Here is another installation of what we learned at EastLake on Sunday...
As a reminder, I've included the first two things (of a list of 10) that kids need from caring adults. This weekend we covered items 3-5:
- Strong belief there is a high value in being a parent
- On-going affection
- Use encouraging words - when you see something your child is doing, phrase it positively and try to focus on things beyond just performance (ex: I love you, I believe in you, and highlight when the 5 C's are exhibited - no matter what age)
- Don't forget about having serious fun - we need to remember to laugh, play, and dance on a regular basis! Despite our busy schedules, we need to lighten up and actually schedule fun.
- Consistent presence - The idea of presence is a challenge to our priorities and selfishness. We can't forget that parenting is synonymous with sacrifice! Your very presence is a sign of caring and connectedness. Focus, face them, and give feedback! Be a reflective listener.
I think the part that stood out to me the most this week was #5. I'm going to be honest and say that I truly SUCK at #5. As I listened to the pastor talk about what it means to be consistently present, I could feel the guilt build up inside. I'm actually surprised I didn't get a few hard nudges from David as he spoke! My lack of presence was definitely more apparent when I was working, but I know it happens from time to time when I am focused on something - whether it be something on the TV, online, or just a random thought I'm fixated on at that particular moment in time.
I guess its not enough to physically be present but to actually BE present as well! I don't hear this as often anymore but after all those long days at work, I'd come home after David had already been home for HOURS and he'd try to talk to me. Unfortunately, my mind would often be somewhere in the office still and he would have to yell at me to "BE PRESENT"! Literally. I feel bad that I was/am that way. That's one of the things I hope to change when I go back to work after my maternity leave. While on this medical leave I've realized that while being so obsessed with work and my career I've missed a lot of family time, some potentially meaningful conversations, and even just random, silly, fun times with David and sweet Pookie. That's not to say that I don't/won't care about my career when it's time to go back but I will definitely put my family first. This is how I was raised and thinking back, has made all the difference in my relationship with my parents and how I want to be as a wife and mother moving forward.
By the way, great news! I just learned that EastLake actually posts their past services on their website! In case you're not getting enough from my Cliff's Notes version and are interested in listening to the message, you can go here.