Saturday, November 12, 2011

What Does Your Mini Van Say About You?

If someone chose to randomly look inside your mini van (or other vehicle) what would they see? Would they see McDonald's food wrappers? Soccer or hockey gear? Dancing shoes or overdue library books? Extra clothes? What would they see? I think you can tell a lot about a person and their family by the condition of the inside of their vehicle. (Mine says 'I hate cleaning out vehicles') ha ha.  

It's a good thing that mini vans were created in the first place. Think about it... the average family now has two children, sometimes three, yet we need mini vans which seat seven. That's because we often spend more time in our mini van with our family than we do at home. We are a very, very, very, yes I'll say it again: very busy society. Our vans become the family dinner table on the way to soccer practice, or hockey, or baseball, you fill in the sport of choice. They become our extra closets that we don't have room for in our homes. You never know when you will need an extra shirt when you are away from home, and you are away from home more than you are in it.

Am I on a rant? No, not really, but I do hope it will be a wake up call for somebody, anybody. You see, I can say this because I am on the other side of raising my children: they grow up very fast so don't waste a moment you have with them. We can get so busy that one minute we are shuffling them from home to school to practice to home again and the next minute they are grown up and gone from home. Take time to just 'be' with your kids. You don't have to be doing anything special, just be with them. Snuggle them, cuddle them, hold them while sitting on the couch, talk calmly to them, get to know them, take time. Time is the greatest gift you can give them. Your time. Not rushing out the door time, but actual time to be with them. 

Now that my kids are grown up the one thing I am thankful for was the time I spent with them. When they were little the five of us would all sit together on the couch to watch a movie. Brad and I would often joke that it was like seeing a litter of puppies all piled together on top of each other. Some of the sweetest moments were early in the morning when all three kids would crawl in to bed with us. We'd be quite squashed  up but we'd lay telling stories or singing songs. Sometimes we'd take day trips to a museum. Museums are great because they are not noisy like a themed park and they allow you the quiet to be able to talk to each other. We did a lot of talking. 

When was the last time you took the time to really talk to your kids? It's great to be able to provide lots of entertainment for our kids and to have them involved in lots of activities but not at the sacrifice of your family time. When your kids are grown up I can guarantee you that they will remember and cherish the time you spent together as a family more than the many events you take them too. 

What about you? Are you so busy that you don't have time to spend with God's blessings to you, your children? Why not try this experiment? Get yourself a piece of paper and for one week, keep a log of the amount of time you spend with your children. Then you will know for sure if you actually have time with your kids or maybe you need to rework your time budget. 

I taught at a Christian elementary school for one semester and I refused to give homework to the children. The kids were really happy but some parents weren't. They felt that since every other teacher had given homework that maybe their child wouldn't be getting the best education without it. But once I explained why I didn't give homework many of the parents thanked me and appreciated it. This was my reasoning: the school or school system had their children more than they did so for the little bit of time they would be together as a family I wanted it to be free of homework.

 Just think about it: the children whom I taught left home and caught the school bus usually by 7:15-7:30 AM and didn't return home until somewhere around 4:00 PM. If I gave homework they would have to either do it before supper or after supper. Many of the parents both worked and some didn't get home until 6:00 PM. Some had the sitter give the kids supper but most had their supper together as a family at 6:00, then it was time for bath or other bed time routine and off to bed. The parents might have seen their kids for a total of 1 1/2 hrs each day. 

If you are so busy that you find you are living out of your vehicle, then you are too busy. If your children don't have a clue what a family supper table is, then you're too busy. If you don't know who your children are, then you're too busy. 

There are lots of self help books out there for the busy mom, but I think there needs to be a piece of advice on how not to be such a busy mom. Here it is: unplug, deactivate, stop doing and just be, less is more, etc, etc, etc. You get the point. Get off that treadmill and spend some quiet time with your greatest treasure: your kids.


  1. Wonderful read. Very true. Been reading through your blod a bit and they are all good reads with even better messages :) I see these are also in book form. Are you able to get them on e-reader devices like a kobo?

  2. blog* sorry for the typo :)

  3. Mama's Pages Volume One is available through as an ebook. Volume Two is only available in actual book form. Thanks for reading.