10/05/2011

Will You Play With Me, Mommy?

Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and gazed up at His face. He was in the midst of teaching her and perhaps the disciples something and Mary was simply riveted. So much so that her sister started to get overwhelmed by all the duties that Mary probably would be helping with on a different day. Poor Martha was more concerned about making a good impression than experiencing Jesus and all He spoke about at her house. How much she missed! I hope, for her sake, that when her Lord corrected her that she wiped her hands, took the pot off the fire and sat down next to her sister to have a listen.

Yesterday my daughter asked me two dozen times in a row if I would play with her. I really wanted to but there was laundry to be folded, dinner to be made, toys to be picked up, and countless other daily things to do. Every time I would finish one thing another thing would catch my attention and I'd be off after it. Elianna would ask again as if she'd never asked, "Mom, do you wanna play with me?" And once again I would say, "Honey, I do want to play, but I have so much to get done. Please stop asking." When bedtime suddenly arrived she was frustrated and disappointed, throwing a mini-tantrum when it was time to brush her teeth. While I brushed my teeth that night I asked God to help me be a better mom and wife. How can I cram more into a day? God brought a couple of conversations to mind.

One was with my mom concerning her upbringing in a very tidy house. "I remember wishing my mother would have played with me more." I can say that my mom didn't keep house the way that my Gramma did. In fact, she used to say that she simply wasn't "domestic" and most of the time the house was a mess growing up. But you know what? My mom knew a lot about me and she always had time to talk.

Another older woman I respect highly was tidying up her well-kept office. I asked her if she was able to keep a clean house when she had small children. She said that she was, but she wished she'd spent more time playing with them and less time worrying about tidiness.

I supposed the Marthas in my life came to mind for a reason. I decided I needed to be disciplined about making time for the kids. I'm going to be homeschooling them, after all. So I set my alarm for 9:30am for a half hour of play time! It was nice to know I wouldn't get lost in the child's play vortex of make believe after dress up after show and tell after bounce the ball. I warned the kids that as soon as the alarm went off again that they would have five more minutes (thank you, snooze button) before the carriage turned back into a pumpkin. They seemed ok with that. I realized that a half an hour is the perfect amount of play time. They were good to go until nap time where they sleep soundly now. Thankfully, I can put in my iPod and finish some more housework while listening to praise music and worshiping Jesus in spirit and truth. It's great that I can be Martha and Mary too! Balance is so important, don't you agree?

After nap time I will set the alarm for 4:30pm and we will play for another half-hour. It's those little pockets of time that will show them they are more valuable to me than keeping things tidy. I will always have stuff to pick up and move from one place to the other, I won't always have my babies here to play with.