Thursday, December 26, 2013

Virtual or Real - answer to Susan Evans

A fellow blogger Susan Evans wrote a very interesting post called Virtual or Real (Part 1).

It talked to my heart as a mother. It made me think about being a mother. It made me think about my son, our relationship, our relationship with God. And what all this means. At once I felt I had to answer her.
Mikael at Cotopaxi volcan. He loves the snow and Cotopaxi is one of the few places in Ecuador where you can find it.

Just few days ago I was looking at pictures of my son when he was little. He's 9 years old now, a big boy. And I missed that little boy who would come to sit on my lap and I could pick up and carry on my arms. I miss him so much.

I have my son still but the relationship changes all the time. And I don't want to miss the important moments. Like yesterday watching a movie together while we ate pizza. Or reading him when he goes to bed.

Just few days ago he sighed while he was laying in the bed, hugged me and told me that he's so glad I'm there for him all the time.
Mikael as a baby with my deceaced little brother Juhana.

I felt a strange mixed sensation. I know I try to be there but there are so many moments I feel guilty that I spend with the computer or at work and I'm not there for him.

I struggle with this daily. I try to find moments to show that all my attention is to him. To teach him about God and God's love, by showing him my love, mirroring the love God has with the love I have for him.

And when he talks about his love for God, how he will never forget or deny God, it makes me feel so proud of him. And scared. Because I know how hard the world can be.
Mikael with Jenna, a very dear nanny he had for a almost a year from Finland.

I find Susan's honesty encouraging and I respect her, as a mother and a person, even more because of it.
There are moments when my son asks me something while I'm on the computer and I answer something half intelligible. Sometimes he repeats what he's saying, sometimes he waits, other times he just gives up. And it breaks my heart when I think about it later on.

There are times when my son gets angry and says: You only care about the computer. Why don't you spend time with ME?

I think it's excelent that he can express his worries and anger. But it still breaks my heart.
Mikael at Quito Zoo.

But it also makes me a better mother because it makes me think about my choices and he challenges me to put him first and everything else I do second.

Mikael and Barney at Carolina park in Quito.
The good thing is that I have had some opportunities to take him with me to my work. We have visited indigenous communities, he has seen how the people there live, the schools they go to. And I think it will help him to see the world in quite a different way.

But it still broke my heart when he told me that he had thought that I didn't really work but only spend time on the computer. I guess since my office is at home, that is what he sees. His mother at the computer, just spending time when she could be with him.

A heartbreaking situation that many mothers must face today.

My answer to it.

Stop working when he talks to me. I know, it kills the flow. It takes ages to remember what I was doing and find the thread of thought I was following. But it also shows that I care, that I put him on the first spot.

Write when he's at school, asleep, with his friends, find moments when he isn't around to write. And when I have to write, when the work absolutely takes me away from him, explain it to him. He is big, he's nine years old, he understands a lot of things.
Mikael riding with his cousin in Finland.

And like I said before, make him part of the work. Show him what I do. Make him understand why it is so important to me.

I must tell these things have improved our relationship inmensely. But there is still a lot to do. And I still keep praying and seeking God to give me understanding how to show more love to my son. How to show God's love and care to my son.

"Children are not casual guests in our home.  They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built."
James Dobson

37 comments:

  1. My son is also nine and I feel like I definitley don't get to spend enough time with him - but it's just the way it is. There is so much to do and never enough time.

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    1. That is so true! A mom's job never ends and working besides that and blogging, it's just too much for one day. But it is important to have moments when we are really present and there for our children.

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  2. I think it's hard to find that balance. my kids have a hard time understanding my work since it's on the computer. I make a big point of closing my laptop or turning oFF the monitor and walking away so they know that it's mommy time.

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    1. I have tried to explain my son a bit more about what blogging is and what I do exactly with my computer. But he really hates it when he sees that I'm in Facebook. And he really can't understand that I'm promoting the blog and not just chatting and having fun.

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  3. It's definitely hard to find that balance. I have tried to work after my kids go to sleep because my son is the same way.

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    1. you are so right.. i am up now working when everyone is asleep.. i think it's more refreshing to work at night when the house is calm.. my kids want my undivided attention even when I have given them amp tlc, they want that time when I sit to blog, to eat, to nap or even to use the restroom.. i even bake when they are asleep.. it helps my sanity.
      x
      MEGASABI

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  4. As everyone has stated it is a challenging balance, and there is no easy answer because for all of us the challenge is different and presents itself differently. I would say that some of my work is on the computer, but because my children as much younger (3&2) it is near impossible to use it until they are asleep. For me, the problem is my phone. I can do a lot of what I would on the computer on my phone. I feel like some days all they see is my phone, because it also is an escape. I am trying to work on this by turning it off for periods of the day. Not having a land line it is also what I would need to make an emergency phone call, so sometimes I don't want to turn it off (or maybe that is just an excuse.) Constant struggle, and still constant improvement.

