Is there a more selfless person than a mother? From sun up to sun down mothers are serving their families, communities, church groups, schools, and neighbors.
My mother was not perfect, but I remember her striving for perfection every day. She was constantly cleaning, gardening, canning, making food like home-made bread and cookies for us to eat, taking us places, supporting us, training us, disciplining us, and even providing for us.
My father was one of the hardest working men I have ever known. But, for all his hard work as a school teacher and in the military, as well as other odd jobs, finances were tight for our large family. So, mom babysat other people’s children to help lift some of the financial burden as well.
Time to play
I was the oldest of five children, and I was also my mom’s helper with the children we baby sat, so my individual play time was something I really looked forward to. I remember that when it was time that I could go and play, I was off to a friend’s house quick.
Sometimes no one was available to play so I would go home and sequester myself in my bedroom and play with my dolls.
I loved imagining stories with my dolls and dressing them in different clothes. I often even tried to make them clothes myself, so that they could have new outfits.
Best Mother-giving 15 minutes
There was one moment of one day of my childhood that changed my life forever, thanks to my mother. On this day, no friends were able to play so I went into my room to escape the commotion of the other children and to play with my dolls.
After I had been playing for a while I felt something different; like someone watching me. When I looked up, I saw my mom looking through the crack in my bedroom doorway. When I looked at her she smiled and said, “Nicholeen, can I play dolls with you?”
How did she know? I had longed for not only a playmate, but for her to play with me for so long. She was always so busy serving everyone that we never had time to play anymore. I was growing fast, and I even knew that I wouldn’t choose to play dolls for much longer. During play time that day I was longing for my mother to come play with me.
It had been so long since we had played that I really didn’t have much hope of her coming, but I was wishing for that.
When my mother asked if she could play dolls with me, my face broke into a smile. “Sure!” I said.
Then for fifteen glorious minutes we imagined together and talked together. She sat down on the floor beside me and we dressed the dolls and had child-like conversation. At that moment, my mother was my friend and teacher. I was connected to her in a way I will always remember. I could feel her love. I could feel her wanting to bond with me. I could feel her enjoying that time with me too.
Vision of motherhood
Those fifteen minutes of bliss with my mother taught me multiple lessons. In fact, those fifteen minutes made me the mother I am today. On that day I created a vision of who I wanted to be when I was a mom.
Here are the lessons of motherhood I learned in fifteen minutes:
When you get a thought like “I should play with my child” do it right then. Don’t wait until later. Acting on those thoughts is putting “first things first.”
Playing with children every day gives the children power and the parents power too. Nothing rejuvenates a person like playing with someone else. We all need some play time.
Connecting with children makes parents happy and connecting with parents makes children happy too. Family bonds are more important for happiness than bonds with friends. Put them as a top priority. No play time with a friend ever made that powerful of an impact on my life. I have always been so happy that no one could play that day.
- Focus more on family time and less on friend time. As a society we put too much focus on social time. The best kind of social time happens at home. In fact, God gave us families to meet our social needs, and to train us up into strong, loving, self-governed people of purpose.
Take some time today to change someone’s life. Even if you only have fifteen minutes, it is enough. Play with your children. Look them in the eyes. Talk to them. And, become part of their world for a moment. I promise that as you take that short amount of time to connect to their hearts your relationships will improve, you will have more energy and get more things on your ‘to do’ list accomplished, and your life will be filled with the spirit of love.