When I worked as a first grade teacher, I had an unspoken pact with myself. Any time a student wanted to show me their work or something they created, I promised myself that I’d stop what I was doing and go see their work.
Why? Because I remember being a kid. I remember the pride of my first accomplishments and what it meant to have someone listen.
I don’t believe I broke my ‘rule’ all year…THEN I BECAME A MOM.
No longer do I work from 7–3 pm. Every moment of every day is now my work schedule. And sometimes, applying my ‘rule’ is just not feasible in daily mom life.
Especially with toddlers, attention is like fuel. If you’re like me, it can be tempting to zone out when the need is too great.
But listen up, moms! We mustn’t! Listening to our children is essential to their emotional health, self-esteem and confidence.
So how does this work on a practical level?
Honestly, I’m still figuring that out! But here’s one thing I do know– as moms we MUST get better at recognizing what I call ESSENTIAL MOMENTS.
These are moments when my child’s need for love trumps my own agenda.
(Painful, I know!)
I can’t stop and cater to my toddler every second of every day, but I can get better at recognizing those moments of critical need.
To illustrate this, I’d like to share a little window into our day…
The other day, my daughter woke up kicking her door at 6 a.m. I begrudgingly got up, greeted her with a smile and started my mom gig.
After breakfast, I had my heart set on a cup of coffee and some journaling time in my comfy chair. I put on Whinnie the Pooh and, no sooner than I sat down, the little monkey was all up in my business.
I tried switching places– letting her have my chair and Pooh–(what more could she want?!) And still – no deal. After a few battles with my pen and hot cup of coffee, I finally stood up– annoyed at her lack of respect of my personal boundaries.
No sooner than I sat down again, she was crawling on my lap and sitting on me (which she rarely does in the morning).
It was then that I realized–this was one of those ESSENTIAL MOMENTS.
I was still annoyed. I was sorely lacking in sleep and patience.
…But I put everything down and held her. And I’m so glad I did! It was a special moment for us.
Tapping into these moments requires discipline and selflessness. There will be times when we miss the boat. But together, let’s aim to make that the exception.
ESSENTIAL moments are fleeting. Let’s tune our ears to them- before they slip away.