Thursday, February 17, 2011

Take the Time to Slow Down

So somebody already called me out on an error I made in my last post.  I wrote, do your children know that they are the most important things in your life and what I meant to write was, do your children know that they are one of the most important things in your life.  Tough crowd!! Ha!  I'm just teasing, thanks for the comments, I really do appreciate them and hope that I receive more.

It seems in life that it is so easy to get caught up in the crazy day-to-day activities and stresses that we don't stop to just take a breath, sit back and look at what's really important.  We are all busy, raising children can be super stressful and a lot of us would like to try to have our own lives as well.

I was recently watching The Talk when a famous actress told the audience about a mistake she had made that forced her to look at her life and to slow down.  She was a super busy mom as we all are, she had her baby with her and was running errands and decided to stop into a Starbucks for some coffee.  She thought to save time she'd leave the baby in the car and run in by herself since she was just going to be a minute.  While in the coffee shop she ran into a friend, and then another friend and before she knew it several minutes had passed and she had totally forgotten about her baby locked inside her car.  It wasn't until she heard a commotion just outside the coffee shop did she realize what she had done and raced out to her car.  Several people had noticed the baby alone in the car and when they realized she was the mother they started calling her nasty names and saying awful things to her.  She said that she started shaking and felt sick to her stomach.  She felt guilty about what she had down and then one day she realized that if she was going to get anything good at all out of it she would turn it into a lesson learned by her and share it with other mothers so that they don't make the same mistake.

I will admit that I've been so consumed with the busyness of life that I've made a similar mistake.  When my middle child was four years old I had a friend pick him up from preschool and drop him off at his babysitters house.  I had so much going on that week that I forgot that I had told my babysitter that I was going to take that day off from work and that my son wouldn't be going there that day.  Since she wasn't expecting my son that afternoon she took the rest of the daycare kids on a field trip.  My friend dropped my son off at door, watched him go inside the house and left.  Once my son realized his babysitter wasn't home he spent the next thirty minutes walking up and down the side-walk screaming for her.  When the babysitter got home and found him she immediately called me and I felt sick.  My stomach sank and I thought I was going to throw up. My husband and I picked up our son and had to go to our daughters elementary track and field day.  I remember sitting on the bleachers shaking and sick to my stomach.  I apologized to my son over and over and held him in my arms.  I could I have been such a terrible mother?  That  evening my husband sat down with me and discussed the fact that I needed to slow down.  I was commuting to work and trying to be their for my kids and for me it was not working.  Less than two months later I started working from home.

I know many mothers who can handle an enormous amount of obligations with poise and grace.  They are always organized and on top of things and do everything with a smile.  I am not one of those mothers.  I do the best I can but I do need help now and then and I'm not afraid to ask for it.  My children have clean clothes, I make them decent meals, they have a comfy bed and they know they are loved.

I still think about the day that my son was left all alone and how it was all my fault.  But it reminds me to continue to evaluate my time and to realize that if I'm getting too busy again that I need to slow down before it's too late. 

Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold.  But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.  ~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You

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