“Just a minute, baby,” I say for what feels like the millionth time today. The baby’s crying because he wants to be held. The toddler wants to play trucks. A cup needs refilled, a different snack is wanted, a toy was dropped just out of reach; but it seems like I’m always saying “just a minute”.
Just a minute so I can finish cooking dinner.
Just a minute so I can wash the dishes.
Just a minute because there are crumbs everywhere that I need to vacuum.
You see, as a full-time working mama, I only have a handful of minutes at home to get everything done. More often than I’d like to admit, I let those minutes with my babies escape while I tackle the more mundane tasks of life.
I try to multitask. I try to spend those precious minutes at home making sure we aren’t living in complete filth while entertaining at least one child. The problem with that, though, is the other always feels left out. I’m holding the baby while I cook, but the toddler wants to be held, too. That’s where the “just a minute” mama comes out yet again.
Just a minute and I’ll pick you up when I put bubba down.
Just a minute and you can help me.
Just a minute and mama will be done.
I’m so tired of putting off all of those minutes.
Instead of asking my kids to wait, I’ve decided to put more effort into making everything else wait.
When my toddler pulls me away from cooking to have a dance party in the living room, I oblige. When the baby starts crying as I’m washing his bottles, I turn the water off. Instead of asking what new movie my toddler wants to watch while I get things done, I try to turn the TV off to sit and play trucks instead.
We may not eat three-course meals every night, but that’s OK. The toddler won’t eat them anyway.
There may be a few dishes in the sink, but they’re not going anywhere.
The toys that are strewn across the floor won’t pick themselves up, but if they sit out for a night, it won’t hurt anything.
These minutes that I have with my children, while they’re still children, are so valuable. I hate thinking of how quickly they go by, but I can’t pretend that they don’t. I may not enjoy every second, but I will miss them nonetheless.
So starting today, everything else can wait just a minute. Instead of saying “just a minute” to my sons, I’ll say just a minute to the dishes. Just a minute to the laundry. Just a minute the dinner. I know these things can’t wait forever, but they can wait a few more minutes longer than my boys can.
After all, it seems like just a minute before they’re grown up.