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Children Are Not a Distraction From More Important Work: My Mom Realization

I first heard this quote a few years ago, and it’s one that pierced my soul.

“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” – Dr. John Trainer

I was drinking the Koolaid as a new mom, or course they are the most important work! I’ve waited for years for this baby. I’ve spent so many thousands of dollars to even have my little miracle. It just rang so true at the moment.

And then life seemed to happen. And I decided it’s time to have a real, raw, honest chat about parenthood and how imperfect I am at it.

Some Phases Of Parenthood Are Harder Than Others

Both my kids are just coming out of phases that have been killer for me. I’m a firm believer in knowing children go through phases and getting through the hard ones knowing they pass.

I know enough about my motherhood style to know this: the wiggly baby who won’t let you hold them and tries to leap to their death from your arms phase isn’t my jam. I have small hands for an adult and trying to use those to contain a tiny person who literally tries to leap at any moment terrifies me. Also, I have an irrational fear of dropping a baby and brain damage ensuing, so this phase and I just don’t mix. But on the ground trying to eat cords isn’t the best alternative. So really, the pre-walking wiggly baby is hard for me.

“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” – Dr. John Trainer

And three. Oh, age three. Everyone told me the terrible two’s are a myth and wait until age three. Well, everyone, you were right. Two was darling and I could have just gobbled that kid up! But the three-nager stereotypes of attitude and testing every boundary are rough for all parents. I feel like my kid has been on the mellow side of all the bad I heard, I’ve been lucky. However, it’s still a daily test of patience and reading many parenting books. Solidarity parents who have survived aged three!


Justifying There Are More Important Things to Do

As much as I’ve cherished and loved being a mom, something happened to me adjusting to two kids and getting through two of my least favorite phases at the same time. I started to view my children as something I always needed a break from.

I believe firmly that parents need breaks. Of course, you need a regular date night to reconnect, and also to get a break. Moms need some personal time. Also, I’ll add that’s completely normal and healthy. I’ve always loved nap time. I’ve always believed in taking breaks and personal time. It’s been a great thing. But this was a time in my life when breaks seemed to be my main focus. I was always watching the clock, waiting for my next break.Children are important and motherhood matters.

My breaks are working. I’m always looking for a few extra minutes to try to clear my inbox or do one more task. “Me time” is work time, and for the most part, I love it that way. I’m a workaholic and it’s very fulfilling to me, in the same way, watching a Netflix show may be to someone else. And usually, I strive to work during breaks and be all in with my phone down when it’s mom time.

But this feeling of overwhelm and watching the clock for the next break started to break down my systems. When you pair feeling like I needed more breaks from children with being a work-from-home mom, it can be a really ugly combo.

Using My Phone Instead of Being Present

I started to blur my own clear lines of work time and mom time. I started to justify that I always needed to be online. Honestly, I found myself using the excuse that I work in social media to be on social media all the more. I found myself a little appalled by my usage app telling me I had spent multiple hours on my phone in social media apps one day.

Not just some time, 4.5 hours in one day. It was like a sucker punch. When I considered we had run errands, there was a nap/quiet time in our day, and I’d had that much time online, I started to realize the view my kids were seeing. When they envision their monther, they may very well see her distracted on her phone.

Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.

Around the same time, my three-year-old had a day I was looking at my phone and said articulately, “Hey mom, I need some attention. Could you pwease look at me?” And he meant it. My heart shattered.

I put my phone down and gave him attention. But I was simultaneously resentful and snapped back into the same mentality.

I justified my overwhelmed days and moments as an excuse to turn to social media and not be present for kids. In my mind, saying I’m making money working justified a phone being a part of my time with my children. He was so clearly in my face, old enough to say for both of them,

“Mom, can you choose me over your phone today, please?”

And I started to have all the mom guilt as that quote came instantly back to my mind.

“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” – Dr. John Trainer

Baby kissing mom on the cheek.

Children Are the Most Important Work

I’m really lucky to have the job I have. I’m really lucky that I’ve experienced growth in the business while I’m growing in motherhood. But years from now, I know I’ll never think about the days I was caught up on email and ahead in work. I’ll think of the days I was on the floor playing with those little people. I’ll miss the hours of reading books. Most of all, I’ll miss those two little people who not only needed me but wanted me with them every second. Truly, these children are not a distraction from more important work that I won’t miss one day.

So I guess I share this moment for any other moms who know they’re in a phase that’s trying them. And for anyone justifying the moments they really need a break. You can take that break! But I hope you also have that quote hit you the way it hit me.

Those precious little souls are gonna be grown-ups before you know it. And may we all hope they remember us as a mom who wanted to be with them and knew they were the most important thing. Most of all, as a mom who they remember being present. And may I never have to have a child to ask me to put down my phone so they can have some attention during playtime again.

Photos: Photography Hill


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  1. This is exactly the reminder I needed today. Thanks for being so real and relatable and sharing your heart and your story 💕

    1. fridaywereinlove says:

      Thanks for such a nice comment! I think we all have these times and seasons, and I’m glad mine felt relatable!