Lessons From My Tiny Teacher: My Son Comes First

May 17, 2014  |  

One thing most moms can agree on: your little one drives you up a wall! Another absolute we might all acknowledge is these little annoying, imaginative, curious creatures really can teach (or at the very least remind) us of a few fundamental truths. You know, like the familiar, but oft-forgotten “treat others the way you want to be treated” or the foundational “sharing is caring.”

We all have those hilarious, infuriating, enlightening (or all of the above) moments with our kiddos that remind us of these lessons we were taught way back in the stone age when we were little tikes. Here, I share with you teachable moments brought to you by Matthew, my feisty, gutsy, spunky tot who’s taught me a thing or two since he came kicking and screaming into my life! Enjoy, but more importantly, take note.

This week my two year old reminded me that he’s my number one priority.

I work hard. No, REALLY hard. And I do so for a number of reasons: It was engrained in me by my parents who both served as good examples of hard-working adults; I like financial freedom and the ability to do what I want; I don’t want money to be a hindrance for my son having a well-rounded, great life; and, oh yea, I have bills to pay.

And of those reasons, my son is probably my biggest motivator and reason for working like a mad woman most days a week. The past two weeks have been particularly hectic for me as I juggle various roles and try to keep my home life in tact. And as I take on more work and commit to more hours, I do so in the name of keeping the mean green flowing in from various sources—but my son doesn’t really interpret it that way (more on that later).

As many career-having parents know, the whole work-life balance thing is hard to perfect. Recently, I noticed that my life needed a bit more attention, my son needed a few more outdoor walks with mommy and maybe a couple more books read to him before bed. I admit it; I’ve been slipping.

One day I was sitting on my couch, responding to emails on my iPhone, when my son approached me and said, “Sit down!” I gave him that “who are you talking to” look and responded, “What do you mean? I am sitting down.”

He kept repeating it, “Sit down, mommy! Sit down.” And as his frustration grew, he had finally had enough. He reached for my phone, clicked the lock button to turn it off slammed it on the couch and said, “Sit down!”

He then grabbed my hand, handed me one of his basketballs and said, “Here. Shoot.” (Yes, my son is a man who knows what he wants. Very forward. Very vocal. Very sure of himself. Sighs.)

Anyway, I totally got the message: He wanted me to sit my phone down and get up to play some ball with him. And so I did. Until we were both tired. Those emails? They no longer mattered. My son wanted me, and yes, I chose him over them.

This week Matthew reminded me that years from now he will hold a vision of me in his head. That vision will be his perception of the type of mommy I was to him during his formative years. I want that vision to be that of a present, aware and conscious mommy who was very hands-on and active during his childhood—not that of a workaholic who was constantly glued to her smartphone and laptop. I’m working to achieve that perfect balance, so that the two things I’m most passionate about—my son and my career—can one day live together in perfect harmony! But until then, Matthew wins every time!

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