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    1. I can see how you would need an escape with two small children. It's a lot of hard work and they take so much energy. For me, making certain that mom is feeling good, is also making certain that children are well. If you don't have energy, what can you give them. But putting the phone down and concentrating on them completely for a time, is also an excelent thing to do. I think we can't be there all the time for our children but when we are with them, we need to be there totally.

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  5. I can relate completely. There are times even as a stay at home mom that I feel I didn't give my son enough time and attention. But I do try and I am focused on it so I am aware. My mom worked a lot when I was young- she had no choice. But it did not change the loved I felt from her. If it was an extremely important event to me, she made it some how. I knew she was doing her best and that is what a child needs to see and feel. I think we as mother's are too hard on ourselves and often feel that every moment of our life has to be focused on someone besides ourselves when in reality this is ust not true.

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    1. I agree, Mandy. Our children don't need all our time, we need to make sure we are feeling well also. Children need to feel they are important to us and that what we do is the best we can do, for them.

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  6. It's hard to work only around the times the kiddos are out of the house or sleeping. It's especially hard if working at home is your sole means of an income.

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    1. I agree. I do a lot of work at home, it's my choice but it's still hard for my son. He goes to school but that is the time I'm also out of the house. So, in the afternoon he sees me at the computer and it's hard.

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  7. I struggle with this too. :( My son runs into the office and tries to turn off the computer!

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    1. They are so direct at showing their needs, Krystal.

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  8. Well, you made me think of my son. I would have been 34 this year, but he passed away almost 4 years ago. We now raise his son...so I'm learning all over again. You gave a nice and touching story here.

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    1. I'm sorry for your loss, Kim. My brother would have been 30 this September. He passed away also four years ago. It's hard to let go someone you love so much.

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  9. I can totally relate to you! Being a mom, and finding that balance is very difficult when blogging is for an income. I know I may regret this someday too which is sad!

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    1. There I days I regret but I try to see each day as a new opportunity. Maybe I didn't do so well yesterday but I have today and I'll make the best experience and memory possible for my son.

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  10. You post seemed to resonate with many of the mothers among your readers. It appears that the struggle to find balance between work and family is one many people can relate to.

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    1. I think almost all mothers have this guilt, Janeane, am I doing enough for my children, am I giving them enough time. Now that we know more about child psychology and how important the positive experiences, modeling and time spent with parents are, it's hard not to feel guilty.

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  11. I have had such a struggle this past year with balancing work, my blog, friends, and spending time with my daughter. Some days I feel like I cannot juggle things and I get extremely overwhelmed. I always remember that family comes first!

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    1. Yes, family comes first and yourself too. We don't need to be so perfect and get everything right, always, not even most of the times. Just living is good too.

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  12. Your son sounds like a very sweet, smart boy. I think you sound like you are doing a fantastic job as a mother and it's only natural to worry about things like this.

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    1. Thank you, Chelsea, and he is. Sometimes he suprises me with his wisdom.

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  13. I find it can help to set healthy boundaries where as long as you schedule in some 'quality' time with your family then it's OK to also have your own time to work on the computer. After all I'm sure your son wants to be proud of his mum and everything she achieves while on her computer (like this blog!). It's all about balance!

    Zoe B

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    2. That is so true, Zoe. Balance is very important and giving yourself a break and not always expecting perfection.

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  14. That would break my heart too. I need to work on paying more attention to him and be more productive while he's napping or down for the night.

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  15. I'm seeing it more an more, even honestly in my own life. Devices seem to be pulling us all away from real life connections.

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  16. This is such a touching story. I agree that technology is pulling us farther apart, rather than together.

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  17. I know the feeling about missing the "little kid" our children used to be. My daughter is a teenager now and I really miss the cuddling time with her. I wouldn't dare suggest to try to cuddle up to a teenager now! Lol

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  18. I think as mothers we're constantly battling our work and home life, always feeling torn.

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  19. Motherhood is forever... I never understood that until I became a mom.... never easy too.

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  20. I think your words resonate with any mother, but for me as a blogger, the computer part really hit home. I've cut back majorly because of that very reason; my kids would make regular comments about mommy on her computer all of the time. Since making the efforts to spend less time online, they've noticed and commented and makes me feel better. These times do go by so fast, and it's easy to get caught up in the things we have to do and miss out on things that will never be again.
    Thank you for the reminder. <3

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    1. The same thing happens to me. My son used to make comments about mom being on the computer all the time and finally told me that he thinks that the computer is more important to me than he is. After that I've cut the computer time and tried to find "us" time and it has really helped.

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  21. My kids tell me all of the time how much they love me and I love those moments when they say "Thank you Mama for feeding us dinner". It's adorable for the little kind thank yous they give me when the things they thank me for are just things I am suppose to do as a Mama. I also love how my only daughter and oldest child adores me and looks up to me for everything I have done for her and her brothers in their lives. They know I Love them, cherish them and any decisions I make have their best interest at heart, even if they don't realize it now, they trust I know what I'm doing.

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    1. That love and adoration is amazing, Brandy. And we should really cherish it, because puberty comes way too soon.

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