Day 26/Post 24: Prioritizing and Presence

I always do these challenges with the intention of learning/growing as a writer. This time I’ve learned that I can’t be a writer and a mom (or a wife!) simultaneously. That doesn’t mean I can never write- I just can’t do it when others are around, dividing my attention. If a post doesn’t get written before the kids wake up in the morning, it’s going to be extremely difficult to fit in later. Not because they demand my constant attention but because I get frustrated and snappy with them when I’m trying to concentrate and am interrupted. Or they’re trying to talk to me and I’m only half listening.

I started to lament about this. To say that I need/want/deserve the time to do the things I want and need to do. And this is true, I do. But my family also needs/wants/deserves to have me fully present when I’m interacting with them. I’ve made the choice to remain a couple of days behind (so far) in this challenge because I simply haven’t been willing to give up the time with my family catching up would require.

This is not to say that I never wish for more hours in the day and more time to pursue more of the things I’m passionate about or interested in. But there is a pervasive message in our culture that when parents, especially mothers, choose time with their children that they are sacrificing themselves. That they could be doing so much more with their life instead of “settling” for parenthood.

My kids are almost grown and time is fleeting. Right now I pursue my goals and interests in stolen moments not as a sacrifice to motherhood but because I value those relationships. This isn’t about mommy martyrdom or giving so much of myself to my family that there’s nothing left for me. This is about understanding my needs well enough to recognize that I am meeting them when I choose to prioritize those relationships.

Case in point- we are headed out the door to spend some time with family today. This post isn’t really as developed as I usually like them to be but I’m making the executive decision that it’s good enough.


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