I had just opened the dishwasher to reboot my dishes so that I would be ready to tell the sink goodnight in a little while when I heard a small voice behind me,
“Mom, will you play Old Maid with us?”
I turned around to find my 6 year old, holding a ragged deck of cards, smiling her freshly-lost-a-tooth smile, bouncing slightly in anticipation. My first thought was to say,
“No, baby, mommy needs to finish these dishes, and then fold that load of laundry, and then hoover the sitting room.”
But, instead, I closed the dishwasher and played Old Maid. I couldn’t tell you how many rounds I played with my daughters. At least 4 or 5. And I don’t regret a thing. Sure, the dishes were still there that night after everyone was in bed, and I was too tired to bother with them. Which meant they were still there the next morning when we all woke up. I’m OK with that.
Part of my job is to train them how to care for themselves, their home, and their family. It falls to me to teach them how to manage a household, fold clothes, load a dishwasher, plan meals, etc. There are some wonderful times that can come from standing at a sink together or chatting while preparing dinner; working together. However, this was not one of those times.
It’s also my job to teach them how to be a mother, not just a household manager. And, it’s my job to make sure they are loved and nurtured, and that they know it. It’s a wise investment to let the housework (or the computer, or phone) go for a moment and spend time investing in our kids. And it’s a wiser woman who can discern the balance. Lord, give me grace!!