I just need a minute to finish loading the dishwasher. Just one minute to put the baby down for a nap. I need a minute to finish scrolling through my newsfeed. Just another minute until Dancing with the Stars is on a commercial.
One minute. 60 seconds. No big deal.
You know who it is a big deal to? My children. None more than my 5 year old son. Because one minute over and over again adds up to several minutes, then hours. I never knew the value of a minute, until I spent one minute playing “figures” with my son. Or shooting baskets. Or coloring with him. Nothing is more important to him than time. Time playing, time pretending, undivided and uninterrupted TIME.
We spend so much time feeding them, folding their laundry, cleaning up after them, taking them to daycare, to baseball, giving baths, and making sure teeth are brushed. This is where we as mothers tend to feel unappreciated. Because all of that stuff makes our families tick, and keeps us from derailing. It’s true, kids don’t think anything of that stuff because that’s just what moms are supposed to do, as far as they know.
We might not get a lot of thank yous for the time we spend doing those things. (Side note: These things keep them ALIVE.) But I see his face light up when I play “hide the figures” with him. Or when I stand in the garage and watch him show me his new dribbling skills. Sometimes, all it takes is ONE single minute of watching him dribble that ball in place.
I’ll admit, my “just a minutes” have increased since adding a third child to our clan. Truth be told, I probably only get a few MINUTES period. All day. Trying to figure out how to fit everything into a day has offered some challenges. In the midst of that, I find myself saying “hold on,” “just a minute,” and “one second” more often than I did previously. Recently, I have realized that all the JUST a minute items should be the ones I have waiting a minute (or 20). The dishes aren’t going anywhere, the baby can take her nap a few minutes later. And of course, the ugly heads of social media are as important as the color of my socks, yet seem to get far too many minutes.
Let’s not forget that we absolutely deserve Mom Minutes. Time for us. I’m not in any way, suggesting that when we get 120 free seconds at any point in the day, then we need to devote those entirely to our children. I’m just much more aware of each and every minute. Yet again, it comes back to that beautiful balance word. Easier said than done, I know.
My favorite moments with each of my children are those of undivided play. Practicing clapping with our 8 month old. Making yet another cup of pretend coffee with my 2 year old in the play kitchen Santa brought him. Playing John Cena’s WWE theme song and practicing “pins” on our giant stuffed dog with my 5 year old.
Those minutes are my favorite minutes.
The minutes that count. The minutes we can’t get back. I won’t remember that I didn’t get the dishwasher loaded. I won’t remember who won Season 23 of Dancing with the Stars. But I will remember that when we did our bed time routine and say what we are thankful for, that he said “When Mommy practiced her wrestling moves with me.”
I also realize that these years will be gone and I will be begging for a minute of his time. When my house is too quiet, and figures aren’t scattered across my floor, and John Cena is a distant memory. I’ll have all the minutes in the world to fold laundry, and watch Netflix, and load the dishwasher.
And then I won’t know what to do with all of my minutes.
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