It would seem that I’m expert at tuning out my kids.
But in my defense, after having six, I’ve rationalized that it’s a survival skill. (Just kidding – sort of.)
When my teens talk, I hear every word they say. My young adult kids – I’m practically begging some of them for words! But my younger ones never seem to stop talking. And I’ve learned over the years that I’ve become pretty adept at tuning out the sounds that come out of their mouth. “WHAT!! When did I say you could have 15 cookies?!”
There are so many lovely voices and worthwhile activities competing for our interests as moms; and honestly, If I’m not careful, I’ll be completely swept-up and carried off by them.
I love blogging. It’s a privilege to be able to communicate the message of hope and healing that Christ is able to bring to all families; but if I’m not careful I’ll type my life away and miss all of the “could have been” moments, when all my kids really needed was a mom who was “present,” who was there in the moment – creating moments.
If you hang around this blog long enough, you’ll soon discover that I love Little House on the Prairie (Writen by Laura Ingalls). Laura’s family lived such a simple life. They didn’t have much, but they had each other; and for Laura, that was more than enough – that was abundance.
Laura lived in the abundance of her family’s love.
If Laura’s mother was distracted at all, it was with all of the cooking and cleaning and sewing and farm work necessary for an early American pioneer family to survive in the mid west.
Laura lived a no frills kind of life. She made candy out of snow. She made balloons out of hog intestine. She made dolls out of corn. She played in the dirt. She swam in the creek. She fished. She and her sister sometimes shared one cup for their meals.
Yet, her accounts of childhood are happy and filled with joy and love and laughter. She had such a profound sense of gratitude for what she did have. Yeah, there were tough times, but the strength of her families love and their faith in God got them through the toughest of times – which weren’t in short supply.
Despite their “lack” of earthly possessions, Charles and Caroline Ingalls (Laura’s parents) managed to raise a child who’s recollection of her childhood would one day profoundly impact American literature and delight countless generations.
Do you think they knew that was happening?
This is the life that Laura remembered.
I wonder what my kids will remember.
I wonder what kind of mark I’m leaving on my children. I wonder if they could grow-up to write such books. No, not if they’d have the skill – but would they have the heart.
I wonder if they wouldn’t rise to the occasion because I was simply too busy . . . too busy to give them my full attention. Too busy doing something else “good.” Too busy realizing my dreams. Too busy thinking that I will have a chance to hear what I’ve missed (from unconsciously tuning them out) when they become teens and young adults.
Sometimes I’m frustrated about the lack of progress I’m making on my own initiatives – on things that make me happy and fulfilled as an individual. Even my calling (to write to encourage women) can distract me from being available to them. I have to continually remind myself that my first calling is to my family, so whatever it is that I think I must communicate through this website can wait. It’s really not that important if I’m not busy creating a home-life that could one day inspire them to change their world.
This is how I want them to remember me. And I hope to give them plenty of “Little House” lovin’ to inspire them!
Holla Back!:::What about you? Do you struggle to find the balance between “good mom” and “productive mom”? What are you thoughts, struggles or successes in providing a “mommy is distracted” free home? Post a comment below to share!
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Aimee Imbeau says
My oldest is 14 and I keep thinking that I have only a few years left with her – I try my best to make every moment count. Thanks for linking up to Grace and Truth.
Hi Aimee! Yes, the time goes by so very fast. Enjoy every moment with your girl. You won’t regret a minute of it. Thanks for stopping by!
Karen Del Tatto says
Tiffiney, I too LOVE Little House on the Prairie. I always wanted to emulate the kind of mother Caroline was, who remained calm and devoted to her family and home; a woman who put God first above all these things which outpoured in gentle love to her husband and children.
I love your insights into Little House on the Prairie and what was meaningful for Laura to write down in her “Book of Remembrance”; and how we should be mindful of what our children will remember. Were we truly present or just a warm body in the room?
Thanks so much for sharing and spurring me on to Seek First His Kingdom knowing that He promises to add everything unto me.
