The other day I received a sweet comment from a mom who wished she was able to purchase extra things for her kids and then wrestling with this feeling about not being able to give her kids what she thought they needed and deserved – when she couldn’t budget it in. Well, first of all – I get it. I’ve lived in this crazy fiscally tight world for most of my motherhood journey. So tight that I’d be tallying items purchased while going through the grocery story and putting things back and lamenting when I couldn’t even buy a small item at the checkout.
But, here’s the deal – even though the stuff is awesome time matters way way more.
It’s the giving of ourselves that our kids really need.
Sure it is super fun to give them all the things that we think culture says they need – the toys, electronics, trips to Disneyworld and so on – but listen – those things don’t make or break a childhood. Really. I know that it almost seems to be expected that their youth is full of all of those things, but truly they aren’t part of parenting success or what all kids need. It’s stuff. Extra stuff.
Your kids need you. Loving them when they feel lost in a world of things to do and expectations. They need you sitting next to them at night trying to convince them that someday they will really understand long division – as you try to convince yourself that someway you, too, will understand the new way of teaching it. They need you willing to wake at night when they have a bad dream and to sit by them and get them something to drink. They need you to listen to their stories and to cheer for them when they do great and to tell them I believe in you when they stumble.
Stuff doesn’t give them that.
Stuff is just stuff.
You’re their mom. The one that they write on little notes and pick flowers for and hold your hand. You’re the one that has loved them from the day they entered your life and will continue to love them even when they drive you just a bit crazy. Or a whole lot of crazy. You’re the one that works so hard for them and oftentimes it feels like it goes unnoticed. You’re the one who washes those clothes, gets the stains out, and searches for a matching pair of socks.
That’s giving. Loving.
That’s not stuff.
It’s real. Life. Breathing. Loving. Mothering.
At the end of our days we’re not going to remember all the trinkets and gadgets and stuff that we had to manage. We’re going to remember moments together. Simple, loving, beautiful, sticking together, wiping tears away, real life moments.
That’s why time is more important than stuff.
So if you’re at Target or Walmart or wherever and you’re wishing you could just get them that next thing, step back, and look at all you give. You’ll be amazed.
They need you way way more.
For more reminders about why motherhood matters check out my my dear mom letter ebook – it’s full of letters reminding you why you matter and why you’re not failing and honestly, why mothers are absolutely amazing.