We had just returned home from a winter camping trip. Mountains of laundry and snow gear lined our hallway, dishes were begging to be loaded in the dishwasher, and food needed to be unpacked and put away. Lots of work waited to be done – not to mention all the ‘usual’ weekend chores to get things in order for the week…cleaning, grocery shopping, food prep…you name it.
And then, from the playroom, my son’s voice – ‘Mommy, can you play a game with me?‘
In that moment all those good-mother messages played through my mind. You know the ones; the ones that tell you to stop. That chores can wait. That you need to nurture their little heart in that moment, that you’ll never have this time again.
And I seriously considered that, but then I did something else.
‘I’m sorry buddy, but no,’ I started. ‘We just had a really fun weekend together as a family, so now we have lots of work to do to clean up. That’s part of taking a break to have fun – you have to work hard later to make sure you get all your work done.’
I thought it was an opportunity for a great lesson. Yes, there are moments when we say ‘yes‘ at inopportune times to spend extra special time with our children. But then there are others when we teach them the importance of responsibility, the value of work, and the necessity of obligation.
We often talk about the demands of different SEASONS of motherhood, but the truth is that it’s a moment-by-moment journey. Some moments ask that you put down the laundry basket and get on the floor with your kids. But others ask that you tackle that laundry like a boss and let your kids fend for themselves.
There’s no right answer, and there’s no wrong answer.
So if your kid asks you to play and you say no once in awhile, it’s okay.
You’ll say yes another time. Right now just isn’t your moment.