Mamas Running Amok

8 Feb

Mama needs a chill pill

On several occasions I feel boggled down with the heavy-never ending list of to do’s.  On these days, I know my kids get the short end of the stick and in the greater scheme of things, those little “to do” things really didn’t matter. I sometimes take for granted the gift of multitasking and run myself ragged and my kids end up as collateral damage. Let me make this a little bit more colorful.

On this given morning, I was racing to get my kids and myself  ready to go to–wouldn’t you know it, I can’t even recall what was so important we needed to make a fatal dash. In the bathroom, Rockford wanted to pee before brushing his teeth (a task he always seems to delay).  At the same time, I am placing Rocco just outside the bathroom with toys to distract him from coming into the bathroom. Rockford comes up to me to unbutton his pants and I haphazardly turn around and elbow Rocco in the head. I quickly comfort him and make a dash to the toilet to help Rockford with his “tricky” pants as he calls them. As he leans forward to pull down his pants, I raised up the toilet seat and BAM! Toilet seat hits his forehead. I felt so bad watching him brush his teeth with a red mark on his forehead. 

 In his book “Bringing up Boys” Dr. James Dobson, calls this way of life, “routine panic”. He sates, “We live our lives as if we’re on freight trains that are rumbling through town. We don’t control the speed–or at least we think we don’t– so our only option is to get off.  Stepping from the train and taking life more slowly is very difficult. Old patterns die very hard indeed. This lifestyle characterizes the vast majority of Western nations.” He goes on to quote Pollster George Barna whose findings supported this notion and stated, “It is becoming less common these days for a teenager to have time isolated for focused interaction with family members”.  Sadly, I believe this is the reason many kids, especially boys, seek attention, sense of belonging and intimacy in the wrong places and end up getting into trouble.  I mean, when was the last time we stopped our ” to-do list check off marathon” to simply sit down and drink a cup of joe while reading the bible, played a board game with our child or got off the phone when feeding our toddler? Last time my mom visited she mentioned how much easier it was tending the kids in her day because there was no technology distraction like the cell phone, the internet, DVR etc. Our time is constantly being vied for today. Dr. Dobson struck a chord with me when he stated this, “I find that children and young people are starved today for family life as it used to be–but almost never is.”

His statement struck a chord with me because I was reminded of my childhood and upbringing. I was reminded of what my parents valued and how they showed me and my siblings a “slower pace” of quality life. They made time to go on a long Saturday drive to go visit relatives just because. Our “holiday” days off really were holidays, not a time to catch up on mundane tasks. My dad would pile all eight of us kids and we would drive down to Ensenada to the camp grounds. Our summers were filled with beach days, park days, picnics and when we were lucky amusement parks.  Every Sunday we had the same meal, bucket of chicken with all the fixin’s and my mom’s famous Mexican rice. Dinner was a special ritual that started with grace and ended with an, “Ya acabe, gracias a Dios” (I am done, thank you Lord [for the meal]). Coming home from school we were always sure to find mom waiting for us with a warm meal. Man, those were the days. You know, I am sure my parents just like most of us, must have struggled with finances and I am sure we had to do without a lot of things, but looking back now I can say those “things” we did without didn’t make the difference in my childhood. What made the difference was having my parents there and having their attention, time and love. This, this is what I can lose perspective of sometimes and is what I crave and long to give my children.

(My sisters and I in a camper heading home from an Ensenada trip)


I want to challenge you to think of what you would like your gravestone to read? What really mattered? What legacy would you be satisfied leaving your children?  When our kids look back years from now, I believe they too will think as I am today, that the attention, time and love we dedicated to them overwhelmingly gave them a “quality life”  and the “things” they did without wont even be remembered. 

In Luke 10:38-41 it reads, “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’   Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'”

Cleary, Martha was not able to impress Jesus with all the activities she was busying herself with. Jesus assured her that all those tasks and details she worried herself with were not important, what was important was giving her time and attention to Him. That was precisely what Mary was doing. This is what we should be doing with our loved ones, sitting with them and “listening” by giving them our attention. Let me close by echoing Dr.Dobson’s writing, “Someone said love is giving somebody your undivided attention.”  Let’s draw inspiration from this and live our lives today with our child’s tomorrow in mind.

4 Responses to “Mamas Running Amok”

  1. mommylili February 8, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Ahhh, it’s so easy to fall in to the “I want” demands to keep up with the friends. But, you’re right! When I think back on our childhood, I can’t remember what I wanted that I didn’t have, all I remember are the trips, picnics and the all too hilarious family baseball games. When dad wanted to end the game, he knew how….LOL…priceless!!!

    Amazingly enough, it has gotten easier to say to to my girls. Sure, had to put up with tremendous tantrams at first, but with time they get used to it. It’s almost as if they ask knowing they will get a NO. And if for some reason they get a yes, their eyes grow in disbelieve….lol….love it =)

    So, yes, unplug, disconect, log off and give my time to my girls….still working on it…lol…but Family Night Friday is a must, they will not let that slide =D

    Not a bad picture, but I would have used the one of us playing baseball at the park. I know we have it somewhere =D

    • Training Up My Boys February 9, 2011 at 10:23 am #

      I absolutely agree that the “I want/I need” demands of keeping up with friends…and acquaintences sometimes seems like a “priority”. I am so tempted to use the food timer on myself for when to get off the computer like I use it on my son to get off my iPhone. He totally respects that timer. Well let’s at least be aware that these distractions exist and not be in denial that they don’t play a role from taking us away from our “real priorities” and that is our family. Then we can start exercising ways to limit their usage and power over us 🙂

      • erika crosthwaite February 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

        i totally relate!! these are my morning’s!! getting danny ready for school i need to work on not rushing him, just breathing,, i hate when that panic sets in.. i don’t want to transfer that nervous energy.. thank god we are aware of it and work on being gentle soothing mommy’s …even when we are running amoK! love the pic too! LOl

      • Training Up My Boys February 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

        It’s good to know we re not alone in this journey right? I don’t think there is a mom out there who doesn’t have these days. We just have to remember not to let these moments define us and overshadow all the great things we do with our kids. 🙂 You are doing a good job Erika!

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