Growing up, I thought my mom was the best mother ever (And I still think so). Although she was a single mother, she was always doing something with me and she created lots of memories. She taught me the most random things at various times of the day. On top of spending time with me, I don’t ever remember our house being dirty ever and I mean never! In my mind, she had oodles and oodles of time. Fast forward to today. I myself am a single mom. I work a full-time job, I am a full-time student and I am very involved in my local church. I sat one day and asked my mother how she did it. This is what she told me: Maximize every minute. I sat and thought about it. How am I supposed to maximize every minute when I feel like I barely have a moment to breathe? We wake up, rush to get ready, rush to get my daughter on the school bus, I rush out the door to work, work all day, pick her up from daycare, then get home, fix dinner while she does her homework, eat dinner, then I blink and its bath and bedtime. AND THEN I still have homework to do myself. Notice I did not say anything about cleaning! But then I began to think. It was in the random moments that my mother created memories. And as parents, we have to find the small opportunities to make the biggest impacts. Like when we’re driving in the car. There are so many teachable moments, from a song on the radio, to a sign outside the window. Once, I even took a second to teach my daughter what a Porta Potty was because we drove by one. I teach her things when I cook dinner, and if we watch TV we use those moments as well. You can teach life lessons and practical lessons using just about anything. When we are feeling overwhelmed as parents by all the tasks we have to do, if we invite our children to help, it not only alleviates some of the burden from us, it also teaches them skills and gives them a sense of accomplishment that they won’t forget.
Looking back now, I realize that my mother was in the same boat. She had to work and go to school but she made everything seem so easy. My guess is that it was just as hard for her as it is for many of us, but she took her own advice. She maximized every minute. Follow my mom’s advice. Make memories with your children. I promise, they will love and appreciate it one day. I know that I do.