A few weeks ago, one of the ladies in my Sunday school class said something that’s stuck with me. She shared with us that she’d asked her grown children what they remember most from their childhood, and they told her, honestly, “You always kept the house so clean.” She went on to tell us how this had made her sad because now they were grown and she felt she had spent more time cleaning the house than she had spent honestly enjoying her children.
I hadn’t been able to forget it. And I’d catch myself, here at home, opening my mouth to tell the girls to go play by themselves because I had something I had to get done…. and stopping, wondering if this was one of those moments I’d regret twenty years from now when they’re grown up and gone.
Well. That’s an uncomfortable thought, isn’t it?
I did my best to push that way back to the back of my mind because the house has to get cleaned, y’all. And it has to get cleaned by “Mommy Standards,” which are high.
We had a ladies’ workshop at the church a couple of weekends ago called “Uncluttered.” It was all about how to find balance and order in our lives, and it was led by a wonderful lady by the name of Kay Stinnett. (I highly, highly recommend her as a speaker for your ladies’ ministry events!) I went, certain that I would get more helpful information about how to tweak my current routines, schedules, and task lists, amping Mommy Standards up to a whole new high. (Because I’m as high achieving as Ana Faulk and twice as crazy.)
She shared with us how she had worked hard to keep her home perfect and her kids on a tight schedule and routine. One of her friends, meanwhile, spent more time sitting around a messy house, playing with her children and never missing a moment. Their kids are all grown now, and guess who has regrets and who doesn’t?
Hmm. It’s almost like I’d heard this before…
I keep hearing it, and it keeps convicting me. I can reason with myself that some things have to get done, like the housecleaning, the laundry, the cooking, the yard work, etc. And I can get the girls to join me in those tasks so that we’re spending time while they learn something valuable in the process.
BUT I have to get away from this idea that sitting around and playing is unproductive. It’s so easy to do since they’re such good playmates to one another, but I have to remember to take the time, even if it means leaving some things to the side, to be intentional about being with them.
I feel like I’ve blogged about this before. I probably have. Because I keep re-learning it over and over again.
Here’s to playtime, even in a house that’s not clean by Mommy Standards.
And here’s to not regretting moments lost…