All posts tagged Motherhood

Working Mom’s Devotional: Are You Present At Home?

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Some of my friends are picking one word this year.  A single word to sum up a goal or intention for 2015.  A simple way to stay engaged after New Year’s resolutions are long forgotten.

What’s the first word that comes to mind for 2015?

Here’s mine:  PRESENT

No, I’m not going to focus on this word for an entire year.  I’m way too impatient (and I have too many words I’m excited about) so I’ll focus on one word a month.  Want to join me?

This January, I’m asking myself if I’m really present – at home, at work, with others, and in my relationship with God.  Am I engaged in the moment, or am I constantly preoccupied with everything else?  More often than not, I can tell you what’s happening on my email, what’s going on on the other side of the world, or what’s on my calendar next week.  But can I tell you what the person sitting beside me is thinking or feeling?  Am I connected in real time?

This is something I’ve been thinking about for months.  So much that I haven’t been blogging.  I haven’t been writing.  And I’ve backed off considerably from social media.

But this is about more than unplugging.  Unplugging is a knee jerk reaction to something bigger.  Unplugging is about pushing the pause button so I can stop and think.  And listen.  Fortunately, I have plenty of people who are willing to give me advice.

Starting with my third grade daughter.

“Mom, yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  Today is a gift.  That’s why we call it the present.” (Author Unknown)

Pretty timely, huh?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had some serious down time.  I’ve had the luxury of connecting with my family in real time.  And I’ve learned an important aspect of living in the present.  Being present means putting other people before yourself.

Several times over Christmas break, I have spent time jumping on the trampoline in our back yard.  Not by choice.  It’s freezing outside.  I get dizzy jumping up and down.  And I twisted my neck and broke my fingernails playing this crazy game on the trampoline called “Ga-ga.”  It’s much easier to be selfish with my time.  Being present requires me to engage.  It requires me to consider the thoughts and give in to the preferences of others.  It even requires me to play Ga-ga.

But my daughters love it.  They light up whenever I jump, and they say things like, “Mom, this is so cool.  I can’t believe you are actually good at Ga-ga.”    You see, when I’m jumping on the trampoline, I have a singular focus.  I can’t multi-task, I can’t take a phone call or text, and I can’t even carry a conversation.  I just jump, laugh, and try not to get hit by the ball.

Do you make similar sacrifices to be actively present at home?  How can you best engage in real time with your family in 2015?

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Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

Working Mom’s Devotional: Slowing Down With Sick Kids

Working Mom's Devotional

Nothing disrupts work like a sick kid.   Of course, it always happens during the worst possible week.  When I am traveling.  When I am too busy to stay at home.  When I am maxed out.

Enter bronchitis. 

My first-grader, Abby, has been coughing for two weeks.  She’s been trying to tell me she’s sick, but I’ve insisted otherwise.

“Honey, it’s just a cold.  Just drink some water and go to bed early tonight.”

In other words, You can’t be sick right now!  We are all too busy.  Who is going to stay home from school with you?

So I try to convince her she’s not sick.  But she’s not buying it.

“No. Mom, I’m serious.  There’s this frog in my throat.  The nurse says I should get it checked out.”

Did she say “the nurse”? 

Yes, we got the call.  Or should I say my husband got the call.  I was away on business.  (My timing is always impeccable.)

So I rushed home as soon as I could.  I clawed my way onto a full flight by giving them the “working mom” sob story.  And now I’m rearranging my day so that I can take care of her, work from home, and alleviate my guilt.

(Have I mentioned that I’m really afraid of the school nurse?  Ever since she caught me sending Nick to school with a fever in second grade,  she’s got my number.)

Yet deep down, I know that taking care of my daughter is exactly what I want to be doing today.  What I need to be doing.  Because as much as I hate it when my kids are sick,  it forces me to slow down.  To be still.  To stop and to be. 

We sit on the couch and read her favorite book.  She begs me to read another.  I turn off my phone and feed her ice cream.  With one hand on my laptop, I stroke her hair with my other hand.

Part of me feels guilty for doing “nothing.”  I am so preoccupied with being productive that it’s hard – I mean really hard – to watch cartoons and re-read the same books over and over again.  So I  turn my phone back on.  I even take a few calls.  But I don’t mute her coughing or worry about the background noise.  Because today, my most important job is being with her.  Being a mom.  Even forgetting I am a busy, stressed-out lawyer with whacked-out priorities and too many deadlines.

I hear the words of a prophet from the 7th Century BC. 

Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway? (Jeremiah 2:25) (The Message)

I need to take that deep breath.  To thank God for this day.

God, thank you for using a sick child to put my life in perspective.  Thank you for slowing me down.  For showing me that the temporary things that I am chasing do not compare to the gift of my daughter.  And please help Abby to get well soon. 

Has God ever used a sick kid to slow you down?

Do Working Moms Have More Guilt?

Working Mom's Devotional

In case you missed it, a recent study concluded that both working moms and stay-at-home moms suffer equally from guilt (and stress!).

Surprised?

I can’t say I was.  I’m just glad someone finally said it.  Guilt doesn’t discriminate.

Yes, the Guilt Fairy – as I like to call her – spreads her magic dust around in equal doses.  Here are a few things she likes to whisper shout in my ear. Continue reading →

A Devotional For Christian Working Moms?

Working Mom's Devotional

Every Friday, right here, I’ll be hosting a devotional for Working Moms.  But before I jump in – before we launch – I’d like to answer a few basic questions.

Who, What, Where, When, and Why. Continue reading →

(Not) Working At Home

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Over the holidays, I decided to stay home with the kids as much as possible.  The plan?  I would “work” at home the week after Christmas and avoid the office.

Easier said than done.

The good news?

For the most part, I avoided the office.

The bad news?

I didn’t get much work done.  Even worse, I was downright rude to my children.

Continue reading →