One Hundred Minutes | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

March 13, 2014

One Hundred Minutes

"In a minute."

I must say this one hundred times a day. As I'm making breakfast. As I'm folding clothes. As I'm talking on the phone. As I'm checking my email. As I'm doing any number of things on a given day and one of my girls, my precocious little bugs, skips up to me and asks me to give them attention.

"Mommy! Can you get this toy for me?"

"In a minute."

"Mommy! I need you! Chica took my doll!"

"In a minute."

"Mommy! Can I show this to you?"

"In a minute."

"Mommy!  Can you watch me?"

"In a minute."

One hundred times a day these words tumble thoughtlessly out of my mouth. One hundred minutes. One hundred minutes of choosing this over that. Of choosing a chore over a moment

Of choosing myself over them.

I have chosen wrongly.

Even as I read over the words I've typed my heart aches and my eyes fill with tears. Guilt seeps in from the deep, dark places. I've chosen wrongly, and for every day of their lives, I've wasted one hundred precious minutes. One hundred irreplaceable moments of connecting with beings of my own flesh and blood, giving them my utmost attention and praise, and hearing their sweet voices.  

These moments I will never know. A ballerina's dance to an empty room. A work of art crafted upon construction paper. A tender conversation between sisters. Small bodies snuggled up against me as I read a story. One hundred opportunities to hold tiny hands and receive tender butterfly kisses on my cheek and tell my beautiful daughters I love them. I forfeited the rights to these moments, and they passed, unnoticed, in other rooms. 

All in exchange for a minute for myself: a chore, an email, an item on my to-do list.

I ache over the hundreds of thousands of moments I've already lost with them. I scold myself for all the in-a-minutes I spoke today. And I sit, wondering, how many things I've missed.

So today, friends?

Today I choose rightly.

Today I choose to give all my minutes to them. To put down my phone. To shut my laptop. To let the laundry go. To put off dinner by a few minutes. Today I choose to watch. To play. To laugh. To listen. To draw when they bring me crayons and paper. To applaud when they perform their intricate dances. To read aloud when they bring me a book. 

Because all too soon, the minutes will be fewer and far between. In  a time not too far from now, I will be chasing after them for time and attention. And amidst the chaos of their ever-growing lives, they'll say, "In a minute, Mom."

How many minutes do I have left?

Today I will capture minutes.

Reclaim lost moments.

And treasure them in my heart.

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