I've mentioned before that I love the Duggars. Would I ever want to BE a Duggar? No effing WAY!! Ok, maybe a little.
The other day I was watching one of the recent 19 Kids and Counting episodes (yes, I DVR the show, but please don’t tell anyone…. I can even name all of the kids: Josh-with his wife Anna and their kids McKynzie and I think the new baby is named Michael- then there are Jana, JohnDavid, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, JoyAnna, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, James, Justin, Jackson, Johanna, Jennifer, Jordyn, and their tiny, precious addition, Josie. Oh shoot, I forgot one. I always forget one. Just like Maria forgot Curt when she said her bedtime prayers for the VonTrapp family. But, I know that their adorable cousin’s name is Amy, do I get points for knowing that? Talk about a fun party trick.)
As I was saying, I was watching the show a few weeks ago while JimBob and Michelle were writing their latest book. They sat together, focused at the kitchen table, poring over the last draft with a deadline to their publishers looming as chaos from their offspring erupted all around them. Someone off camera asked if the kids were a distraction to finishing the book.
Michelle’s response really struck a chord with me. While this isn’t her response verbatim, you’ll get the gist of it. She said that raising the kids was their job and that the book was a distraction to raising their family. Not the other way around.
Wow. What a perspective.
How many times have I said no to playing a board game because I was paging through Facebook?
How many times have I said no to reading a book because I was flipping through US magazine?
How many times have I said “tuck yourselves in” because I was glued to the snuggler watching Real Housewives of some city that I don't live in?
How many times have I said “not now” because I was doing dishes or folding laundry or re-organizing the junk drawer for the bazillionth time?
Certainly enough to eliminate me from the running for any Mother of the Year awards, but, fortunately not enough to warrant a call to CPS, either. Most definitely more than I’d like to admit, though.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to do anything dramatic like quit my job so that I can focus on raising my 4 kids and not counting. I, personally, enjoy the lifestyle that my career provides. But, next time my kids interrupt me, I’m going to ask myself, “What is the distraction here?” And turn my attention away from the distraction to focus on what is most important. At least that’s what I’m going to try and do.
So, next time you hear me say that I am channeling my inner Michelle, you’ll know what I mean. It doesn’t mean that I’m trying to get knocked up again (LORD knows). It simply means that I’m trying to be a better, more patient, more focused parent, with fewer distractions.
BTW – I Googled it….I forgot to mention Jason in between Jeremiah and James.