5 Things I Wish I did More as a Mom

Similar to the post I wrote two weeks ago about my role as a wife, I thought it would be worth my time to think of ways I could better myself as a mother. Parenting is one of the most humbling things I do, so there are certainly more than five things I wish I did more as a mom, but here are some of my initial reflections:

1. Watch TV with my kids

Really? I am totally serious. Your house may be different, but in our house, with little kids, television is often something used for Mom’s sanity—I throw in a quick DVD and then run the opposite way to do something else—sometimes something virtuous, but more often just to check email or social media. Yet the times I have turned on the television for my kids and watched one of their shows with them, it has been time well spent. My kids have noticed, often something like ‘Oh, you are going to watch with us. Oh thanks Mom’. I think this small gesture makes them feel valued because I have chosen to spend time with them, and I am sure I will look back in 15 years and be glad I did.

2. Play together

I remember when I use to take my oldest son to the park I would play. I would push him on the swings and go down the slide with him. My kids are getting older and don’t need to be pushed as much, but they still have wants and desires, they have just shifted. So now if I offer to play a board game or shoot some hoops with them, they are over the moon. I am sure what they enjoy to do will keep changing, but I want to form habits now where it is normal for Mom or Dad to play a game with them and even that it is enjoyable. Shoot, I better do it now while I can still outshoot them, though admittedly only barely.

3. Pray for them

I love my kids more than I ever thought possible. I spend a lot of time thinking worrying about them— from big things like their health, the choices they will make or not make, whom they will marry or if they will marry, whether they will claim God for themselves, all the way down to the small stuff like, will they get assigned to a baseball team with their friends. I also believe that God is sovereign and in charge of all. Wouldn’t these two emotions lead me to pray for them . . . a lot?

If you read my earlier post about things I wish I did more as a wife you will notice lots of similarities to point five there. Prayer is an area I wish I did more in almost every area of my life. I hope God will grow me in this area through 2015, and beyond.

4. Put my phone down

Yesterday my five-year-old daughter brought a play phone to the lunch table. It was very clear that she was playing like a grown up. What was interesting, though, is that she wasn’t talking on it, like I would have done when I was little. She was looking down at it and mimicking a text. I have a love-hate relationship with texting. I love that you can do it without major interruptions or imposing on the other person, but you have to be disciplined when receiving a text—not to read it the minute it comes in and then feel the need to respond instantly. I don’t always have this discipline. I think I would be a better mother if I left my phone in a basket by the door and only checked it periodically. That really goes for my laptop too. On that note, on to point 5 . . .

5. Say I’m sorry

One of the things we have tried to teach our kids is to say sorry when they have wronged someone. There are times we get this right in our family and more that we don’t, but I fear that we may be a lot better at this on the horizontal level, from kid to kid (usually with parental prompting), but not so good on the vertical level from parent to child. You know the moment when I raise my voice instead of finding another way to get the point across, or when I quickly read a text while they are telling me a story (see point 4), or when I am too self-focused on my computer to be interrupted by a little person’s question – these are the moments I want to say sorry. These are the moments—precisely when I have wronged my kids—when I want to model saying sorry to them. They will learn by seeing it modelled, and no doubt, my heart will be in a better, more humbled, place.

One Comment

  1. Ana Vasconcelos said:

    Beautiful article, Erin. I agree and relate so much to it! I miss you, dear friend!

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