I’m a single mama of two busy children. I work full-time and come home to make their dinner, read them stories, and tuck them into bed. On the weekends, I’m dashing through the grocery store and cheering my daughter on from the sidelines of her basketball game. All of this requires a great deal of management and I am a good manager. I spend lots of time managing schedules and budgets, hairstyles and carpool duties, menus and squabbles.
And many of my management duties are necessary. There is a certain amount of efficiency needed to keep the day-to-day aspects of our life running. But, my New Year’s resolution is to manage less and connect more.
In reality, my kids don’t need a perfectly streamlined schedule, or a household budget reconciled down to the last penny. They also don’t need a month’s worth of menus planned or a freezer stocked with thirty crock pot meals.
They need their mama.
They need moments of connection every day where I put down the schedule, the budget, the menu and all of my other management tools, and look into their eyes.
The little one is good at reminding me of this. “Come here, Mama,” he bosses. “Sit down couch.” My sweet big girl tries to hold it all together, tries to help me in my managing. And so, my resolution is to seek her out and spend time with each of my kids connecting, not just managing.
I want to know what’s going on at school. I want to know what they love and what scares them. I want to drink in these moments, to savor them while I can.
I know I can’t be perfect at this, but I am making an effort. I’m organizing morning stuff the night before, so I can spend those precious, straight from bed moments snuggling with my toddler.
I put a jar and a pad of paper on the counter for my preteen to suggest fun things to do together. She is totally on board with this (she likes the “secrecy” aspect of being able to put in whatever she wants whenever she wants). We won’t do them all, but lots of them are absolutely happening this year.
And just the other day, I was sitting in the living room listening to the endless chatter of the ones I love most in the world, and my mind drifted into management mode. I thought of a task that needed done, one that I could squeeze in now before we had to rush off to the next thing. It wasn’t a necessary task. At least not one that couldn’t wait a while. So, for those precious moments, I sat in the living room and kept listening to the silly stories. I kept catching their eyes and smiling with them, laughing with them. It’s not going to be perfect, but it’s going to matter. Less managing, more connecting.
That’s my New Year’s resolution.