Conviction: Children are a blessing from the Lord : )

I was talking to Dasun tonight and, as I rambled, the Lord revealed something to me that really saddened me...okay...made me start sobbing.
I feel like we have been so busy lately and that my time at home with the girls has been really lacking.
Don't get me wrong, I love the girls and I would always say they are a blessing,
but my actions have not been backing that up.
I have been merely tiding them over with a little bit of my time,
Getting them situated and happy so that I can get some work done around here.
This is necessary from time to time,
but I think what broke my heart is that it has become habit.
I have treated them as something to manage (happily, playfully, but manage) rather than something to enjoy.
I do play with them, talk to them, and have one on one time with each of them throughout the day (and always love it), but there's also a lot of time I miss out on because of multi-tasking.
ex. folding laundry while playing restaurant with Kennedy, checking e-mail while feeding Adelynn, cleaning the kitchen while watching the girls play...
Why can't I just stop and be in the moment with them?

None of those things are bad...the kitchen has to be cleaned, laundry done, e-mail checked, floors vacuumed, ...multi-tasking can be great too, but the problem is that there is ALWAYS something...always an excuse to put off playing until I get (insert task) done. The jobs aren't going to stop, so I am going to have to, regardless of what my perfectionism screams at me.

Children are blessings from the Lord.
Scripture tells us that, so why do we so often think that everything else needs to get "done" before we can enjoy that blessing?
I don't know whether it's a lie from the enemy or just our human nature,
but I feel like an idiot to have bought into it.
I have essentially been trading something real and beautiful for something fleeting.
I am praising the Lord right now for opening my eyes to see what I am missing out on.
I think we assume that if we are "at home" with them, we are able to spend this great time with them, but being home, doesn't make that so.
There's plenty of work to do at home as well...plenty to keep you busy.
And while those things have to be done, I KNOW I can be more intentional about the way I am spending my time.
I DO NOT want to miss this!!!

If any of you have tips on how to keep things balanced, I would love to hear them! You can post a comment or email me at ashley.keylor[at]gmail[dot]com


Kendra said...

I know exactly what you mean!! It's a tough balance. I feel the same way...even told Dave last night that I don't play enough with the kids (or get enough done around the house that I want).

The best days for me are the days that I set aside time and focus only on my kiddos. I've even gotten out a timer and told them they get to pick whatever they want to do...we play it. They LOVE it. I give both of my kids undivided and individual time (they both geth their time). I do it in the morning. After we play, they know mommy has to get some work done. Sometimes they'll help or go on and play something else. We would then play something together again later. It helped me focus on THEM and not my list (oh the list). I put them before my list and they knew it.

You have a precious family girl and you are an AMAZING mommy!! Love you!!!

Heidi said...

Thanks so much for sharing your heart, sweet girl. I know that all us mama's can identify!

I also do what Kendra suggested with planning in time with kiddos through the day.

In addition to that David sends me out or takes the boys out for a few hours so I can get some 'heidi time' time to pursue whatever I want that replenishes ME (not work, mind you!)

Usually on a Saturday or Sunday I'll take a few hours to do whatever is renewing for me. That way, if I'm feeling bogged down during the week with the never-ending tasks I know I've got that time set aside to renew and I can refocus and really be present rather than trying to do it all at the same time.

You're an encouragement to me! :)

Jenny said...

Oh, Ashley, you are not alone. I have been struggling with this lately... a LOT. The computer is my #1 distraction. I've thought about moving it to our bedroom (it's currently in the play area, which is basically in a section of the living room), but I'm afraid it would call out to me when I'm trying to go to bed and actually keep me up later (as if that were possible - ha!). So, anyway, I'm right there with you. I pray about it, and some days are better than others, but I know it's a problem.

I used to use the Fly Lady system for houskeeping, and it helped a lot. Just in the last two weeks, I've been trying to get back into the routine of doing the weekly "Home Blessing." I set a timer for ten minutes for each task, and Braden helps me dust and swiffer (I shortened the swiffer pole for him, and he loves it!). Back when I was really into the FlyLady routines, I would set the timer for ten minutes, do a task, and then set the timer for ten minutes again, but instead of doing a task, I would spend that time doing something with Braden. When the timer beeped again, I got up and did another task, and so on. That worked pretty well. I really need to start it up again!

How about we pray for each other? (((HUGS!)))

The Keylors said...

I LOVE that idea! I really think that's the main thing...separating it out so my attention is not divided. Multi-tasking is way overrated sometimes. I am also letting Kennedy help me more. She has always been a good helper (cleaning her room, putting away the silverware, etc..), but I was to do other things WITH her as well. Tonight she helped me make the salad for dinner and she loved it.


The Keylors said...

I do plan some time with the kids and even some fun activities, but nothing consistent. I just feel like work wins out most of the time. I love the idea of setting a timer or setting aside certain times that are dedicated to good family time during the day. I think I am just so sporadic, that schedules/ rules help me manage my time in a better way. I want the important things to win out every day (well, at least when possible).
Thank you so much for suggestions and for letting me know you struggle with this too. : )
Love you girls!!

Alisha said...

I love your heart and vulerability! Thanks for sharing something that many of us (or at least I!) struggle with too. This was a great reminder to me too!

Laurel said...

I agree that multi-tasking is overrated. Maybe some people can do it well, but I really seem to do one thing at a time better - whether it be playing w/ my kids or cleaning the floor. It's hard - I'm right there w/ ya and plan to do some of the ideas other suggested.

sara @ it's good to be queen said...

this is a good discussion going here...love it. i have been really convicted lately as well...about the computer. big surprise. because there's always an email to answer, a blog post to write, pictures to look through, etc. this time is flying and i don't want to waste it either!