Make Sure They Know They Matter

I do it every semester. No matter how hard I try to get ahead on grading for my online class, I always get behind and end up cramming it all into the weekend before grades are due. And even though I know it’s coming and I need to carve out time, I find myself wrapped up in everything except grading.

            In anticipation of my extreme procrastination and knowing my need for sunshine and the outdoors, I set up my workstation on the porch. I graded for a little while and then got distracted by the lovebugs, hummingbirds, or lizards playing in the flowerbed. I tried to refocus, but I found myself distracted again, this time by an email I forgot to send and a message I forgot to return. The next thing I know, my cat is wrapped around my feet and we are talking and my grades are still not getting done.

            So, I moved inside, got a big slice of cake and tried again. Food is always a great motivator. I made some progress and the next thing I know, I’m waking up to my cell phone ringing. Apparently working in my recliner through the middle of the afternoon meant naptime! I finally went to bed around eleven, ten hours after I started. I did manage to finish all of my grading, but imagine how much easier that would have been if I worked two hours a day for five days instead of waiting until the day before?

            As I reflect on my weekend, I find myself wondering what else I have been putting off. With Mother’s Day right around the corner, immediately my mind goes towards my kids. Am I investing enough time? Am I putting them ahead of silly projects? Am I hugging them enough? Am I helping them grow spiritually? Am I prioritizing everything else so that they are a priority? Am I taking care of myself so that I can be available to them whenever they need me? Am I preparing them for their future success? Am I present? Am I loving them big enough?

            I know, I hear you over there groaning. We mamas do everything for our families. We cook, clean, organize, rescue, and we are exhausted. I’m not saying we aren’t already busting our tails, because I know that we all are. But, what I am saying is this: am I seizing those simple, special moments? Am I laying on the grass and watching the clouds? Am I holding them in my lap and reading to them? Am I praying for them? Am I valuing their interests and listening to them talk incessantly about Sonic or Pokemon or Lego man Lloyd? Am I turning off the tv and having conversations? Am I sitting on the porch and counting the frogs? Are we catching lizards and chasing the chickens? Get the picture? So, what needs to change? What simple adjustments do I keep putting off that could influence my child’s whole day?

Whatever it takes, let’s make our days matter. It’s the simple things that stick with kids as they grow up. Game nights. Movie nights. Cloud watching. And star gazing. Our kids are important, no matter how old they are. Let’s make sure they know they matter.

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