The Most Important 10 Minutes of Your Day

Where is your attention?        

Mom, are you busy? my son asked.

 I was in the middle of a project I wanted to finish. Luckily, my mouth came up with the right answer.the most important 10 minutes of your day

 “No, What do you need?”

 “Would you play this with me?

I looked in the hand of my sixth-grader. He was holding a handmade board game on Andrew Carnegie that he made for a school assignment.

 “Sure” I said, groaning inside. Playing games is on my most-despised-mom-duty-list.

We sat on the floor and in ten minutes successfully completed the game about Andrew Carnegie. When we were done, my son had a happy, contented smile. He went downstairs to the Man-Cave with his brothers, and I returned to the project I was doing earlier.

I knew those 10 minutes were the most important use of my time for the week. Rare are the moments when teenage boys ask, “Are you busy?”

I remembered days, not too long ago, when I was too busy for a lot of things. I would cringe when the kids asked for my time. I would calculate the cost of putting them off or giving them my attention. I’m thankful when my heart trumps my head. The result is precious time that can’t be replaced.

As my son walked to the Man-Cave, I longed for more time to spend with each of my kids. Time reading Mike Mulligan and the Steamshovel or rocking them to sleep. I longed for tea parties with my daughter and John Deere tractors to cover my floor.

I’m thankful I gave the right answer to the Most Important Question, “Are you busy?”

It’s normal to struggle with contentment when you have little ones under your feet. You wonder if you’ll ever have a thought or moment of your own. You wonder if you’ll ever have time where someone isn’t demanding your energy.

I used to feel that way, too. Now, when one of my kids texts, calls, or asks, “Mom, are you busy?” I recognize the opportunity to be fully present with my not-so-little-little-ones.

If I could say one word to harried moms, it would be to seek peace and contentment in your season of parenting. While the world seems to be passing you by, it’s not. Your children will pass by even faster. Once they’re self-sufficient and their world revolves around their peers, you’ll long for just a wisp of their presence and a five-minute conversation to hear their voice.

You’ll yearn for time where you can be fully present.

Life granted me 10 minutes to spend with my son, affirming the skill and effort he put into his project. His capacity for Mom-time was filled.

Later that night, when my other teen boys were in bed, I opened their doors, sat beside them in the dark, and asked if I could pray with them.

They each said, “Sure.” So I put my hand on their strong, manly arms and prayed while they laid in their beds with pictures of their girlfriends in the shadows. I kissed their heads, and my heart fluttered when they said, Goodnight Mom” as I walked out the door.

Ten minutes was all it took, but my heart was filled. I hope theirs was, too.

Ten minutes is all your kids need, whether they’re two, twelve, or twenty, for you to be fully theirs.

What 10 minutes can you give to your child today?

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Brenda has a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a BA in education. She's a speaker, freelance writer, author, counselor and teacher who's spent two decades working with and raising teenagers. She's a mom of four, from middle school to young adult, and lives with her family on a farm in Indiana. She writes about life, faith, and parenting beyond the storybook image at Life Beyond the Picket Fence at brendayoder.com.

Brenda Yoder

Brenda has a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a BA in education. She's a speaker, freelance writer, author, counselor and teacher who's spent two decades working with and raising teenagers. She's a mom of four, from middle school to young adult, and lives with her family on a farm in Indiana. She writes about life, faith, and parenting beyond the storybook image at Life Beyond the Picket Fence at brendayoder.com.

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