Your “warm body in the room” comment really got me. Everyday we need these reminders, and yours qas my rEminem for today. Thanks so much for stopping by my Little House on the Freeway! Please come again soon! I’ll leave the porch light on for you. :o)
This post so resonated with me Tiffany! I love the outlet that blogging is but if I am not careful I too can also tune out my kids(5) We love the Laura Ingalls books and have learned so much from them. I have been also wanting to write a post about them;) We just finished By the Banks of Plum Creek together. So many great life lessons to learn! I love sharing with my kids what she was thankful for even when compared to our standards theses days it was hardly anything. I have been setting boundaries for myself with computer time and it has helped me tremendously to give my kids my full attention and still have my outlet. Hope you find what works best for you and stay faithful to your family and ministering to others! SO blessed by your honesty and truthful words!
I’m such a Little House girl at heart. You probably noticed that my blog page is titled “Little House”. :o) And what a good and necessary thing to do – setting those boundaries so those little tots can have the best of us. But we must give ourselves grace, too; for we will fail (at times). :o)
Thanks so much for stopping by. Please come again.
Katie Westenberg says
So much beautifully hard conviction here, Tiffiney. I desire so much of the same. Yet sometimes I feel like that perfect balance is elusive. It truly demands me continually laying it our before God asking him to search my heart, my intentions, that I may live this out, everyday, well. Thank you for this reminder.
Oh, Katie, I so get what you’ve said and I’m in the same boat of praying and asking the Lord to continually search my heart for intent and motive and all that other good stuff. We’re in this thing together!
Thanks for stopping by!
My teenage daughter was complaining recently about her childhood and it got me thinking how much the picture of my childhood changed in my mind as I grew. I see so much of my parents love for me now that I missed then in a forest for the trees way.
How true it is that our perspective changes (thankfully for the better!) as we grow up and mature. The more I age, the more I realize just how much my parents loved us kids through every age and stage – and it continues till this day!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Please come again!
Mama Brucks says
You have grabbed my heart and twisted it into tears! I have the same thoughts about blogging and how I might type my life away instead of embracing it…I somehow feel more compelled to be present for my readers than my own children..I made a decision today that I am to be available for my kids and if I must neglect my readers then that is what I will have to do! I am only accountable to God alone and if He is begging me to “see” my kids then that is what I will do…sorry to all those readers out there but that is how it needs to be! Glad you wrote this one! Thanks!
Hey there Mama Brucks!
I TOTALLY get what you’re saying. It’s sooo easy to get consumed with all of this blogger stuff – even when we know God is in it. Lol! How to not let it consume us is a daily battle – but one worth fighting for!
Thank you for stopping by and sharing your heart. Please come again, soon.
Michele Morin says
I have asked myself the same question many times. I love all your references to Laura’s books. Such an idyllic family background — Lord, help us to be present, daily , to our kids while they are still in our homes each day!
(Thanks for stopping by, Michele!)
Our Home of Many Blessings says
I love this! Great post. I would love it if you could share your thoughts at my Monday of Many Blessings Link Up! I always think about how do I want my kids to remember me or at least remembering a happy, christ filled childhood.I can only hope that I am doing a good job of it! http://ourhomeofmanyblessings.com/
Hi there! (Our home of many blessings),
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I wish I knew your name. Who are you? :o) I went searching around your site to find the person behind the name. Ha! But I get it. You want to be anonymous. Thanks for the invitation to link up. I shall stop by from time to time. Blessings.
Amy M says
I love this! Ultimately, I want our kids to remember not so much the things we had, but the love and warmth of our home. And I pray every day that somehow the life we’re creating together will help point them to God.
Yes, you are spot on! Is there anything more important than our home life pointing our kids to God? Um…no! :o)
Thanks for stopping by to comment!
Renee (mendedandblended.com) says
Tiffiney, this post is really well written. I feel exactly the same way you do….Ultimately I want my kids to be content with us, with our family and just being together. I have to remind myself of that when I get caught up in what “I” want to do, when I am not giving myself to them as much as I should be. I want them to have good memories of their momma 🙂 Blessings to you and your family!
Howdy! I’m so glad you stopped by. Yes, apparently, we are all in this “am I giving my kids enough of me” thing together – at least those of us who blog. :o) Please stop by again soon.