Dear Dr. Laura:
Before my son was born, I was a school teacher. My plan was to wait a year, teach to put my husband through his last year of school and then get pregnant and "retire" forever to be that “idealistic stay-at-home mom.”
By the time I had my first son FOUR years later, I was involved in teaching and in being an active member of my church. As he began to toddle and show his independence, I became more active in "outside" activities. I didn't go back to teaching because I didn't want to be labeled a "working mom," but I took on tons of projects and church obligations that kept my focus "unfocused" as to where my priorities should be.
One day my son taught me a lesson I will never forget! We had a small house with a wall phone that had a long cord that stretched across the entire room, including the kitchen. I was engaged in my normal morning routine of making breakfast. I had my back to the kitchen, while I was scrambling eggs, and I was simultaneously talking with a church friend. The cord was stretched tightly across the kitchen in order to reach the stove. Suddenly the conversation literally was cut off. The phone cord snapped against my legs, surprising me enough to turn around quickly. Standing in the middle of the kitchen was my three-year old son with a shocked look on his face. The large pair of scissors was still opened in his hand -- he had cut the cord of the phone in two! I think he thought he was going to be punished, but instead, my mind flooded with the lesson that he had just driven home with his actions: "Mom, I am here for you, but are you really here for me?" I picked him up in my arms and told him that everything was OK. Mommy would replace the cord with a short one and spend more time talking and sharing thoughts and ideas with him! Breakfast, by the way, was wonderful!