing so.
As I attempted to clean my kitchen today, running our broom over the linoleum floor to sweep up remnants of snacks that my children discarded haphazardly before flitting to their next activity, I heard the thud of the toy container in my children’s room hit the floor. Immediately I knew that my children had tipped over the large blue bucket, it’s contents overflowing with toys strewn about on the carpet. Though the words did not fall from my lips in to the air, I could hear myself thinking the thought.
I don’t have time for this.
So many times before I have allowed myself to think or even to say these words without action. Today however, I immediately stopped, setting my broom aside, questioning as to why I allow myself to place such restrictions on not only my children, but on myself as a mother as well.
I should be grateful for these moments, I realized, as they are so fleeting. In just a few short years, my children have grown before my eyes, becoming independent individuals with outgoing and feisty personalities. While there may be days in which the messes they create may seem never-ending, and in which they choose the worst moments, typically right before we are about to leave the house, to need to use the restroom or have a meltdown, by restricting them in thinking I don’t have time for normal child like behavior, I am not only robbing my children of the ability to be children, but I am robbing God of the time he is giving me with them.
Our time on Earth is precious and for those who have the incredible gift of being able to raise children, we know that our time with them is short, before they conquer the world with the lessons we have taught them. By saying that I don’t have time for this, whatever this may be in a given moment, I am saying that I am not giving them my full attention, and for that I vow to be a better mother.
Friends, those with children and even those who may not yet have children, is there something in your life that you are currently finding that you feel you may not have time for? Are you allowing yourself to remove value from that person or that particular thing because you feel as if putting in the effort isn’t worthy of your time? I urge you to truly evaluate your actions, for we never fully realize what message we are sending with our thoughts and words.
I pray that you find in these moments, where you feel that your time is being compromised, peace instead, in the knowledge that you are blessed with these memories. Though it may not seem like it at the time, these circumstances will not last forever, and one day we will long for these messes, these tantrums and this insanity.
So for now, when you find yourself thinking, “I don’t have time for this,” think instead…what else do I have time for?